Saudi Aramco’s 80-Year Reserves vs. German “Peak Oil”

Saudi Aramco peak oil
Saudi Aramco claims to have an 80-yr steady supply of oil or more, while a German thinktank predicts that “peak oil” is imminent.

Despite Bill McKibben’s pleas to reduce the amount of carbon in our atmosphere to 350 parts per million, or face serious consequences, and despite the myriad innovations worldwide aimed at shrinking our dependence on fossil fuels, Saudi Aramco’s President and CEO insists that not only are fossil-fuels here to stay, but he intends to increase production. Khalid A. Al Falih claims lifestyle changes coupled with population surges will ensure an increase of the world’s energy needs of nearly 40% by 2030. However, a separate report leaked from one of their military thinktanks reveals that the Germans are preparing themselves for “peak oil,” and a resulting cascade of dramatic world changes.

World Energy Conference

Mr. Al-Falih explained at the 21st World Energy Conference held in Montreal that Saudi Aramco has 80 years production under its belt.

“He further added that Aramco’s capability went even beyond, as it was expecting to increase its current reserves of 260 billion barrels by an additional 40 percent and was endeavoring to raise the rate of recovery from its major existing fields to 70 percent -– twice the world average,” according to Arab News.

But Mr. Al-Falih laments that the annual growth of coal consumption has grown by 4.5% whereas oil consumption has only grown by 1.5%. This demonstrates to him an unfair and illogical disposition towards coal despite climate change and growing energy demands.

In an effort to mitigate harmful emissions, Saudi Aramco has invested heavily in a technology that pushes CO2 back into reservoirs.

“This technology not only protects the environment through carbon capture, but also boosts energy by enhancing ultimate recovery rates from (existing) oil reservoirs,” said the company’s CEO.

At the same conference, “IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates chairperson, Daniel Yergin, said global energy demand would rise as much as 40% in the next 20 years,” according to Arab News.

In that same time frame, he said the global economy will double.


Meanwhile, an internal draft leaked from the Future Analysis Department of the Bundeswehr Transformation Center paints a much bleaker picture.

They expect “peak oil” – a term that describes the point at which global supplies of oil reach their peak and then begin to decline thereafter – to happen as early this year by some accounts. If that were to occur, the thinktank authors led by Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Will expect some of the following consequences to ensue:

  • A decline of the importance of the West
  • Irreversible depletion of raw materials
  • A global shift of the balance of power
  • Total collapse of the markets
  • New inter-dependencies based on energy requirements
  • These two separate reports show remarkably different scenarios; even if Saudi Arabia still has a strong supply, the German report warns of an overall decline.

    Perhaps the Shell representative at the World Energy Congress said it best:

    “In a world of surging demand, we need to mobilize the world’s entire mix of energy resources, unless indeed we want to risk condemning billions of people to energy poverty, underlined Peter Voser, the CEO of the Royal Dutch Shell plc.”

    :: Arab News and Der Spiegel

    image via gas 2.0

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