Saudi Arabia, Suddenly Desperate For More Bribe Cash, Says Will Boost Shipments (As If It Has A Choice)

Tyler Durden's picture

That latest entrant to the "whorism" political class, Saudi Arabia, is getting desperate. After yesterday's attempt to prostitute itself out to its people by literally handing out $37 billion in a glaring demonstration that it has never heard the "money can't buy you love" saying, now the FT is reporting that "Saudi Arabia is in “active talks” with European oil companies to meet the production shortfall left by Libya, the clearest indication to date that the leader of the Opec oil cartel is about to boost supplies to stop further rises in the oil price, which surged to near $120 a barrel on Thursday." The FT's commentary is partially correct: "You can only expect the price to go up. It is fear of the unknown. The risks are all to the upside,” one senior oil trader said. "Saudi Arabia needs to respond." It does, but not to fill the gap. Following the latest attempt at recreating Helicopter Ben's monetary policy, Saudi Arabia suddenly finds itself clutching at cash straws. As UBS' Andrew Lees points out: "Saudi's USD37bn bonus to the population equates to USD10.45bbl on its 2009 production of 9.7m bpd. Saudi already needed USD74bbl to balance its budget in 2008. In December last year the talk was that its budget deficit would be 40bn riyals having been 86.5bn riyals the previous year as it spent heavily on salary increases for soldiers. With this increased spending it seems Saudi will need about USD85 - USD95bbl to balance its budget, or it will need to ramp up production by about 10% (more capital spending) without prices falling." Oops. Do you see what happens Larry when a country hands out money it doesn't have? We hope for Saudi's sake that it has some POMO desk interns running things there as effectively as in the US. But until we get some confirmation, we continue to back the truck up with Saudi CDS, a process which started when these were first quoted in the double digits.

Full Andrew Lees must read note:

A few things worth considering on oil. 
1. Saudi's USD37bn
bonus to the population equates to USD10.45bbl on its 2009 production of
9.7m bpd. Saudi already needed USD74bbl to balance its budget in 2008.
In December last year the talk was that its budget deficit would be 40bn
riyals having been 86.5bn riyals the previous year as it spent heavily
on salary increases for soldiers. With this increased spending it seems
Saudi will need about USD85 - USD95bbl to balance its budget, or it will need to ramp up production by about 10% (more capital spending) without prices falling.

2. It is worth remembering that in the 1970's it was food prices that
initially rose and the Middle East rebalanced its finances with higher
oil prices just as they are doing today. The present political situation
should not therefore be a surprise particularly when Egypt's production
has fallen 20% since 1995 and its net exports have fallen 95%.

3. What is spare capacity? Whilst OPEC indicates on its website that
it has several million barrels of spare capacity (about 4m bpd rising to
6m bpd over the medium term) suggests it is not actually clear that they have any more than 2007/08.

lot of the spending appears to only be offsetting the natural decline
of existing fields. There is probably the ability to meet an extra
1.5mbpd of oil demand; beyond that prices will spike.

4. Saudi's oil production peaked in 2005 at 11.1m bpd. It averaged
10.4m bpd in 2007, briefly recovering for a few months in 2008 before
subsequently falling to 9.7m as of 2009. The initial fall came when
prices were making new highs in both nominal and real terms, which
suggests that if it was a voluntary cut as Saudi intimated, then it was
no less political than the "oil sword" of 1973/74. It seems far more
likely that with Haradh 3 well productivity thought to be down 60%
between 2006 and 2010 that they were struggleing to maintain output.

5. Over the last 10 years OPEC's production has risen by about 2.5m
bpd or just over 8% pa since 2000 but rising domestic consumption has
meant that exports have been flat. They grew until 2005 but have been
falling ever since. Last year Arab growth was expected to account for
11.7% of the global growth in oil consumption.

6. When people talk about higher oil prices acting as a tax on
consumption, what they really mean is that the oil producers are
consuming a higher proportion of the oil or the work done by that oil as
per Saudi's latest USD37bn bonus, leaving less available for the rest
of us.

published in 2006, highlights that recessions correlate closely to the
annualised change in oil prices . Whenever oil prices have increased by
more than 50% y/y (trailing 12 month average divided by the previous 12
month average) a recession followed. Brent averaged USD80.34bbl last
year. That would need oil to average USD120.51bbl this year. The 12
month moving average is about USD84bbl so if this was just a spike that
lasted say 3 months rather than the whole year then it would require
prices to rise to about USD228bbl (3/12 *228 +9/12 *84) which is
possible, but I would suggest unlikely. It is also worth remembering
that in the 1970's oil induced recession there were no strategic
reserves. They were brought in as a consequence of that and the IEA has
already talked about releasing some of these on to the market if so
required, so when people talk about Ben Bernanke printing oil, he can
effectively for a few months by opening up the spiggots to domestic
stores. Ofcourse this would only be a short term fix and by lowering the
above ground reserves would increase the future volatility.

