Energy investment banker Matthew Simmons has challenged the Saudi national oil company to substantiate its claims that it faces no imminent production problems and can reliably supply far greater amounts of oil than at present for at least 50 more years. In a presentation to the Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C., Simmons outlines concerns raised by his review of more than 200 technical papers about Saudi Arabia's oil production system, which he claims collectively reveal "a forensic pathology".
He suggests that there could be serious production difficulties at the vast, aging Ghawar field — the world's largest — and questions the abilty to maintain its current rate of production. He also highlights concerns about reported reserves and future discovery potential within the Kingdom. Calling on the Saudis to end the long prevailing "trust us" culture of secrecy, he says the world needs to see verified data in a "new era of real transparency".
Click here to download the full presentation.