World Oil Demand Surges
As Doubts About
Saudi Oil Capacity Grow

OPEC President
Retracts Slip Of The Tongue – But Reality Is

IEA Predicts 2005 Global Demand At 84
August 2004
the autumn of 1999 Dick Cheney expressed concern that in the
coming years
world demand for oil was projected to rise
at the rate of 2% per annum:

“For the
world as a whole, oil companies are expected to keep finding
and developing enough oil to offset our seventy one million
plus barrel a day of oil depletion, but also to meet new
demand. By some estimates there will be an average of two
per cent annual growth in global oil demand over the years
ahead along with conservatively a three per cent natural
decline in production from existing reserves.That means by
2010 we will need on the order of an additional fifty
million barrels a day. So where is the oil going to come
from? Governments and the national oil companies are
obviously in control of about ninety per cent of the assets.
Oil remains fundamentally a government business. While many
regions of the world offer great oil opportunities, the
Middle East with two thirds of the world’s oil and the
lowest cost, is still where the prize ultimately lies, even
though companies are anxious for greater access there,
progress continues to be slow.”

Dick Cheney, Chief
Executive of Halliburton, now Vice President of the United
Speech at London
Institute of Petroleum, Autumn Lunch

In the summer of 2004 the
International Energy Agency revised its figures once
and confirmed that growth in world oil demand is
currently running at over 3%

IEA [International Energy Agency], set up thirty years ago
to advise oil consuming nations, said world demand would
rise by a further 1.8 million barrels next year to 84
million barrels a day…..’The market is tight, production
and infrastructure capacity is less than desired, and
uncertainties continue to weigh on the market,’ the agency
said.” – World oil demand estimate raised BBC
Online, 11 August

so much uncertainty roiling oil markets these days, analysts
say one thing is clear: The world’s supply cushion is
perilously thin. Whether the amount of extra fuel that could
be pumped in a pinch is 1 million barrels a day, as many
believe, or significantly more than that doesn’t really
matter, because the amount of actual production at risk
these days is even greater. As a result, the threat of
output disruptions in Iraq, Russia, Venezuela and beyond has
thrust crude futures above $46 a barrel for the first time
— the latest run-up coming even after Saudi Arabia offered
the market all it had. If world demand continues to rise,
don’t expect cheap prices anytime soon, analysts said…. In
the past, a comfortable surplus of available output, or
capacity, could be depended on to temper the effects that
geopolitical fears might have on oil markets, said Lawrence
Goldstein, president of PIRA Energy Group in New York. ‘But
today all uncertainties must be immediately factored into
the price,’ Goldstein said. ‘We simply don’t have the
cushion anymore.’…. The world has anywhere from 500,000 to
1.5 million barrels a day of spare capacity — the bulk of
it in Saudi Arabia — that could be tapped instantly to
offset a temporary loss of supply.’ This is an exceptionally
low ratio for an 81.4 million-barrel-per-day supply system
and is well below the 10-year average of 5.0 million barrels
per day,” notes A.G. Edwards senior oil analyst L. Bruce

– World’s oil supply cushion perilously thin
Press, 14 August

price of oil went through $46 (U.S.) a barrel yesterday,
setting another record high. Many energy experts say $50 —
a figure unthinkable only a couple of years ago — is
likely. At least one oil analyst says $100 is possible. In
1998, the price was about $14. In 2002, it was about $27.
How did glut turn into shortage so quickly?… Here’s a
simple way of making sense of the shortage. Every day, the
world guzzles about 80 million barrels. The reservoirs that
produce all that oil are depleting by about 7 per cent a
year [more than twice the rate predicted by Cheney in 1999],
equivalent to 5.6 million barrels a day. That amount is
equivalent to the daily production of the North Sea, or two
Abu Dhabis or more than two Nigerias. The problem is that
discoveries the size of the North Sea are exceedingly rare,
and will get rarer still. Each of the various non-OPEC
projects coming on stream might add 50,000 to 200,000 b/d of
production. Now add in the fact that oil demand is climbing
rapidly. The International Energy Agency estimates world
demand will rise to 83.2 million b/d next year, up from 78.9
million last year and just under 77 million in 2001. Put
natural depletion and rising demand together and you get an
oil crunch that won’t disappear quickly just because classic
economics says supply will rise in tandem with price. The
gap is too wide…. Two years ago, the spare capacity was
about six million b/d. Today, it is thought to be 1.5
million barrels or less…. Years may pass before the
supply-demand balance is restored, that is, if it can be
restored. The world consumes almost 30 billion barrels of
oil a year, the equivalent to 1½ times the size of Alaska’s
Prudhoe Bay. Prudhoe, discovered in 1968, is one of the
biggest reserves discovered anywhere on the planet. How many
more Prudoes are there?”

