Wikileaks: Saudi oil reserves overstated by 40%?

February 9, 2011
Aerial View of Oil Refinery
WikiLeaks cables suggest the amount of oil that can be retrieved has been overestimated. Photograph: George Steinmetz/Corbis via guardian.co.uk 

Saudi oil refinery. Cables released by Wikileaks report that Saudi oil reserves may be overstated by as much as 40%.

The US fears that Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest crude oil exporter, may not have enough reserves to prevent oil prices escalating, confidential cables from its embassy in Riyadh show.
The cables, released by WikiLeaks, urge Washington to take seriously a warning from a senior Saudi government oil executive that the kingdom’s crude oil reserves may have been overstated by as much as 300bn barrels – nearly 40%.
The revelation comes as the oil price has soared in recent weeks to more than $100 a barrel on global demand and tensions in the Middle East. Many analysts expect that the Saudis and their Opec cartel partners would pump more oil if rising prices threatened to choke off demand.
However, Sadad al-Husseini, a geologist and former head of exploration at the Saudi oil monopoly Aramco, met the US consul general in Riyadh in November 2007 and told the US diplomat that Aramco’s 12.5m barrel-a-day capacity needed to keep a lid on prices could not be reached.
According to the cables, which date between 2007-09, Husseini said Saudi Arabia might reach an output of 12m barrels a day in 10 years but before then – possibly as early as 2012 – global oil production would have hit its highest point. This crunch point is known as “peak oil”.
Husseini said that at that point Aramco would not be able to stop the rise of global oil prices because the Saudi energy industry had overstated its recoverable reserves to spur foreign investment. He argued that Aramco had badly underestimated the time needed to bring new oil on tap.
One cable said: “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.”
It went on: “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.
“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.”
The US consul then told Washington: “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.”

if you like plastic and petroleum jelly then drill here and drill now


Thirty-Six Years Ago Today, Richard Nixon Saved Israel—but Got No Credit

December 11, 2010


Precise details of what transpired in Washington during the first week of the Yom Kippur War, launched by Egypt and Syria on October 6, 1973, are hard to come by, in no small measure owing to conflicting accounts given by Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and Secretary of Defense James Schlesinger regarding their respective roles.
What is clear, from the preponderance of information provided by those directly involved in the unfolding events, is that President Richard Nixon — overriding inter-administration objections and bureaucratic inertia — implemented a breathtaking transfer of arms, code-named Operation Nickel Grass, that over a four-week period involved hundreds of jumbo U.S. military aircraft delivering more than 22,000 tons of armaments.
This was accomplished, noted Walter J. Boyne in an article in the December 1998 issue of Air Force Magazine, while “Washington was in the throes of not only post-Vietnam moralizing on Capitol Hill but also the agony of Watergate. . . . Four days into the war, Washington was blindsided again by another political disaster — the forced resignation of Vice President Spiro Agnew.”
“Both Kissinger and Nixon wanted to do [the airlift],” said former CIA deputy director Vernon Walters, “but Nixon gave it the greater sense of urgency. He said, ‘You get the stuff to Israel. Now. Now.’”
Boyne, in his book The Two O’Clock War, described a high-level White House meeting on October 9:

As preoccupied as he was with Watergate, Nixon came straight to the point, announcing that Israel must not lose the war. He ordered that the deliveries of supplies, including aircraft, be sped up and that Israel be told that it could freely expend all of its consumables — ammunition, spare parts, fuel, and so forth — in the certain knowledge that these would be completely replenished by the United States without any delay.

White House Chief of Staff Alexander Haig concurred:

As soon as the scope and pattern of Israeli battle losses emerged, Nixon ordered that all destroyed equipment be made up out of U.S. stockpiles, using the very best weapons America possessed. . . . Whatever it takes, he told Kissinger . . . save Israel.

“It was Nixon who did it,” recalled Nixon’s acting special counsel, Leonard Garment. “I was there. As [bureaucratic bickering between the State and Defense departments] was going back and forth, Nixon said, this is insane. . . . He just ordered Kissinger, “Get your ass out of here and tell those people to move.”
When Schlesinger initially wanted to send just three transports to Israel because he feared anything more would alarm the Arabs and the Soviets, Nixon snapped: “We are going to get blamed just as much for three as for 300. . . . Get them in the air, now.”
Haig, in his memoir Inner Circles, wrote that Nixon, frustrated with the initial delays in implementing the airlift and aware that the Soviets had begun airlifting supplies to Egypt and Syria, summoned Kissinger and Schlesinger to the Oval Office on October 12 and “banished all excuses.”
The president asked Kissinger for a precise accounting of Israel’s military needs, and Kissinger proceeded to read aloud from an itemized list.
“Double it,” Nixon ordered. “Now get the hell out of here and get the job done.”
Later, informed of yet another delay — this one because of disagreements in the Pentagon over the type of planes to be used for the airlift — an incensed Nixon shouted at Kissinger, “[Expletive] it, use every one we have. Tell them to send everything that can fly.”
Nixon acted despite threats of reprisal by Arab oil producers — indeed, the day after Nixon asked Congress for an emergency appropriation of $2.2 billion for Israel, Saudi Arabia’s King Faisal announced an embargo of oil to the U.S. — not to mention Europe’s overwhelming opposition to aiding Israel. 
Some revisionists have taken to claiming Nixon’s actions on behalf of Israel were prompted by Golda Meir, who supposedly threatened to go public with all manner of juicy political and personal information she had on the president. Another commonly cited blackmail scenario, popularized by the play Golda’s Balcony, has Meir putting the squeeze on Nixon by threatening to use nuclear weapons.

