WikiLeaks cables: Saudi Arabia cannot pump enough oil to keep a lid on prices

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by quagmire, Feb 9, 2011.

  1. quagmire macrumors 603

    quagmire

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    #1
    So I think I can throw out my plans to buy the new Camaro ZL1. :(

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2011/feb/08/saudi-oil-reserves-overstated-wikileaks

    Ultimately, I think it is a good thing when thinking in the long term set of mind. Short term, yeah this is going to be painful as I bet oil prices will further increase with this information now out there. But, hopefully people will stop living in lala land while ignoring the upcoming fuel situation. Oil is running out and we need alternative fuels. We can't have cheap gas anymore because it only helps breed the lala land state of mind as Americans only care about is cheap fuel. As long as gas is cheap, we will not give a crap about electric vehicles or fuel cells.
     
  2. bobber205 macrumors 68020

    bobber205

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    #2
    I'm all for getting rid of gas but I wish there was a affordable < 20k car that was an option on the market. If the car companies started what they're doing now say in pre 2000, there would be.
     
  3. SuperCachetes macrumors 6502a

    SuperCachetes

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    #3
    Agreed. If "peak oil" hits before our other solutions are viable and in play, I think it marks the beginning of the end of the post-WWII way of life for Americans. It will hurt us far more than taxing gas to incentivize efficiency over the last 20 years ever would have...

    Not sure I understand. There are several 30+ mpg cars on the market for under $20k. None of them will pull a bass boat or haul 7 kids to soccer practice, though - which obviously limits their appeal in the U.S. ;)

    In concept, though, I am on board with what you are saying. The automakers are profit-driven, and rightfully so. Sadly, for them, the economics of the 90's-00's said that SUVs were king. Likewise, the consumer demand that was prevalent was also economics-based and largely eschewed social responsibility. "Oil is plentiful and gas is cheap. I have disposable income and want the most vehicle I can get for my money." There is more profit margin on SUVs than on cars, so the manufacturers ate it up. You know things are wacky when Porsche comes out with an SUV...

    In our lifetime I believe we will be forced to change our thinking on this, and I don't mean just considering hybrids as "mainstream." As you allude to, it could've been much easier if we'd done it voluntarily a long time ago.
     
  4. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    #4
    Honestly that is the type of information that more than likely should not of been leaked out. Mostly because the masses are idiots and will panic over it and then you have to deal with speculators that will farther drive the price up.
    Now that it is out there things need to be brought into play to keep speculators out of the market to screw with the prices.
     
  5. bobber205 macrumors 68020

    bobber205

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    #5
    If they started caring about mpg when they SHOULD have, hell even 20-30 hears ago, we'd have 100+ mpg cars everywhere with hybrids and even all electric being the complete norm.
     
  6. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #6
    Matt Simmons made a similar analysis some five years ago. Saudi claims about their reserves? Total BS.
     
  7. SactoGuy18 macrumors 68020

    SactoGuy18

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    #7
    I don't buy this analysis.

    With one reason: we don't know what are the most commonly used methods for extracting oil in Saudi Arabia, and Saudi Aramco has not really explored for oil in many parts of the country--especially much the Rub' al Khali (Empty Quarter) part of that country.

    A relatively new method called hydraulic fracturing pumps water, pressurized CO2 gas or even a special liquid detergent fluid into the oil formation to "crack" the rock to make oil extraction easier. The results have been spectacular: the Bakken and Eagle Ford oilfields here in the USA have become major sources of oil using this method. If Saudi Arabia were to employ hydraulic fracturing, it could mean opening up new oil fields in that country that would have been economically too expensive to exploit in the past with conventional methods.

    In short, modern extraction methods could extend the life of many oilfields for many decades--including those in Saudi Arabia now.
     
  8. Don't panic macrumors 603

    Don't panic

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    #8
    this is a good point, and since a lot of these oil fields are in desert areas, the environmental/pollution issues would be more limited
     
  9. Sydde macrumors 68020

    Sydde

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    #9
    Beware the Saudis' EPA! They catch you polluting, they will chop off your ... umm...
     
  10. SuperCachetes macrumors 6502a

    SuperCachetes

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    #10
    I don't buy this solution.

    Hydraulic fracturing has issues, from resource-use, logistical, and environmental standpoints. It's not as bad as the ridiculously inefficient process of getting petroleum out of oil sands, but it's raised enough eyebrows to warrant an EPA study.

    We need to stop trying to invent ways of keeping gasoline prices down and look harder (better, faster, stronger ;) ) at being energy-independent and environmentally responsible.
     
  11. OutThere macrumors 603

    OutThere

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    #11
    There would be some advantage to saudi Arabia understating their potential reserves, as it would give them more breathing room to artificially adjust prices. Just sayin'.

    Also, as supply shrinks and demand continues to grow, the price of oil will rise, but along the way it will reach price points where different, more expensive, techniques for extracting it become viable, which will help to stabilize supply. Fun times ahead...
     
