Former head of Saudi Aramco: oil has peaked


31 Oct 2007 |
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Sadad al-Huseini, the former head of exploration and production at Saudi Aramco, says that global production has hit its maximum sustainable plateau and that output will start to fall within 15 years, by which time the world's oil resources will be "very severely depleted".

In an exclusive interview with David Strahan of, al-Huseini said that oil production had reached a structural ceiling determined by geology rather than geopolitics, and that as a result the technical floor for the oil price will rise by $12 annually for the next 4 to 5 years. The market price for crude could hit $125 by 2010.

Al-Huseini said that Saudi Arabia's plans to raise production capacity to 12 million barrels per day by 2012 represented "an achievable number", but disparaged Western expectations that the Kingdom would produce significantly more. It was unfair, he said, to expect Saudi to "pull everybody's chestnuts out of the fire".

David Strahan is an award-winning investigative journalist and documentary film-maker who, since the early 1990s, has reported and produced extensively for the BBC's Money Programme and Horizon strands. Strahan is the author of The Last Oil Shock: A Survival Guide to the Imminent Extinction of Petroleum Man and is a trustee of the Oil Depletion Analysis Centre.

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