But Mordechai Gazit, who at the time of the Yom Kippur War was director general of the Israeli Foreign Ministry and the Prime Minister’s Office, told authors Gerald Strober and Deborah Hart Strober in Nixon: An Oral History of His Presidency: “The airlift was decided not because we asked for it. Our relations with the United States were not at a point where we could have asked for an airlift; this was beyond our imagination.”           
As for Meir herself, to the end of her life she referred to Nixon as “my president” and told a group of Jewish leaders in Washington shortly after the war: “For generations to come, all will be told of the miracle of the immense planes from the United States bringing in the materiel that meant life to our people.”           
Wrote Nixon biographer Stephen E. Ambrose:

Those were momentous events in world history. Had Nixon not acted so decisively, who can say what would have happened? The Arabs probably would have recovered at least some of the territory they had lost in 1967, perhaps all of it. They might have even destroyed Israel. But whatever the might-have-beens, there is no doubt that Nixon . . . made it possible for Israel to win, at some risk to his own reputation and at great risk to the American economy.
He knew that his enemies . . . would never give him credit for saving Israel. He did it anyway.


Ahmadinejad tells Saudi king he wants united Lebanon

October 22, 2010

UNITED RELIGION OF PEACE?

Saudi Arabia and Western governments back the majority bloc in parliament of Prime Minister Saad Hariri.

Iran and its regional ally Syria support the minority bloc led by Shiite militant group Hezbollah, Lebanon’s most powerful political and military force, which fought a devastating 2006 war with Israel.

Ahmadinejad received a hero’s welcome from Hezbollah and its supporters during his October 13-14 visit, during which he travelled to the Israeli border.

The Iranian leader last spoke to the Saudi monarch the day before the visit, which drew strong criticism from Israel and the United States.

In its report on Wednesday’s phone conversation, Iran’s official IRNA news agency said that Ahmadinejad and the king discussed a range of international developments as well as ways to boost relations.

Iran and Saudi Arabia have also been competing for influence in Iraq where they have backed rival sides in the protracted battle for the premiership since an inconclusive March election between incumbent Nuri al-Maliki and former prime minister Iyad Allawi.


Assad: Do not Dare Blame Hizbullah for Hariri Murder

August 1, 2010
Assad saudiking lebpres lefpm in beirut 073010
AP Photo 1 day ago From left, Syrian President Bashar Assad, Saudi King Abdullah, Lebanese President Michel Suleiman, Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, and Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri meet at the Presidential Palace in Baabda, east of Beirut, Lebanon, Friday, July 30, 2010.

Goldstone Report… prosecute, but Hariri Murder should be covered up… ok Assad. Care to elaborate?

At a meeting with Lebanese President Michel Suleiman and Saudi King Abdullah, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad called for an immediate end to the activity of the United Nations international tribunal investigating the death of former Lebanese leader Rafik al-Hariri. Assad said that the tribunal had become a “burden” on Lebanon, and threatened the country’s stability.
Assad warned the tribunal against finding Hizbullah guilty for Hariri’s murder; such a decision could “destroy” Lebanon, he said.

A report in the Lebanese press quoted Assad as warning the tribunal against finding Hizbullah guilty for Hariri’s murder; such a decision could “destroy” Lebanon, he said, adding that the tribunal has  “nearly caused a tragedy in the Middle East.” He said that the tribunal had attempted to falsely blame Syria as well. “We cannot accept the same results regarding Hizbullah,” he said. If, at one time, the tribunal was attempting to find the parties guilty for Hariri’s death, today it had become a tool by which to persecute countries that were not pro-American, he claimed. Hizbullah top terrorist Hassan Nasrallah is set to make a speech Tuesday, in which he will discuss the investigation.
According to the report, Abdullah said that it was doubtful that the tribunal could be stopped at this point, since it had major international backing. The meeting was seen as an attempt by Assad to deliver a message to Sa’ad Hariri, Prime Minister of Lebanon, with whom Abdullah has close ties. Sa’ad is the son of Rafik Hariri.

via israelnationalnews.com

a burden?  I suppose the Nazis were a burden on Germany… but that isn’t what Assad means