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Twilight in the Desert: The Coming Saudi Oil Shock and the World Economy

by

Twilight in the Desert: The Coming Saudi Oil Shock and the World Economy Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The most critical question facing the world energy market is whether Saudi Arabia can substantially increase its oil production to meet rising world demand in the years ahead. Sparked by personal observations of Saudi oil wells which led him to suspect that some Saudi fields were in decline, Matt Simmons has created a compelling case that Saudi Arabia production will soon reach an apex, after which its production will decline and the world will be confronted with an immense and potentially catastrophic oil shortage. The factual basis of the book is over 200 technical papers published over the last 20 years which individually detail problems with particular wells or particular fields, but which collectively demonstrate that the entire Saudi oil system is "old and fraying." Based on his analysis, Mr. Simmons asserts that sudden and sharp oil production declines could happen at any time. Even under the most optimistic scenario, Saudi Arabia may be able to maintain current rates of production for several years, but will not be able to increase production enough to meet the expected increase in world demand. Eventually, the reckoning day will come and the world economy will be confronted with a major shock that will stunt economic growth, increase inflation, and potentially destabilize the Middle East.

Review:

"This book is likely to be the most important ever written about oil. The veil of secrecy that has surrounded the world's oil resources must be lifted so the world can plan its future. This magnificently researched book of Matt Simmons may very well have the power to make that happen." Richard E. Smalley, PhD, Nobel Laureate– Chemistry (1996)

Review:

"Simmons effectively confronts the complacent notion that there are ample oil reserves in Saudi Arabia. Twilight in the Desert should provoke anyone who believes that the recent increase in oil prices reflects either a speculative bubble or short-term supply constraints. It should provoke elected governments that have been complacent about their public's lack of concern about energy policy. And it will inevitably provoke producers like Saudi Arabia who believe they can maintain the veil of secrecy over their resources base that the world so strongly depends on." Edward L. Morse, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Energy Policy

Review:

"Twilight in the Desert provides much-needed transparency to a subject long hidden from public view. While all may not agree with its findings, it is the ensuing debate surely to follow that gives value to the author's efforts." Robert E. Ebel, Chairman, Energy Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Washington, DC

Synopsis:

Sparked by personal observations of Saudi oil wells which led him to suspect that some Saudi fields were in decline, the author has created a compelling case that Saudi Arabia production will soon reach an apex, after which its production will decline and the world will be confronted with an immense and potentially catastrophic oil shortage.

Synopsis:

Saudi Arabia is the most important

oil producing nation in history. The secretive Saudi government repeatedly assures the world that its oil fields are healthy beyond reproach, and that they can maintain and even increase output at will to meet skyrocketing global demand.

But what if they can't?

Twilight in the Desert looks behind the curtain to reveal a Saudi oil and production industry that could soon approach a serious, irreversible decline. In this exhaustively researched book, veteran oil industry analyst Matthew Simmons draws on his own three-plus decades of insider experience and more than 200 independently produced reports about Saudi petroleum resources and production operations. What he uncovers is a story about Saudi Arabia's troubled oil industry, not to mention its political and societal instability, which differs sharply from the globally accepted Saudi version.

It's a story that is provocative and disturbing, based on undeniable facts, but until now never told in its entirety. Twilight in the Desert examines numerous aspects of Saudi Arabia and its looming oil crisis, including:

  • The seventy-year history of modern Saudi Arabia, and the truth behind its troubling mix of monarchy, conservative Islam, severe social restrictions, and economic contradictions
  • Why the geological phenomena that created Saudi oil invincibility now threaten to bring it to an end, far sooner than the world has been led to believe
  • A field-by-field assessment of twelve key Saudi oil fields, and how verified shortfalls in their production and potential stand sharply at odds with unverifiable Saudi rhetoric

While Saudi officials promise to increase production from current levels if necessary, Twilight in the Desert examines the history of other major oil fields to determine that Saudi Arabia is in fact overproducing its primary resources, and couldn't possibly ramp up production for long. It calls for long-overdue transparency on the part of the Saudis and all significant global oil producers, along with urgently needed energy data reform, and a global energy blueprint for how the world will cope once Saudi oil output has peaked.

