A Saudi view on Oil Production
Sadad Al Husseini was head of exploration and production for Aramco (the Saudi oil company). He has presented recently at the Oil and Money conference in London.
He also has information on David Strahan's site. One part about reserves
and another podcast about general issues
[David Strahan did a presentation at the first APPG OPO meeting.]
Key points on these are:The world’s proved reserves have been have been falsely puffed up by the inclusion of 300 billion barrels of speculative resources, according to the former head of exploration and production at Saudi Aramco, and this explains the industry’s inability to raise output despite soaring prices.
One simplistic, but not unreasonable system for predicting production is to take the total producable reserves and halve them. This, therefore, knocks off about 4-5 years of production.
I have also extracted the following from the podcast:Every indication is that the increasing prices that we haev been seeing are part of a trend. You cannot put a control on the ceiling, but you can predict that the floor on oil prices in the next 4-5 years a little bit more dollars per barrel per year. In 2010 the floor may well be $100
Now the technical floor should have been around $70. If you persist the way we do
unless you have a global recession prices will increase. There is no spare capacity of any significance and therefore the factors that are driving oil price up will continue.
What we have seen is that although the price of oil has almost quadrupled. The supply has not. The non opec not Former Soviet Union has gone down.
All of the large fields are maturing. The additional discoveries are less sustainable. All these factors put together have put a ceiling on production. More appropriately a plateau sustainable for 10-15 years.
The evidence is that inspite of the large increases in oil prices we have been unable to match with increasing capacity.
In my own modelling of the resources I cannot see additional resources coming online to sustain the plateau.
As far as the conventional oil resources I cannot see that they will be sustainable beyond that time frame.
Saudi Arabia has a large number of very giant fields. Many of these international organisations have assumed that Saudia Arabia will double its production. That is unrealistic. Some of those assumptions assume that opec will go from 30 mbd to 45-60 bd. That is what I am calling unrealistic.
Staying at 30mbd is not a small feat. To stay there requires a massive sustained investment programme.
This fits with the German predictions. What it means is that the problem is going to have a real effect from now on in.