– This oil crisis won’t end
soon — if ever – Globe
and Mail (Canada), 14 August


OPEC President Retracts Slip Of The Tongue

No We Can’t’

“Concern about oil supplies was
further heightened when the president of Opec, Purnomo
Yusgiantoro, gave warning that it was unable to supply more
oil to the market.”

– ‘Crazy’ oil price casts shadow
over economy – London
Times, 4 August 2004
‘Oh Yes We
Can’“Oil prices have pulled back from 21-year
highs as fears over threats to supplies eased thanks to good
news from Opec… Opec said it had the capacity to ramp up
production by up to 1.5 million barrels a day….. Only a
day earlier Opec said it could not pump any more to cool
prices, and that Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest exporter,
had spare production capacity but could not raise output

– Oil slips as supply fears recede – BBC
Online, 4 August 2004
‘Oh No We
Can’t'”The Organization of Petroleum Exporting
Countries (OPEC) has reached its maximum production
capacity, Venezuelan Energy Minister Rafael Ramirez said
Ramirez said the group’s 11 member countries have no
immediate way to respond to increased oil demand ‘I don’t
see any possibilities of that situation changing much,’ he
told reporters here…. Ramirez’s statements clashed with
those of OPEC president Purnomo Yusgiantoro, who said Monday
in Jakarta that the group was capable of beefing up
production because of excess capacity.”
OPEC has now
reached maximum production capacity – Venezuelan energy
minister – AFX
News Feed, 11 August 2004
Edge“[Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi] said
Riyadh was pumping 9.3 million barrels a day of crude and
was ready to tap surplus capacity of 1.3 million bpd should
it be required. Saudi would meet demand for more than 9.3
million bpd in September, Naimi said. A capacity crunch
among members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting
Countries is a leading factor supporting prices. The
International Energy Agency, in its monthly oil market
report, said OPEC’s sustainable spare production capacity
shrank to 600,000 barrels a day in July as the cartel raised
output to try to contain prices. ‘The thin margin of spare
capacity held by OPEC producers has contributed to recent
price strength,’ said the IEA, adviser on energy to 26
industrialised nations. The IEA figures would mean a buffer
of less than one percent on the 82-million-bpd world market,
compared to about eight percent in 2002 when spare capacity
in OPEC was 6-7 million bpd.”

– Oil holds strong near
$45 despite Saudi supply vow – Reuters,
11 August 2004
“Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest
oil producer, can pump another 1.3 million barrels a day and
keep that up ‘indefinitely,’ Adel Al-Jubeir, foreign affairs
adviser to the Saudi crown prince, told U.S. reporters. The
Saudis are now pumping about 9.3 million barrels a day, up 1
million from earlier this year. ‘We have the capacity and
are ready to tap into it immediately,’ Al-Jubeir said. He
called current prices ‘absolutely not justified’ and said
clients have not suggested they are looking to buy more oil.
‘There is no shortage,’ he said. Wachovia economist Jason
Shenker calls the Saudi announcement ‘a lot of smoke and
mirrors,’ an opinion that was reflected in the

– Saudis try to calm prices, deny politics
involved – USA
Today, 8 August 2004
“With Opec now producing at
over 95 per cent of its current capacity, a loss of 1-2
million barrels per day [in Iraq] could, in theory, result
in a doubling of the current oil price.”

