Thursday, October 27, 2005

More on the current oil crises

While Rob the Unapologetic Athiest and Steve are having a little colloquy in the comments below on whether we are "running out" of "resources", the NYT has an article up about Saudi Arabia's maxed out oil production capacity. I'm still not in the mood to talk about long term projections for "resources" in general. Short term projections for oil are scary enough, and don't require us to debate the fit of Hubbert type models or the magic ability of the market to make oil out of not-oil.

The bottom line from the NYT article is that the Saudis have been promising to increase production to meet our increased demand, and even though oil experts doubt their ability to do so, the Bush administration has simply accepted the Saudis at their word. Here's a money quote:
"The long-term capacity was not considered a problem," said Robert W. Jordan, the American ambassador to Riyadh from 2001 to 2003. The Saudis, he added, "never expressed any concern about the need to expand."

"Nor did we, or at least me, engage them on this topic," he said.
Oil optimists are fond of quoting Saudi Sheikh Zaki Yamani, who said "The stone age did not end for lack of stone. The Oil Age will end long before the world runs out of oil." Ironically, it is the saudis who are now looking around and not seeing any more stones.

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