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April 29, 2004

Saudis Triple Oil Reserves

The people at Peak Oil, who constantly predict that we're about to run out, must be really pissed at the lastest Saudi announcement.

WASHINGTON, 29 April 2004 — Officials from Saudi Arabia’s oil industry and the international petroleum organizations shocked a gathering of foreign policy experts in Washington yesterday with an announcement that the Kingdom’s previous estimate of 261 billion barrels of recoverable petroleum has now more than tripled, to 1.2 trillion barrels.

Damn. That's 939 billion barrels of recoverable petroleum. At 120 million barrels a day of world consumption that's over 21 years worth, and just from Saudi Arabia. Iran and other countries are making similar finds. Looks like we'll be inundated with oil for a long time to come, contrary to the prediction of lunatics like those at dieoff.org, who say things like this

Petroleum geologists have known for 50 years that global oil production would "peak" and begin its inevitable decline within a decade of the year 2000. Moreover, no renewable energy systems have the potential to generate more than a fraction of the power now being generated by fossil fuels.

In short, the transition to declining energy availability signals a transition in civilization as we know it.

Awww… Is Chicken Little feeling a little blue today? *sniff*

The Saudis continue with this little tidbit, so I say it's time to take a horn honking SUV drive around the block a couple times, just for the hell of it.

Additionally, Saudi Arabia’s key oil and finance ministers assured the audience — which included US Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan — that the Kingdom has the capability to quickly double its oil output and sustain such a production surge for as long as 50 years.

Maybe the deep-earth gas theory is correct after all. We've known for decades that existing Saudi fields are filling back up from somewhere, and the Russians have written about a thousand papers over the past fifity years arguing that oil doesn't come from primordial life but is merely trapped hydrogen and carbon like you'd find on any planetary body. I mean, you'd expect the first and fourth most abundant elements in the solar system to show up somehow, and the thermodynamically stable form of carbon and hydrogen a hundred or so kilometers down is in fact petroleum. All this may be true, or maybe not, but it's certainly interesting.

April 29, 2004 in Politics | Permalink


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» Known Saudi Arabian Oil Reserves Tripled from Les Jones Blog
Saudia Arabia just announced that their known oil reserves are three times as much as previously believed. Link. There are good reasons for reducing our petroleum usage, such as smog and reliance on foreign governments. However, as I've said before,... [Read More]

Tracked on Apr 30, 2004 5:48:30 PM


Actually, it wouldn't suprise me to find out that coal reserves are less substantial that gas and oil reserves. It seems likely that coal fields really are compressed primordial life (based on the fossils found in them), while the gas and oil come from much deeper.

Posted by: Jim Nutt at Apr 29, 2004 7:34:19 PM

Well, coal has been a nagging issue for decades, exactly because we find fossils in it. What was magic about one tree that gets turned into stone, surrounded by others that got turned into coal? Some have argued that coal might actually be ancient oil deposits, a substance which is unstable in the long term when near atmospheric pressure. The hydrogen atoms slowly vent off, and you're left with carbon. They've never found coal that was halfway between lignite and bituminous or anthracite, so maybe this idea has some merit.

Anyway, here's a link to some of the Russian research. They're pumping oil from places that oil shouldn't be.

Posted by: George Turner at Apr 29, 2004 8:18:02 PM

what do y'all think of this?

They claim to be able to make oil out of any organic waste (such as turkey feathers, grass clippings, etc). It just costs a little more than refining, right now.

Posted by: sleepy at Apr 30, 2004 11:15:12 AM

"... no renewable energy systems have the potential to generate more than a fraction of the power now being generated by fossil fuels."

Wind and Solar, true enough. But there are others - if the eedjuts would let us. Fission plants may be scary, but they could keep us going and growing for centuries. And if we ever get fusion, we might outlast the Sun itself.

Posted by: John Anderson at May 1, 2004 3:57:43 PM

"Maybe the deep-earth gas theory is correct after all. We've known for decades that existing Saudi fields are filling back up from somewhere,"

Then why aren't the U.S. oil fields regenerating?

Posted by: Ed Nutter at May 2, 2004 2:39:18 AM

They are Ed, especially the Gulf of Mexico, where they say some of the wells that had really slacked off are now pumping out more than ever. They theorize that something really big must be underneath that's got a huge flow rate. So some recent oil conferences have decided to drill really deep in the Gulf of Mexico, saying the new gulf is going to be found right under the old one.

Posted by: George Turner at May 2, 2004 1:35:43 PM

Peak Oil & Dieoff are right! We are peaking...Onliest difference is, we are peaking at a number far, far higher. So high in fact, as to make any concern over "running out of oil" absurd.

Posted by: Jonolgumy at May 2, 2004 4:45:34 PM

"...help is on the way"

And here I am in the middle of an email discussion. Subject: Dwindling oil supplies.

Sir George strikes again!

Posted by: Stephen at Aug 3, 2004 1:56:22 PM

You forget, governments lie.

The fact that you buy into what SA says about their reserves, why even conjecture about an explanation for the increase? Abiotic oil is a bad theory. Is it because creationists will start drooling over another theory that fits in with their world-view?

Posted by: \/\/ebster |-|ubble Telescope at Nov 29, 2004 10:18:48 PM

You bought that claim by the Saudi's that their oil reserves magically increased overnight by three fold? So as I drink a glass of water, it magically not only fills itself back up, but also fills more glasses at the same time? Oil is the product of decaying fauna under pressure at certain depths in the crust of the Earth. The crust does not produce oil - its a finite resource. That's not me saying that, it's the science of Geology. If you want your pipes fixed you call a plumber and if you want to know about what's between layers of rock, call a geologist. Even oil companies hire geologists, right? The reason why is because none of us are qualified to override a specialist in their field of expertise.

The planet wasn't created in 7 days, the Universe is not 4000 years old, Noah didn't save all the planets animals on a single ship and the crust of the Earth is not an oil producing oozing gooey nougat!

Posted by: Chris at Mar 25, 2008 5:35:43 AM