Sieminski, Deutsche Bank analyst – Iraq oil shutdown sends
price to record – London
Times, 10 August 2004
The Saudi Situation – Is
There Worse To Come?“It seems a growing number
of analysts are falling into line with the Simmons & Company
International view that Saudi Arabia may be running out of
steam and may not be able to perform the role of global
swing producer for many more years, despite being credited
with oil reserves in the order of 260 billion barrels. The
Centre for Global Energy Studies hinted at the beginning of
the year that the kingdom appeared to be heading for
difficulties. Now one of its analysts has said that having
reserves does not equate to production capacity. Citing the
Haradh field, he said it required 500,000 barrels per day of
water injection to get out 300,000 bpd of oil.
the problem is even more serious in the Khurais

– Doubts grow about Saudi As Global Swing
Producer – Aberdeen Press & Journal – Energy, April 5, 2004,
p. 15“As OPEC raises oil output by 2 mm bpd as of July
1 and another 500,000 bpd as of August 1 to stop the upward
spiral in oil prices on the international market, the
reserves claimed by many leading oil producers are being
challenged. The lower reserves preclude the possibility of
oil dropping below the $ 35-$ 36 range. According to Dr V.
Anantha-Nageswaran, director of global economics and asset
allocations at financial services conglomerate Credit
Suisse, the sudden jump in the reserves announced by several
oil-producing countries in the late 1980s is ‘puzzling.’ ‘It
was during this period that OPEC introduced the quota system
and the same was linked directly to each country’s
reserves,’ Anantha-Nageswaran said. This should have
prompted these countries to inflate their reserves to grab a
larger chunk of output quotas, he said. He questions the
logic behind oil reserves jumping three to four times
between 1988 and 1990. Since new discoveries do not match
production, the reserves are unlikely to increase the way
these countries have been claiming, he said. Though OPEC
succeeded in stopping the price rise, it is going to be a
short-term phenomenon, he said. Moreover, the floor price of
oil has risen and it is unlikely to fall below the $ 35-$ 36

– Oil reserves may be lower than producers
claim – Al
Nisr Publishing, 2 July


So What Are
The Doubts About Saudi’s Ability To Deliver?

Petroleum News And DMD


Simmons hopes he’s wrong
Leading energy analyst
believes Saudi Arabia’s crude oil supply near peak; calls
for greater global reserve transparency to anticipate
F. Jay Schempf
Petroleum News
Contributing Writer (Houston)
America’s Source for Oil and Gas News
August 2004
9, No. 31 Week of August 01, 2004

Matt Simmons
hopes he is wrong. But if he’s right in his belief that
Saudi Arabia’s giant oil fields might already have peaked
and could start into rapid decline in as few as three years,
somebody better have a “Plan B” ready or there’s no way, he
says — absolutely no way — to avoid a world energy
cataclysm. Pretty strong words. Stronger, perhaps, than
any uttered before about energy. Simmons spoke them, and
more, at a July 9 Washington, D.C., presentation made at a
meeting on Saudi Arabia’s future. The Hudson Institute
sponsored the meeting. Simmons asked for anybody,
including the Saudis themselves, to refute his claim. But so
far, in his view, nobody’s stepped up. He acknowledges,
however, that the Saudis recently have been more forthcoming
about their ability to supply all the extra oil the world
will require from Saudi fields. But still, it appears that
nobody is willing to counter his specific charges. See
full article here:


Trouble in the World’s Largest Oil

by Glenn Morton
Published on
Friday, July 30, 2004 by DMD Publishing

There are
four oil fields in the world which produce over one million
barrels per day. Ghawar, which produces 4.5 million barrels
per day, Cantarell in Mexico, which produces nearly 2
million barrels per day, Burgan in Kuwait which produces 1
million barrels per day and Da Qing in China which produces
1 million barrels per day. Ghawar is, therefore, extremely
important to the world’s economy and well being. Today the
world produces 82.5 million barrels per day which means that
Ghawar produces 5.5 percent of the world’s daily production.
Should it decline, there would be major problems. As Ghawar
goes, so goes Saudi Arabia.The field was brought on line
in 1951. By 1981 it was producing 5.7 million barrels per
day. Its production was restricted during the 1980s but by
1996 with the addition of two other areas in the southern
area of Ghawar brought on production, Hawiyah and Haradh,
the production went back up above 5 million per day. In 2001
it was producing around 4.5 million barrels per day. There
have been 3400 wells drilled into this reservoirI have
noted elsewhere that the data I am being told by engineers
who have actually worked on Ghawar, that this decade will
see it’s peak. (Morton, 2004 PSCF in press). Others have
noted how the percentage of water brought up with the oil
has been growing on Ghawar. There are published reports that
Ghawar has from 30-55% water cut. This means that about half
the fluids brought up the well are water. Today the decline
rate is 8%. Thousands of barrels per day of production must
be added each year. See full article here:

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