According to a new release by WikiLeaks, Saudi oil reserves, long held as the most bountiful on the planet, may have been overstated by almost 40% in recent years. The cables released between the U.S. and former Aramco employee Sadad al-Husseini suggest a critical level will be reached near 2020, after which supply will begin to drop. Get the full story with pictures and video below!
Aramco originally claimed that it had 716 billion barrels of “oil in place” and projected that figure would rise to 900 billion by 2024. But al-Husseini clarified that over 50% of these so-called reserves were non-recoverable, and only 300 billion were therefore usable.
“According to al-Husseini, the crux of the issue is two-fold. First it is possible that Saudi reserves are not as bountiful as sometimes described and the timeline for their production not as unrestrained as Aramco executives and energy optimists would like.”
As a result of the new release from WikiLeaks, Saudi oil may not be as reliable as once thought. Al-Husseini says that “a plateau in total output that will last approximately fifteen years.” This means that once the critical level is reached around 2020, “a slow but steady output decline will ensue and no amount of effort will be able to stop it.”
Still, the former Aramco chief of production says he didn’t intend to accuse his former company of skewing the numbers. In a recent conversation with the Wall Street Journal, al-Husseini says he actually agrees with Aramco’s numbers, but was merely pointing out that Aramco’s “oil-in-place” figures should not be mistaken for reserves. So, despite the scary title, the energy sector should not be receiving much of a surprise from the new cables.
What do you think of the new release by WikiLeaks? Saudi oil is accepted as one of the leading influences in global oil prices. If they really will start running out by 2020, should the U.S. focus on increasing drilling? Or investing in new energy sources? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section! And don’t miss the photos and video on this story below!
Photos: www.wenn.com/Daniel Deme, Photo Pool, Anwar Hussein Collection