Monday, April 25, 2011

A Peak Oil warning

I haven't written about Peak Oil for a while, but the blogger Early Warning recently warned about peaking Saudi oil production. I summarize his concerns here (get full details if you click on the above link):
  • A sharp production decline in March, combined with
  • A sharp increase in well counts in February and March;
  • The Manifa project, which had been put on the shelf, has been restarted; and
  • Reports of a new paper by a senior Saudi oil official that oil production will not rise in the next five years.
Other bloggers have commented on the Saudi production puzzle. Jeff Rubin asked on April 13, 2011: Where is Saudi's excess capacity when you need it?

In early March, I wrote a Qwest for Returns essay entitled Is Saudi oil production peaking? I pointed to the often cited US diplomatic cables from Wikileaks. Moreover, the blogger Satellite o'er the desert used Google Earth imagery found that the latest Haradah III development reached its production target using 60% more wells than originally projected.

In the words of the late Matt Simmons, when Saudi production peaks, so will the world.

That's why, despite my near term reservations about the markets, where an economic downturn would be devastating for commodity prices, I remain a long-term oil and commodity bull.

1 comment:

FIFO said...

What about all of the spare capacity locked up in the Santos Basin and Iraq which is equivalent to 10 million bbls a day but agreed it potentially extends the problem only a decade?

It will be interesting how smooth the transition to the potential alternatives will come to replace oil and what will be the winner.