Without question, Saudi Arabian oil fields provide the rest of the world with its most plentiful, low-cost oil resource. The question is how long can they continue to keep these critical pipelines open. Twilight in the Desert answers that question with keen examination instead of unsubstantiated posturing, and takes its place as one of the most important books of this still-young century.

Synopsis:

Twilight in the Desert reveals a Saudi oil and production industry that could soon approach a serious, irreversible decline. In this exhaustively researched book, veteran oil industry analyst Matthew Simmons draws on his three-plus decades of insider experience and more than 200 independently produced reports about Saudi petroleum resources and production operations. He uncovers a story about Saudi Arabia’s troubled oil industry, not to mention its political and societal instability, which differs sharply from the globally accepted Saudi version. It’s a story that is provocative and disturbing, based on undeniable facts, but until now never told in its entirety. Twilight in the Desert answers all readers’ questions about Saudi oil and production industries with keen examination instead of unsubstantiated posturing, and takes its place as one of the most important books of this still-young century.

About the Author

Matthew R. Simmons is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Simmons & Company International, a Houston-based investment bank that specializes in the energy industry. Mr. Simmons serves on the boards of Brown-Forman Corporation and The Atlantic Council of the United States. He is also a member of the National Petroleum Council and the Council on Foreign Relations. He has an MBA from Harvard University.

Table of Contents

Illustrations ix

Preface xiii

Acknowledgments xxi

PART ONE FROM BEDOUIN TO BOURGEOISIE 1

1 The Birth of a Nation 5

2 The History of Major Saudi Arabian Oil Discoveries 23

3 Saudi Arabia's Road to Oil Market Dominance 43

4 The Veil of Secrecy over Saudi Oil Reserves and Production 69

PART TWO THE EBBING OF THE SAUDI OIL BOUNTY 99

5 Saudi Aramco 101

6 Oil Is Not Just Another Commodity 129

PART THREE GIANTS AT THE TIPPING POINT 149

7 Ghawar, the King of Oilfields 151

8 The Second-Tier Oilfields 181

9 The Best of the Rest 199

10 Coming Up Empty in New Exploration 231

11 Turning to Natural Gas 245

PART FOUR TWILIGHT IN THE DESERT 261

12 Saudi Oil Reserves Claims in Doubt 265

13 Facing the Inevitable 281

14 Reading Between the Lines of the Latest News from Aramco 309

15 Aramco Invokes "Fuzzy Logic" to Manage the Future of Saudi Oil 325

16 In Search of Crisper Truths among the Confident Saudi Claims 333

17 Aftermath 341

Appendix A Methodology 355

Appendix B Supporting Technical Data 365

Appendix C The 1974 and 1979 Senate Hearings 377

Notes 385

Bibliography 391

Index 409

Product Details

ISBN:
9780471738763
Subtitle:
The Coming Saudi Oil Shock and the World Economy
Author:
Simmons, Matthew R
Author:
Simmons, Matthew R.
Publisher:
Wiley
Subject:
General
Subject:
Forecasting
Subject:
Petroleum industry and trade
Subject:
Industries - General
Subject:
Industries - Energy Industries
Subject:
General Business & Economics
Subject:
Petroleum industry and trade -- Saudi Arabia.
Subject:
Oil & Energy Economics
Subject:
Business - General
Copyright:
Publication Date:
May 2005
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
448
Dimensions:
9.36x6.10x1.42 in. 1.49 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Art » Typography
Business » General
History and Social Science » Politics » Politics of Oil
Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » Energy
Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » Environment

