“The Saudis have been lying about their oil reserves for a very long time.”
22 Apr 2012
In a 2010 interview on peak oil, Robert Hirsch brought up something that should be common knowledge, but isn’t: The official reserves figures from Saudi Arabia (and other OPEC countries) are not believeable.
Here’s what Hirsch told journalist Matthieu Auzanneau:
… the Saudis have been lying about their oil reserves for a very long time…. Every year for over 15 years, they have been saying that they have 258, 262 billions barrels. That is not plausible.
Q: Why is it not?
Because they’re producing something like 3.5 billion barrels per year. That would mean that they’ve been finding roughly 3.5 billion barrels each year for 15 years. It’s statistically impossible.
You’re talking about finding something that is very elusive, and also the way discoveries take place is that you find the big fields first and then you find smaller ones.
So to say that you find exactly as much as you’re producing, is… the probability of that for two years may be 50, 60 %. The probability of that over 15 years is zero. It just cannot work that way.
Q: What about the other oil producing countries, according to you?
Well in OPEC they play games with each other on their official figures.
Look at Kuwait for instance. Back in the 80’s they went from 50 billion barrels of reserves up to a 100 billion barrels, and then they stayed on a 100 billion barrels. They’ve producing on a regular basis, and they are not finding much more oil.