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Just how much oil does the Middle East really have, and does it matter?

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4dsc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 08:43 AM
Original message
Just how much oil does the Middle East really have, and does it matter?
http://www.peakoil.net/CC4April2005OilGas.html

amazing that ALL OPEC countries inflated their known reserves. But what's really surprising is how despite years of oil production, these numbers never come down in the press.. Note that every times you see the Saudi's oil reserves printed in the press, it will say the reserves are still at 267(give or take a few billion)billion barrels of reserve. They don't change.. So who lying and why??

Looking at earlier issues of Oil & Gas Journal, we find that Kuwait reported reserves of 65 billion bbl in 1980. It had produced 20.28 billion bbl to that point in time, meaning that a total of about 85 billion bbl had been found. Much of it lay in the well-known Burgan field, discovered in 1938, but there were also a number of other fields of giant size.

By 1984, Kuwait's cumulative oil production had risen to 21.53 billion bbl, which explains why reported reserves had fallen to 64 billion bbl, given there had been no significant discoveries in the meantime.

However in 1985, Kuwait announced a massive increase of reservesto 90 billion bblwhich was clearly implausible in relation to the long sequence of earlier reports, but it was close to the total discovered, assuming a slightly more generous recovery factor.

It has been suggested that one of the reasons for this sudden increase was a new OPEC procedure whereby production quotas were partly based on reported reserves.

Accordingly, in 1988, Abu Dhabi came in with precisely the same 92 billion bbl in reserves as reported by Kuwait, up from the 31 billion bbl reported in the preceding year; Iran went one better reporting 93 billion bbl, up from 49 billion bbl; while Iraq, not to be outdone, came in with a rounded 100 billion bbl, up from 47 billion bbl.

But Saudi Arabia faced a difficulty not being able to match Kuwait since it was already reporting more. It pondered its decision for 2 more years before announcing a massive increase from 170 billion bbl to 258 billion bbl, presumably having decided to follow the precedent of Kuwait in reporting total discovered (also described as "original reserves"), and not remaining reserves.


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whistle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 08:44 AM
Response to Original message
1. Lots and no
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ThomWV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 08:49 AM
Response to Original message
2. As Extraction Methods Have Improved Accessable Reserves Increased
Every time some engineer invents some widget more oil becomes accessable, and when that happens the reserves go up.

Most peak oil folks want to believe that technology development stopped the day they were born. It did not.

So the answer given above is essentially correct, 'there is lots, and it doesn't matter'.
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eallen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 09:13 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. That's naive. US is producing much less oil now than 35 years past.....
Why is that? It had lots, at one time. And it is still actively explored, drilled, and redrilled. Using the best technology around. So if technology were always the answer, the US wouldn't have experienced a peak and decline.
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soothsayer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 09:16 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. but some dry oil fields are coming 'round again. Either new oil
Edited on Sun Aug-20-06 09:19 AM by soothsayer
is being produced (and oil isn't as old as we think) or it is seeping over from "their" oil fields, which is cool too.

On edit, search abiotic oil, and find articles like this http://freeenergynews.com/Directory/Theory/SustainableO...

http://www.enviroliteracy.org/article.php/1130.html
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eallen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 10:01 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. It doesn't really matter how oil is made & not surprising....
It's also not surprising that old wells start producing again. Just like water in the water table, oil flows through porous rock. Much more slowly, because it is more viscous. But it still flows. Oil exploration is done by looking for underground rock structures that will trap that flow. Imagine a dome of porous rock, capped by an upside-down cup of non-porous rock. That's the ideal reservoir. Except it never is a simple cup. Just as mountains and canyons have complex geography above the ground, the structure underground also are complex. So it's not the least surprising that sometimes one can tap a reservoir that is slowly gets refilled by complex connection to other structures nearby. Or to put it another way, that complex reservoirs can exhibit complex patterns of flow.

That has nothing to do with oil's origin. Conversely, it doesn't really matter to the practice of exploration and extraction how oil originated. What matters is underground geography. If there is a world of oil far deeper than we know, that doesn't solve our oil problem any time in the foreseeable future.
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Massacure Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 08:57 AM
Response to Original message
3. The answer to this question is easy. Too much, and it does matter.
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Dogmudgeon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 10:16 AM
Response to Original message
7. We Don't Know, and Yes
We don't know because all the oil is privately held. It is certain that the figures we are getting are inflated. The "Peak Oil" literature contains ample documentation of this pervasive fraud.

The inflated oil numbers will be deflated once it becomes profitable to do so.

The fraud can never be definitively proven, either, because much of the oil is unrecoverable. Most petrologists think that is right around half of it. It would require more energy to take it from the ground than it can yield when burned in any kind of engine, even at (so-called) 100% chemical-bond-breaking efficiency. Therefore, in the ground it will stay -- unless there is a compelling need for the petrochemical form of the energy itself, such as military vehicles.

The energy of nuclear and alternative energy systems are better accounted for, mainly because of the scrutiny they get for scientific, political and financial purposes. But they, too, rise and fall on the same unreliable information about petroleum, and there have also been recent examples of number-manipulation where agricultural biodiesel and ethanol fuels are concerned.

Yes, it matters, because we will be unable to figure out where we are on the petroleum availability/price curve. We could be as far as five years out past Peak Oil right now; I personally suspect we're on the plateau, and have a couple of years to go before the supply decline (and price incline) begins. Even optimists like Daniel Yergin of Cambridge Energy Research Associates think Peak Oil is only about 30 years away.

Because our economic system is dominated by just-in-time (or crisis-based) management philosophies, there will be no substantial progress made in switching to non-petroleum energy sources until the decline begins. Unfortunately, energy systems work on longer periods of time than it takes for people to die of cold, illness, or starvation, and this gap could, let's just say, cause trouble.

That's why all this wonky-sounding stuff is important. The world's energy supply, every joule of it, is being wheeled and dealed in an energy market that's little more than a giant bucket shop. They have all the information and a huge amount of money, and we don't.

Incidentally, in regards to the recent posts about the nukeness or altness of energy: it doesn't matter. The bastards control everything, and the market is utterly corrupt. Our very lives depend on a loose society of self-absorbed thieves.

--p!
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Nihil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 08:17 AM
Response to Reply #7
9. So true!
Your last three paragraphs are spot on. And your summary is excellent:

> The bastards control everything, and the market is utterly corrupt.
> Our very lives depend on a loose society of self-absorbed thieves.

:applause:
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phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 10:51 AM
Response to Original message
8. Also worth remembering that our CO2 problem is >= to our oil problem.
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