  12. Queso macrumors G4

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    #12
    Saudi is old hat anyway. Russia is going to supply the world's energy needs over the coming couple of decades.

    In the meantime though, America Get With The Program!!! European and Japanese cars have fuel economies that make the usage from your tanks look utterly ridiculous. The cars are already there to lower your national fuel bill by a double digit percentage in a very short time. Just buy them rather than those 12mpg machines you all seem hooked on.
     
  13. barkomatic macrumors 68040

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    #13
    Americans don't plan. They *only* respond to an immediate crisis and I'm afraid the oil situation will be no different. When gas is $10 a gallon only then will people here truly embrace alternative energy sources.

    The next 10-20 years is going to be amazing--because there is going to be such a shift in the day to day life of most people.
     
  14. Ugg, Feb 11, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2011

    Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #14
    Not unless they attract some much needed capital to upgrade their facilities. With the Kremlin's virtual stranglehold on the energy biz, a lot of companies are hesitant to invest there. BP (not that I feel overly sorry for them) is getting royally screwed by Putin.

    The Nord Stream pipeline, former German Chancellor Schroeder's baby, is one of the few bright spots in Russian energy infrastructure. Putin would rather throw his money at Sochi than invest in the wells, pipelines and storage facilities that are needed for Russia to remain a viable player in oil.

    CFR Document
     
  15. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #15
    You don't think that the oil companies are already looking at alternatives that they can hijack and control the prices of. What ever the future fuel is it will be in high demand and we will still get screwed over.
     
  16. OutThere macrumors 603

    OutThere

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    #16
    In thinking about this some more I see a number of positives to oil prices creeping higher over the long term. American cities will likely start to change shape as a townhouse near the city center becomes more realistic to heat and commute from. In ten years when I might reasonably expect to be looking for a house and there has been no alternative energy revolution, my peers and I will probably show interest in places that have been unpopular for decades. Somewhere we can walk to a variety of shops, restaurants and work, somewhere that might have less rooms and a smaller yard, but that will save enormous amounts of money versus living in the exurbs.

    Cities around the US have lost their vibrance and soul with so much expansion way the hell out in the suburbs, and everything to do being spread out and only reachable by car. The small city in France where I studied abroad a few years ago was beautifully centered around a dense, vibrant downtown. You'd meet friends in the street as you walked from a restaurant to the movie theater, and the subway and bus lines were much more practical as they didn't have to go as far. It was a much more convivial living experience than many comparable cities in the US, where we seem to have developed the feeling that sharing a room with a sibling, a wall with a neighbor, a car with a spouse or a subway with some strangers is unthinkable.
     
  17. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #17
    The "Me" generation declared war on community and we're all paying a price for that today. At the same time, their children were herded like sheep from school to soccer to music to home.... and by doing so, they created a generation that values community over individualistic escape. It's probably no coincidence that the most horrific school shooters and even Jared Loughner are suburbanites. Isolationism in the suburbs leads to alienation from society.

    That's what will ultimately bring down the Tea Party, they are marching to a broken drum. One that is no longer relevant to a younger generation.
     
  18. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #18
    It is rather ludicrous, that "American" cars get the poorest mileage, but that we have the furthest distances to travel.

    Bad planning, unless you sell cars/gas.
     
  19. Sydde macrumors 68020

    Sydde

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    #19
    There will have to be a major shift in our culture, our priorities, our attitudes in order to cope with the increasing cost of our wastefulness. Better not park your Bugatti Veyron anywhere outside unless you want it keyed to the metal, or worse.

    But that "Me" thing stands out right there: what happens when Saudi Arabia hits the profitability wall as far as their oil wealth goes? At some point, they will no longer be able to sustain their oil exports (high prices will kill demand, destroying the practical marketability of their product). Not too long after that, a situation like Egypt, only worse, will develop there. The entire Kingdom, perhaps the entire penninsula, will become a war zone as various Muslim factions fight to gain access to and control of the holy sites. From what I know of Arab culture, such a conflict could rage for decades.

    It would be nice if there was something we could do to make it not suck for the Arabs, but most likely, the best, safest, most effective help would be none.
     
  20. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #20
    Well, remember when the Taliban destroyed the Buddhas of Bamyanat?

    We could do the same, with "a small, but particularly dirty, nuclear device." - Auric Goldfinger :rolleyes:
     
  21. Sydde macrumors 68020

    Sydde

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    #21
    We should make more martyrs? Good plan :rolleyes:
     
  22. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #22
    Perhaps we could start by not selling them all weapons of mass destruction and giving tacit support to the autocracies, theocracies and military dictatorships which make such a scenario all the more likely and devastating.
     
  23. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #23
    I think we could start by not interfering.
     
  24. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #24
    These sites are but "things". Is their faith that weak that they require something tangible to worship to??

    And so we return to the American Dream, and keeping other people down, in order to support 'our' unrealistic life-style.

    "We" can, as long as the "we" does not include the U. S. of A. :p
     
  25. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #25
    "Things" full of "people".
     

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