Tue, 08 Feb 2011
U.S. sees Saudi oil reserves as overstated

LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) -- U.S. diplomatic cables from 2007 to 2009 made public by the website Wikileaks say that Saudi Arabia is unable to pump enough oil to keep prices from rising, according to a Guardian report Tuesday. Based on views from a senior Saudi government oil executive, the cables say Saudi Arabia's reserves may be overstated by nearly 40%, according to the report. The report cites comments attributed to Saudi oil monopoly Aramco geologist and former exploration chief, Sadad al-Husseini, that Aramco couldn't reach the 12.5-million-barrel daily capacity needed to keep prices from rising. The report quoted the cable as saying: "According to al-Husseini ... it is possible that Saudi reserves are not as bountiful as sometimes described, and the timeline for their production not as unrestrained as Aramco and energy optimists would like to portray."

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