5. The real question to ask is whether high resource prices are a
consequence of imbalances in the global economy as most
commentators suggest - (ie unproductive and excessive consumption being
kept alive by increased debt accumulation) - in which case we are seeing
a repeat of the 1970's when resource prices will rise until eventually
this imbalance is sorted, or whether as I believe it is a genuine
resource constraint story that is playing out. Either way the result is
the same in the short term; removing the imbalance or finding new
supplies (North Sea and then later Chinese coal) to allow the imbalance
to continue further. The difference is that without
scientific advancement (nuclear fusion), more and more present
consumption will be determined as excessive and have to be destroyed
under my geological decline story, raising questions as to which are the
next dominoes to fall? First it was a few of the peripheries then
US subprime, European austerity and now slower Asian growth as it tries
to fight inflation. We also have to consider whether that demand
destruction is smooth or whether government's fight it through increased
debt and transfer payments until they can fight it no longer. If it is
smooth then oil prices don't need to spike hiker to cause demand
destruction; the transfer of capital from the rest of the economy can
smoothly match the higher oil prices. This goldilocks scenareo is
totally unrealistic however as governments can't completely abandon
unproductive assets when they are made redundant, and countries will
fight each other economically to determine who gets those resources and
maintains their standard of living and who dies.

h/t Ratscam

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Michael's picture

The wealthy elite oligarchs are really banging the Al Qaeda scare bomb drum on the MSM to drive that oil price higher.

They are reporting Al Qaeda is backing the revolution in Libya like crazy. Where are these Al Qaeda bases located they speak of anyway? The MSM propaganda machine is going into overdrive in support bringing out former CIA agents parading them on CNN with their bull shit.

The oligarchs are pulling out all the stops to get what they want. Look at the dollar taking a nose dive too.

Lindsy Williams discloses where there are 2+ trillion barrels of untapped oil on US soil; Braken, Sainsberry, Gull Island, ANWAR.

He is on right now on rebroadcast with Alex Jones. You must listen to this.

LawsofPhysics's picture

Sweet, then we become Saudi Arabia.  Hedge accordingly.

Canucklehead's picture

Any thoughts on what the cost would be to obtain those 2+ trillion barrels of untapped oil in the US? $70 a barrel? $90 a barrel? Over $100 a barrel?

The Russians believe oil is available everywhere in the world, if you can drill deep enough...

Michael's picture

Lindsy says $16/ barrel and a lot of it, especially in the Bracken Dakota reserves is light sweet. That would be 60c at the pump.

LawsofPhysics's picture

Are you correcting for dollar devaluation?  By then the pumps might only take silver and gold.

Bicycle Repairman's picture

The truth about the peak oil scam, the green energy bubble and the global warming fraud.

