So, the rumors that the Saudi’s were claiming that they had much more oil than they really have are apparently begin corroborated by the State Department according to Wiki Leaks.
“(CNN) — Saudi Arabia’s oil reserves may have been grossly overestimated and its capacity to continue pumping at current capacity exaggerated, according to a U.S. diplomatic cable sent from the kingdom in 2007.
The cable, obtained by WikiLeaks and published in the British newspaper The Guardian, cited the views of Sadad al-Husseini, who had been in charge of exploration and production at the Saudi state-owned company Aramco for 12 years until 2004.
[…]’According to al-Husseini, the crux of the issue is two-fold,’ the cable says. ‘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 executives and energy optimists would like.’
Al-Husseini is quoted as disagreeing with his former company’s estimate of total reserves in Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil producer.”
Read the full article here.
I’ve referred to this before. The reason to overestimate your reserves is to get more power in the OPEC governing committee and strengthen your bargaining position with Western clients.
There are different schools of thought about how much the amount has been exaggerated, but most of them feel that Saudi production peaked a few years ago and their fields, like the British North Sea oil fields are in significant decline.