Friday, September 21, 2012

Saudi oil exports: sand in the wheels

A lot could happen between now and then, but that great big gusher of oil known as Saudi Arabia could become a net importer of oil by 2030.  They are already using up all the natural gas that they produce.

Saudi oil well dries up
Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph (U.K.), 5 September 2012 (hat tip: NC)
The basic point – common to other Gulf oil producers – is that Saudi local consumption is rocketing. Residential use makes up 50pc of demand, and over two thirds of that is air-conditioning. The Saudis also consume 250 liters per head per day of water – the world's third highest (which blows the mind), growing at 9pc a year – and most of this is provided from energy-guzzling desalination plants.

All this is made far worse across the Gulf by fuel subsidies to placate restive populations.

The Saudis already consume a quarter of their 11.1m barrels a day of crude output. They are using more per capita than the US even though their industrial base as a share of GDP is much smaller.

The country already consumes all its gas. (Neighboring Kuwait is now importing LNG gas from Russia….

If you go through the link, and look at the charts, you will see that this is a strictly demand-side story: no peak oil required.


PioneerPreppy said...

I also wonder about the other oil rich nations around there. If Saudi is having production issues maybe they are as well.

Degringolade said...

You always have to pay attention to the exportland model.

We seem to spend all of our time thinking up scenarios in which the needs of the US are the only variable in the equation.

The rest of the world has a taste for oil as well. They are going to start taking more and more of what we consider ours.

Of course, they just think of it as their share

Mamma Bear said...

I am amazed at the water usage . Isn't that over 60 gallons a day per person?

Even if the US opens up lands for drilling we'd still be cutting it close for 2030. With more of the world wanted more and more oil I wonder when the US is going to be cut-off from some of the suppliers. There may come a time when they don't need the US dollars any longer.

russell1200 said...

Pioneer: Mexico certainly has been having problems. First reported a few years back, their peak came on very quickly.

The one silver lining may be that with so many of these countries using state run companies which invested little in research in extraction methods, there may be an additional supply -granted more expensive - still in the ground.

Degringolade: Yes we have fought an awful lot of wars for "our" oil. But funding a life style with your one viable commodity (other than religious tourism) is not real bright either.

Mama Bear: No, that is way to low. Maybe for personal consumption. The latest official numbers are from 2005. It comes out to roughly 1,200 gallons of fresh water per day per person for the United States.

What is not being factored in is industrial, farm use, car washes, golf course irrigation, etcetera.

Of course the water doesn't disappear. It is variously scrubbed up and reused many times before it returns to the ocean or evaporates.

As far as cutting us off? We have water, maybe not as much as we used to but still a lot compared to them. But you don't ship water. What you ship is the crops grown with the water, and items that require water (many) for production.