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Saudi Aramco oil rig in desert
Saudi Aramco desert oil rig. According to company officials, the peninsula sits on potentially as much as 900 billion barrels of crude oil, as well as equally large amounts of natural gas, enough to meet current oil demand for the next fifty years

How Much Saudi Oil Is Left?

Highlights of February 24th meeting on the future of Saudi Arabia's oil fields

By EV World.Com

On February 24, 2004, Matthew Simmons, the president of Simmons & Company International, addressed the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington DC, along with two senior executives from Saudi Aramaco, on the topic of global oil reserves, with the focus on Saudi oil fields.   
Supporting Audio and PDF Files

CSIS Program (MP3)

Saudi Aramco Presentation (PDF)

Matt Simmons Interview (Video)

Simmons' Presentation (PDF)

What emerged from both presentations was a view of Saudi oil production that is poles apart. While Simmons offered a far more pessimistic perspective of Saudi oil production, based on his study of some 200 technical papers, many authored by Saudi Aramco engineers and geologists -- Mr. Abdul Baqi and Dr. Saleri optimistically forecast that Saudi Aramco could continue its current rate of output for the next fifty years to sixty-five or seventy years.

They report that a combination of new technology and likely-but-as-yet-undiscovered deposits along the Iraqi border and in the "Empty Quarter" of the peninsula will continue to make Saudi Arabia the world oil export leader. By their calculation, the company sits on top of 700 billion barrels of oil, and that is likely to expand to 900 billion barrels in the future, only 14% of which has been extracted.

The entire CSIS program is available in MP3 format and is worth taking time to listen to if you're interested in future of oil and natural gas, the two primary fossil fuels that drive the modern world. Use the above links at the right.

After both presentations, Julian Darley interviewed Simmons about the Saudi Aramco presentation. You can view video Simmons' reaction online using the link in the box at right. The first thing that is apparent is that from Simmons' perspective, the Saudis revealed more in this presentation about their operations than he's seen in the last thirty years. The next thing that is clear is that Simmons is skeptical of the Saudi's capacity to continue it output at levels described in their presentation. He thinks we will know by 2007 whether or not Baqi and Saleri's projections are correct. He also urges that the world develop a "plan B" just in case they aren't.

Times Article Viewed: 22136
Published: 13-Mar-2004

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