Wednesday, January 18, 2006

So, What Data Have You, Mr. Maugeri?

Leonardo Maugeri, group senior vice president at Eni, and a passionate "debunker" of Matt Simmons:
The skeptics take for granted that big oil states are thoroughly explored, which is not the case. From 1995 to 2004, fewer than 30 new wildcat [exploration] wells were drilled in Saudi Arabia, compared with more than 15,700 in the United States. The numbers are similar throughout the Persian Gulf.

This state makes plausible the recent Saudi response to its accusers: Oil Minister Ali Al-Naimi said estimates of Saudi "original oil"—the broadest definition of reserves, including proven, probable and possible future reserves—could rise in coming decades to 900 billion barrels, up from 200 billion, due largely to improving recovery technology. And the U.S. Geological Survey's estimate of Saudi Arabia's unexplored reserves is higher than Riyadh's.

Yes, but based on what data? The politically manipulated numbers from Riyadh?