Two petroleum articles from Yahoo News…
The first article is about declining petroleum outputs from Saudi Arabia: WikiLeaks: Saudis running out of oil
The latest startling revelation to come via documents leaked to Julian Assange’s muckraking website and published by The Guardian should give pause to every suburban SUV-driver: U.S. officials think Saudi Arabia is overpromising on its capacity to supply oil to a fuel-thirsty world. That sets up a scenario, the documents show, whereby the Saudis could dramatically underdeliver on output by as soon as next year, sending fuel prices soaring.
The cables detail a meeting between a U.S. diplomat and Sadad al-Husseini, a geologist and former head of exploration for Saudi oil monopoly Aramco, in November 2007. Husseini told the American official that the Saudis are unlikely to keep to their target oil output of 12.5 million barrels per day output in order to keep prices stable. Husseini also indicated that Saudi producers are likely to hit “peak oil” — the point at which global output hit its high mark — as early as 2012. That means, in essence, that it will be all downhill from there for the enormous Saudi oil industry.
The second article is about a combination of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing (“fracing” or “fracking”) that is used to enhance production from oil and gas wells: New drilling method opens vast oil fields in US
Companies are investing billions of dollars to get at oil deposits scattered across North Dakota, Colorado, Texas and California. By 2015, oil executives and analysts say, the new fields could yield as much as 2 million barrels of oil a day — more than the entire Gulf of Mexico produces now.
This new drilling is expected to raise U.S. production by at least 20 percent over the next five years. And within 10 years, it could help reduce oil imports by more than half, advancing a goal that has long eluded policymakers.
“That’s a significant contribution to energy security,” says Ed Morse, head of commodities research at Credit Suisse.
The first article is bad news for the world if we just sit back and do nothing. The second article is good news for America’s economic and military security, at least in the short turn. In the long term, of course, we need to find alternatives.
Grace and Peace