Thursday, June 08, 2006

Saudi Production Slipping?

Via Peak Energy, this is genuinely confusing:
New York: Saudi Arabia cut oil production to 9.1 million barrels per day in April due to a drop in refinery demand, not a desire to lower stock levels, The Wall Street Journal yesterday quoted Oil Minister Ali Al Naimi as saying.

After the Opec meeting in Caracas, Al Naimi said other members are having trouble finding buyers for all their crude at a time when global storage is near full and many refiners have closed for routine maintenance, The Wall Street Journal said. "It's not just heavy oil. Even light oil is having problems" finding buyers.
That's a 400,00 barrel per day drop in Saudi production, and the idea that the Saudis couldn't find buyers is kind of ridiculous. As we've seen before, the Saudis are notoriously opaque when it comes to their numbers. We also know that once Saudi production starts to decline, its likely to accelerate and get nasty quick.

Now - ass-covering alert - the Saudis might be telling the truth, just to see what it feels like. But given their history, I'm not sure. And on a purely sarcastic note, I would really love for Saudi production to peak only a week after Greg Palast wrote his idiotic column about how peak oil was an Exxon conspiracy.

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