My Mother's husband was in the pipeline business in the Mid East for many years, engineering some of the greatest pipelines in the area. He lived in Saudi Arabia for the better part of 20 years back in the 70s and 80s.
He has all kinds of things to show for it. He has the best Persian Rug collection this side of Alli Baba and he has all other manner of brick a brack. He even has an old wine bottle with oil in it. The oil in the bottle is from Gharwar. It sits on his library shelf, as if it is of legend.
And, in fact, it is legendary.
Gharwar is sort of mythical in the oil and gas world.
It quite literally is the King of the Oil Fields.
In 1975, it was believed to have 60 billion barrels of recoverable reserves and perhaps a total of 170 billion barrels total. That is 6% of the whole world's reserves. Some say it represents 12% of the world reserves. It produces about 5 million barrels a day which is more than 6 % the world's daily production. This one field alone has accounted for 60% of the all the oil produced in Saudi Arabia.
If Gharwar is in decline, then the Saudi Oil Fields are in decline.
Here is a story from Al Jazeera
Bank says Saudi's top field in decline
By Adam Porter in Perpignan, France
Tuesday 12 April 2005,
Speculation over the actual size of Saudi Arabia's oil reserves is reaching fever pitch as a major bank says the kingdom's - and the world's - biggest field, Gharwar, is in irreversible decline.
The Bank of Montreal's analyst Don Coxe, working from their Chicago office, is the first mainstream number-cruncher to say that Gharwar's days are fated.
Coxe uses the phrase 'Hubbert's Peak' to describe the situation. This refers to the seminal geologist M King Hubbert, who predicted the unavoidable decline of oilfields back in the 1950s.
"The combination of the news that there's no new Saudi Light coming on stream for the next seven years plus the 27% projected decline from existing fields means Hubbert's Peak has arrived in Saudi Arabia," says Coxe, referring to data compiled by the International Energy Association's (IEA) August 2004 monthly report.
The Canadian bank is the latest in a line of oil opinion-makers to speak out about it. Others, notably banker Matt Simmons and the head of the Association for the study of Peak Oil (Aspo), Colin Campbell, have called into question the validity of its stated reserves, supposedly 258 billion barrels.
If Gharwar, the world's biggest field, is seen to be "in decline", as Coxe says, the effects could be problematic. Markets could panic, forcing prices up, creating shortages and profoundly affecting the world economy.
"The kingdom's decline rate will be among the world's fastest as this decade wanes," predicts Coxe. "Most importantly, Hubbert's Peak must have arrived for Gharwar, the world's biggest oilfield."
And then there is this interview for Global Public Media with Chris Skrebowski, author of the important Oilfields Megaprojects Report for the UK Petroleum Review explaining why 2005 will be a critical year for global oil.
The end of the interview says this:
JD: In the light of much evidence, and in the light of your report, do you think that Ken Deffeyes’ suggestion of Thanksgiving 2005 being the time of peak, is too bold in your opinion?
CS: No, that is entirely possible. We're now into, you know, a sort of unknown land. We haven't been in this situation before. I don't think we know quite how to analyse it. We're taking traditional, fairly conventional analysis. And we're saying let's see what happens when we do this. And I suppose the rough answer we get is that from this year on it looks difficult to get it to add up comfortably. It certainly looks as though after about 2008 it really doesn't add up. But it's not quite clear what more you can say.
Perhaps the best presentation of Gharwar and the Saudi Oil situation comes from Matthew Simmons who gave this presentation to The Center for Strategic and International Studies about a year ago.
There are a lot of good sites on Peak Oil these days but Flying Talking Donkey is now on my favorites list. It is one of the first sites to put Earthfamilyalpha in their links section.
But it is hard to beat From the Wilderness, the site pioneered by Michael Ruppert. If you think OZ is out there, Read this.
An Important Announcement
by Michael C. Ruppert
March 10, 2005, PST 0900 (FTW) --
I am not a politician. I will never be a politician.
With this article both I and the FTW family will never again think in terms of whom we might offend or what bridges we need to build, burn or fireproof. As Don Henley wrote in a song of profound spiritual gratitude, "Sometimes you get your best light from a burning bridge." I'm going to burn a few with this essay.
Peak Oil is no longer on the way. It is here. Forget for a moment whether or not global oil production has actually begun (see below) its hopelessly irreversible decline. We will not know that for certain until sometime after it happens. The political fact, however, is that global inertia in response to Peak has driven our species, all of it, past the point of no return. There is no changing course for us. We have committed to a path of bloody destruction that can no longer be postponed or evaded. Energy investment banker Matthew Simmons - long a smoke alarm for Peak Oil - has said repeatedly, "The problem is that the world has no Plan B."
Simmons is right.
As the evidence grows stronger that we are at Peak now (or very close to it), there is a distinct correlation between oil price hikes and military budget increases, weapons deployment, warfare and covert operations around the world. Economists don't consider such things so they don't report on them. Their orthodoxy scorns any integrated view of world developments outside their own discipline.
For long-time readers of FTW I need do little more than discuss a few recent developments to put this in perspective. For the rest I will provide you with some of a great many available dots you can connect if you care to. Most people find themselves unable to tolerate the sight of the pattern which the connected dots reveal.
After this, FTW will no longer try to detail the dots of Peak Oil. What we have published over the last seven years is proof enough. We had it right. I refuse to go over it again. Those who get it now, get it. Those who do not may possibly be beyond saving, because their own choices have deprived them of critical months of preparation for the crisis - especially since most of this "preparation" is psychological in nature.
It is very hard and very painful to get one's mind to accept this reality.
Except maybe now you understand why
I only sleep four hours a night.
And why I want an Earthfamily.