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Off The Cuff: Twilight In The Desert Has Begun

An oil engineer's dark take on the Ghawar oil field decline
Friday, April 5, 2019, 12:16 PM
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In this week's Off The Cuff podcast, Chris and Art Berman discuss:

  • Is the Ghawar oil field truly in decline?
  • If so, what are the implications?
  • What other important revelations does the Saudi Aramco prospectus contain?

In the light of the huge surprise contained in the recent Saudi Aramco prospectus, that Saudi Arabia's massive Ghawar "crown jewel" conventional oil field is in decline (currently at a maximum output of 3.8 million barrels per day vs the previous estimate of 5.8mbd), we rushed to interview seasoned petroleum geologist Art Berman on the news.

Is he as concerned about the revelation as we are?

Yes. In fact, he suspects the 3.8mbd is likely still an overly-exagerrated figure, and that the field's true max output is even lower.

In his estimation, the fiction the world has been telling itself -- that Peak Oil isn't real -- is about to be rudely disproven. The recent (and much more expensive) shale bonanza will prove to be a short-lived distraction, and we'll soon be face-to-face with the predicament of how to power the global economy with less net energy.

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