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Peak oil, surprise, surprise

Interesting article here:

If Citigroup [well, er*] is right, Saudi Arabia will cease to be an oil exporter by 2030, far sooner than previously thought.

A 150-page report by Heidy Rehman on the Saudi petrochemical industry should be sober reading for those who think that shale oil and gas have solved our global energy crunch.

I don't wish to knock shale. It is a Godsend and should be encouraged with utmost vigour and dispatch in Britain. But it is for now plugging holes in global supply rather than covering the future shortfall as the industrial revolutions of Asia mature.

The basic point – common to other Gulf oil producers – is that Saudi local consumption is rocketing. Residential use makes up 50pc of demand, and over two thirds of that is air-conditioning.

The Saudis also consume 250 litres per head per day of water – the world's third highest (which blows the mind), growing at 9pc a year – and most of this is provided from energy-guzzling desalination plants.

All this is made far worse across the Gulf by fuel subsidies to placate restive populations.

The Saudis already consume a quarter of their 11.1m barrels a day of crude output. They are using more per capita than the US even though their industrial base as a share of GDP is much smaller.

The country already consumes all its gas. (Neighbouring Kuwait is now importing LNG gas from Russia:

I guess the hydrocarbons are theirs, so it's theirs to piss them away even more stupidly and profligately than we have. No different, I suppose, water in Las Vegas, in its desert....

NOTE * There's no possibility that they're doing anything other than some kind of scam, probably fraudulent. But that doesn't mean the report itself is necessarily untrue. That would depend on its place in the architecture of the scam.

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par4's picture
Submitted by par4 on

the bright side. It only takes about three weeks to starve to death. I think the coming population adjustment will happen rapidly.

Submitted by lambert on

Never occurred to me before your comment that "Bread!" as a rallying cry comes about when enough people see that deadline.

peterward's picture
Submitted by peterward on

Peter Maass also, fairly convincingly, makes the claim SA are overstating their reserves in Crude World. On the other hand Citi probably want to stoke fear of Saudi peak oil to cover a speculation-leveraged jack in crude prices coming down the pipeline, pun very much intended!

Submitted by Hugh on

Daily oil production hit 84.4 million bbls/day in 2005. This for me is when the era of peak oil began. After staying in this range for 5 years, it increased to 86.8 million bbls/day in 2010 and 87.1 million bbls/day in 2011. This plateauing could last 10-15 years. I think the longer it lasts the steeper the fall off will be when it arrives.