Governments, investors and even the World Bank are rushing for the exits in the Great Escape from the green energy bubble. Solar energy appears to be the worst affected sector so far. Dow Jones reports on a startling U-turn by Britain’s ultra-green government has caught investors off guard and shock waves across the markets will likely precipitate the further rush from green energy projects to shale gas. The UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change made the shock announcement as it revealed a comprehensive review of its Feed-in Tariff (FIT) program. Indications from data provider, Prequin are that over $1bn in earmarked funds may be lost as Britain now promises it will only hold tariffs until April 2012. Green Investors Feeling Betrayed by European Governments Britain’s decision is another nail in the coffin for Europe’s tottering green energy market. Last year the first of several crushing body blows was dealt to environmentalist dreams when the Spanish government retrospectively cut the value of its tariffs in its own U-turning energy review. The devastated Spanish Solar Photovoltaic Industry Association, with mass bankruptcies on the cards, is accusing their government of utter betrayal is yet to carry out a threat to sue over the ruling. As the green house of cards collapses Netherlands-based investment manager DIF and BNP Paribas and venture capitalists such as Future Capital Partners are rumored to be extremely fearful of further repercussions coming at a time when European public opinion is bored and fatigued after two decades of endless global warming hype. UK Energy Minister Charles Hendry made the starkly ominous admission, “one third of Britons think the science on climate change has been exaggerated.” Not helping the green cause has been a succession of brutally cold Northern hemispheric winters which an increasing number of scientists fear may be the harbinger of the onset of a mini-ice age. Abundance of Shale Gas Deflates Green Energy Bubble Causing green lobbyists and environmentally focused investors to cry bitter into their carrot juice comes the news that China is making its move to become pre-eminent in shale gas investment. Peter Foster in the Financial Post (February 11, 2011) reports that energy company Encana is to get a proposed $5.4-billion investment by PetroChina in its shale gas operations. The move he says “confirms the soaring importance of a resource that 10 years ago was hardly on the commercial map.” The market obviously liked the news of the Chinese investment as Encana shares jumped 4.5% to close at $32.02. Savvy shale gas investors are also looking most eagerly at Canada where the discovery that Quebec has considerable shale gas potential has dealt another blow to the idea that the world’s energy resources are anywhere near a so-called “peak.” A strident Quebec Oil and Gas Association has hired former Parti Quebecois premier Lucien Bouchard to help lobby for provincial development to exploit the unexpected huge find. With so many known large deposits of shale gas in countries such as Poland, Germany, France and the U.K. economic strategists are finally waking up to the fact that this monumental new resources could help free Europe from the threat of disruptions from its main natural gas supplier, Russia. Andrew Orlowski reporting for ‘The Register’ (February 10, 2011) reveals Holland has also joined the rush away from green by becoming the first country to abandon the EU-wide target of producing 20 per cent of its domestic power from renewables. The Dutch are now putting their long-term faith in nuclear. Netherland’s only nuclear reactor, the Borssele plant, scheduled for closure by 2003 is now planned to operate at least until 2034. World Bank Joins Rush Away from the Green White Elephant Top line international bankers also appear to be abandoning ‘big green’ according to a report by climate scientist Roger Pielke Jr. who highlights two recent research papers published by influential thinkers inside the World Bank. Economics papers by Robert Mendelsohn and Gokay Saher (here in PDF) and Medelsohn, Kerry Emanuel and Shun Chonabayashi (here in PDF) chop the legs from under the pro-green Stern Review (2007) and affirm that no human impact may be inferred on global climate. With economists plainly joining an increasing number of scientists in global warming skepticism its little wonder there’s now a mass flight away from ‘renewables;’ such that both investors and governments are compelled to follow suit in the clearest indication yet that green energy won’t live up to its promises. The key to long-term economic success now appears to be safely premised once again on solid market innovation, not ideologically driven government subsidies; such subsidized ventures have a long and notorious history as lame duck enterprises. It seems ‘green renewables has become the latest of these white elephants.

Flakmeister's picture

Cutting and pasting the same old shit I see. At least have the sense to break it into readable paragraphs. Just a bit of advice.

DaveyJones's picture

helluva oil authority you're quoting there

Thomas's picture

Peak oil and a green energy bubble are not mutually exclusive. There are many of us who believe what makes peak oil so ominous is that the tech-based alternatives are, as you suggest, a bad joke. One also should not view a push toward shale gas and peak oil as mutually exlusive. The latter prompts the former. I submit (as evidenced by my NG rich investment portofolio) that NG will be the go-to energy source for awhile.

As to global warming, I am agnostic (apathetic even). What I can tell you, however, as a scientist (chemist) that the warming crowd's scientific debate looks more sound than what looks decidedly like a counter attack from the non-warming crowd. Arguments based on brutally cold winters in some location are particularly offbeat because pumping energy into the system (heating) will also cause increased turbulence. I find the notion that warming is accompanied by wilder oscillations to be compellingly logical. With that said, I am still agnostic.

Flakmeister's picture

Yes, I like NG, but be very careful about some of the shale gas juniors. HGT and SBR should be core holdings. Am not so crazy about SJT.

PuppetRepubl1c's picture

wall of text = do not read



snowball777's picture

It's Bakken, dimwit.

An April 2008 USGS report estimated the amount of technically recoverable oil using technology readily available at the end of 2007 within the Bakken Formation at 3.0 to 4.3 billion barrels


That represents a 6 month supply at current consumption rates. Please grow a brain and stop linking to people who do NOT know what they fuck they are talking about as if they are experts.


quasimodo's picture

Yes, because we all know the USGS is the bastion of reliability, dimwit

snowball777's picture

It's independently verified by many sources.

You want to believe that a pipe dream promulgated by a preacher will save you? Be my guest. There's no law against stupid.

And don't forget to account for energy density rather than sheer volume of hydrocarbons. They don't burn equally.

