RE: Questions on Saudi oil

From: <>
Date: Tue Jun 28 2005 - 07:21:57 EDT

I have met Matt and have discussed things with him on a couple of occasions. And I was in the audience at his first talk about Saudi oil. I think he is right. I have spoken with numerous engineers who have worked Ghawar and they tell me that the Sauds might be able to raise production a bit, they can't do it for as long as the Sauds claim. I put this in my recent article on the oil crisis in June's PSCF. When I initially wrote up that article, I cited the engineers I had spoken with, thinking that it was a NEWS and views article with the emphasis on news. I had a responsibility not to name the engineers because such a thing would hurt their careers. The review process doesn't like that sort of information--even if it is true, and even if it is for a NEWS and views article. I had to rewrite it citing publically published material. The problem with that is that the REAL information about the Sauds is to be found in these informal conversations. After all, the article you cites tells us why this is:

"First, Mr. Simmons notes, all Saudi claims exist behind a veil of secrecy. First, Mr. Simmons notes, all Saudi claims exist behind a veil of secrecy."


"As a result, the world's most reliable source for OPEC production is a little company called Petrologistics, located over a grocery store in Geneva. Conrad Gerber, the principal, claims to have spies in every OPEC port. For all we know, Mr. Gerber is making up his numbers, but everyone--including the Paris-based International Energy Agency--takes him seriously, since OPEC produces nothing better."

If the EIA can believe private conversations about the number of tankers leaving OPEC ports, I found it odd that the PSCF couldn't believe private conversations with engineers who have actually worked the Saudi fields. Oh, well, that is where science and reality don't mix.

If you want to see what is up at Ghawar, the biggest Saudi field and the biggest field in the world, see


> -----Original Message-----
> From:
> [] On Behalf Of Preston Garrison
> Sent: Tuesday, June 28, 2005 2:22 PM
> To: ASA list
> Subject: Questions on Saudi oil
> The Wall Street Journal has a column on the question of the
> credibility of Saudi oil claims. It is available on the web:
> Preston G.

Received on Tue Jun 28 07:24:49 2005

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