Wikileaks Diplomatic Cables – Peak Oil Is Next Year

Sadad al-Husseini, a geologist and the head of exploration for the Saudi oil giant Aramco apparently met with the US Consul General in 2007 and told him that he believes that Saudi oil reserves have been over estimated by 300 billion barrels or about 40%.

He stated that the Saudi government over-estimated oil reserves in order to spur on foreign investment in the gulf. He went on to say that they cannot continue to produce the 12.5 million barrels a day needed to keep oil prices stable and that peak production may occur as soon as next year.

Many believe that once peak oil happens, oil prices will begin a slow yearly increase until they reach a price level unattainable for most of the world.

“According to al-Husseini, the crux of the issue is twofold. 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 and energy optimists would like to portray.” -Leaked Cable-

“In a presentation, Abdallah al-Saif, current Aramco senior vice-president for exploration, reported that Aramco has 716bn barrels of total reserves, of which 51% are recoverable, and that in 20 years Aramco will have 900bn barrels of reserves. -Leaked Cable-

“Al-Husseini disagrees with this analysis, believing Aramco’s reserves are overstated by as much as 300bn barrels. In his view once 50% of original proven reserves has been reached … a steady output in decline will ensue and no amount of effort will be able to stop it. He believes that what will result is a plateau in total output that will last approximately 15 years followed by decreasing output.” -Leaked Cable-

The cable in question concluded;

“While al-Husseini fundamentally contradicts the Aramco company line, he is no doomsday theorist. His pedigree, experience and outlook demand that his predictions be thoughtfully considered.”

The US Consul General met with Sadad al-Husseini a number of times between 2007 and 2009 to discuss the issue and forwarded all communications directly to the White House. US President Barack Obama pushed hard for electric cars at his recent State of the Union address, surprising many by calling for 1 million electric cars on the road by 2015, a call perhaps influenced by the concern that we don’t have as much time left in fossil fuel reserves as we previously thought.

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