Bicycle Repairman's picture

On cue the "peak oil" (tm) gnats have arrived.

Say, have you read the entire 10 years of the oildrum (tm)?

snowball777's picture

On cue, John O'Sullivan, Exxon Bun-Boy, has heard an opportunity to shill for shale.

Fuck you, ignorant.

tarsubil's picture

Thou shalt hath useth Shakespearian soundeth wordseth.

DaveyJones's picture

and on cue, here comes BR/S with his book of "facts" Say, how's that perpetual motion device going?

Bicycle Repairman's picture

It's going well.  If you told the 1970s peak oilers about the SUV and its coming popularity, they would have thought you were insane.  But it happened now didn't it?

LawsofPhysics's picture

Yes it did, thanks to cheap paper and nothing else.

hedge accordingly.

LawsofPhysics's picture

No they don't and you need a lot more fiat to fill the tank don't you?  What is your point fucknut?

Bicycle Repairman's picture

My point is peak oil is BS.  Did you just join the discussion?

Flakmeister's picture

My point is that you have presented nothing to show that you are not full of BS.

DaveyJones's picture

your logic sucks, along with your bag of "facts." As other honest posters have pointed, 1970 was the US peak. Nearly sixty countries have now peaked. SUVs prove nothing but stupidity, something you should relate to. It's a good thing you're paid by the post and not the convert 

Bicycle Repairman's picture

My logic is dead on.  Go back to the oildrum.  You'll hear nothing but pleasant chirping there.

DaveyJones's picture

you're logic is dead on...arrival. Amazing work discrediting the oildrum.

Bicycle Repairman's picture

Too bad this isn't the oil drum, eh compadre?  Then you and your comrades could form a circle around me and scream at me until I was "re-educated".

This is ZH, bitch.

Flakmeister's picture

You wouldn't last a minute at theoildrum

tmosley's picture

Why?  Do they ban any dissenters there? 

Flakmeister's picture

 No, not at all. But you are required to come up with real analysis and not simple posturing. If you read the contributions very closely you will see that there is dissent about the state of affairs and interpretation of the data. It is far less monolithic that you would think. It is a good honest discussion with all political stripes represented.

I recall one serious contributor (R. Rapier) ripping a new one for another contributor about misinterpreting Hubbert Linearization.

tarsubil's picture

If you don't believe peak oil is here, you believe in perpetual motion. If you don't believe in global warming, you believe the world is flat. Amazing how similar you burning sticks are.

Bicycle Repairman's picture

None of your statements make any sense at all.

tmosley's picture

Wow, you sure do put a lot of stock into "belief".  Perhaps you should try thinking instead?

serotonindumptruck's picture

The Russians have evidently excelled with their ultra-deep oil exploration technology. However, as BP unfortunately learned, deeper wells are generally under much greater pressure, thus the extraction process carries increased risk.

Hopefully, there's an engineer or two lurking around these parts who might generalize further.

Bicycle Repairman's picture

No, you screwed up the talking point.  If the Russians are right, and there is oil below 10,000 feet, then oil is not made up of dead dinosaurs.

snowball777's picture

a) It's dead plant matter, not dinosaurs.

b) Plants were around for a looonng time before T-Rex.

Bicycle Repairman's picture

And these plants ended up 10,000 or more feet below the surface?  How?

snowball777's picture can learn about it at your local community college, if they accept you.

tarsubil's picture

Well, if it is community college geology, I'm sure a genius like you would have no problem summing it up for us.

Bicycle Repairman's picture

I don't need to know any geology to know that dinosaurs 10,000 feet below the surface of the earth is utter BS.

Do you have any idea how stupid you appear to be?

LawsofPhysics's picture

See my earlier post regarding how the oil got there fucknut.

LawsofPhysics's picture

"I don't need to know any geology to know that dinosaurs 10,000 feet below the surface of the earth is utter BS."


Boy I hope you are not an engineer.  I can see it now "I don't need to know any facts about engineering to know how to build a bridge".

What's up fucknut, the X-box still broken?

PuppetRepubl1c's picture

Bicycle Repairman  


From your post i am guessing you believe Jesus rode on dinosaurs and people lived to be 900 years old?

tmosley's picture

How did it get a kilometer below the Atlantic plate, thousands of miles from any subduction zone?

Yes, there is such a think as "abiotic" oil (rather, hydrogen and short chain hydrocarbons that are converted by deep dwelling bacteria into long chain hydrocarbons).  The only question is the rate at which they do so, and where does it collect?