Twilight in the Desert: The Coming Saudi Oil Shock and the World Economy Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$8.95 In Stock
Product details 448 pages John Wiley & Sons - English 9780471738763 Reviews:
"Review" by , "This book is likely to be the most important ever written about oil. The veil of secrecy that has surrounded the world's oil resources must be lifted so the world can plan its future. This magnificently researched book of Matt Simmons may very well have the power to make that happen."
"Review" by , "Simmons effectively confronts the complacent notion that there are ample oil reserves in Saudi Arabia. Twilight in the Desert should provoke anyone who believes that the recent increase in oil prices reflects either a speculative bubble or short-term supply constraints. It should provoke elected governments that have been complacent about their public's lack of concern about energy policy. And it will inevitably provoke producers like Saudi Arabia who believe they can maintain the veil of secrecy over their resources base that the world so strongly depends on."
"Review" by , "Twilight in the Desert provides much-needed transparency to a subject long hidden from public view. While all may not agree with its findings, it is the ensuing debate surely to follow that gives value to the author's efforts." Robert E. Ebel, Chairman, Energy Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Washington, DC
"Synopsis" by , Sparked by personal observations of Saudi oil wells which led him to suspect that some Saudi fields were in decline, the author has created a compelling case that Saudi Arabia production will soon reach an apex, after which its production will decline and the world will be confronted with an immense and potentially catastrophic oil shortage.
"Synopsis" by , Saudi Arabia is the most important

oil producing nation in history. The secretive Saudi government repeatedly assures the world that its oil fields are healthy beyond reproach, and that they can maintain and even increase output at will to meet skyrocketing global demand.

But what if they can't?

Twilight in the Desert looks behind the curtain to reveal a Saudi oil and production industry that could soon approach a serious, irreversible decline. In this exhaustively researched book, veteran oil industry analyst Matthew Simmons draws on his own three-plus decades of insider experience and more than 200 independently produced reports about Saudi petroleum resources and production operations. What he uncovers is a story about Saudi Arabia's troubled oil industry, not to mention its political and societal instability, which differs sharply from the globally accepted Saudi version.

It's a story that is provocative and disturbing, based on undeniable facts, but until now never told in its entirety. Twilight in the Desert examines numerous aspects of Saudi Arabia and its looming oil crisis, including:

  • The seventy-year history of modern Saudi Arabia, and the truth behind its troubling mix of monarchy, conservative Islam, severe social restrictions, and economic contradictions
  • Why the geological phenomena that created Saudi oil invincibility now threaten to bring it to an end, far sooner than the world has been led to believe
  • A field-by-field assessment of twelve key Saudi oil fields, and how verified shortfalls in their production and potential stand sharply at odds with unverifiable Saudi rhetoric

While Saudi officials promise to increase production from current levels if necessary, Twilight in the Desert examines the history of other major oil fields to determine that Saudi Arabia is in fact overproducing its primary resources, and couldn't possibly ramp up production for long. It calls for long-overdue transparency on the part of the Saudis and all significant global oil producers, along with urgently needed energy data reform, and a global energy blueprint for how the world will cope once Saudi oil output has peaked.

Without question, Saudi Arabian oil fields provide the rest of the world with its most plentiful, low-cost oil resource. The question is how long can they continue to keep these critical pipelines open. Twilight in the Desert answers that question with keen examination instead of unsubstantiated posturing, and takes its place as one of the most important books of this still-young century.

"Synopsis" by , Twilight in the Desert reveals a Saudi oil and production industry that could soon approach a serious, irreversible decline. In this exhaustively researched book, veteran oil industry analyst Matthew Simmons draws on his three-plus decades of insider experience and more than 200 independently produced reports about Saudi petroleum resources and production operations. He uncovers a story about Saudi Arabia’s troubled oil industry, not to mention its political and societal instability, which differs sharply from the globally accepted Saudi version. It’s a story that is provocative and disturbing, based on undeniable facts, but until now never told in its entirety. Twilight in the Desert answers all readers’ questions about Saudi oil and production industries with keen examination instead of unsubstantiated posturing, and takes its place as one of the most important books of this still-young century.
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