Guest Post: The Hydraulic Fracturing of Saudi Arabia...

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by L Todd Wood,

Since the early twentieth century, Saudi Arabia has enjoyed a close relationship with the United States. From the development of the Saudi oil fields,to the First Gulf War, this relationship has been an uneasy cooperation—each side received something out of the alliance while nervously watching the other.  So recently we have the first open break between the two powers culminating in the Saudi’s refusing a seat on the U.N Security Council due to anger with U.S. Middle Eastern policies. 

Saudi Arabia holds the world’s second largest oil reserves and the sixth largest natural gas fields.  In addition to being located in the most volatile part of the world, these energy assets make the country a strategic interest for any global power. 

The discovery of vast hydrocarbon reserves in the United States and the ability to harvest them through hydraulic fracturing techniques has radically altered the relationship between the two countries.  Ironically, even though the Obama administration has reduced drilling on Federal lands in the US and attempted to curtail hydrocarbon use overall, it is fracking which has allowed the United States to nearly gain energy independence, become a net energy exporter again, and reduced the need to buy oil from the Middle East.  This shift in the balance of power with the Saudis has made the Kingdom extremely nervous. 

American policy adds to the Saudi’s concerns.  The Saudi oil fields, located in the eastern part of the country, are the home to the country’s Shia minority.  As the guardians of the holy Muslim sites, the royal family walks a fine line between satisfying the Sunni Ulema, fighting terrorism, and keeping the Shia population in check.  Hence, their concern with America’s recent overtures to Iran. 

The Obama administration has been Hell bent to secure a deal with the Shia Islamist state regarding its development of nuclear weapons.  Now that the deal is in place, the Iranians are openly taunting the West with shouts of victory rather than assuring the world they have no intent to join the nuclear club.   John Kerry and his Dept of State have been either naive, weak, or both when it comes to negotiating with the mullahs.  The Saudis, along with the Israelis and other Gulf states, cannot tolerate a nuclear armed Iran.  There are rumors that Saudi Arabia has paid Pakistan for the development of its own nuclear deterrent and is one month away from operational capability if they saw fit. 

In addition, the Kingdom is furious with U.S. refusal to arm Sunni rebels fighting the Iranian backed Syrian regime.  The uneasy trust between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia has been broken.  This opens up the playing field for other global powers such a China or Russia to make inroads where the U.S. once enjoyed hegemony.  It also opens up the world to a possible nuclear arms race in the Middle East.  In fact, this is already happening in Egypt, another broken U.S. relationship, who just closed a major arms deal with Russia in a slap in the face to the Obama Administration’s decision to cut military aid.  China would like nothing better than to gain access to a secure source of Saudi oil and strategic American built bases as well.

There have been calls from many quarters for the U.S. to mend fences with Iran in order to prevent a conflict and counter the Sunni influence in the region.  It seems obvious that for this to happen, Iran needs to show real progress in addressing the world’s fear that they intend on acquiring the bomb and have plans to use this threat to destroy Israel and/or the interests of the United States.    But alas, this will probably not happen with the current Iranian government.

It is foolish for America to offend and promote distrust with another ally in a long list of broken long-standing relationships.  These include Poland, United Kingdom, Israel, Egypt, etc.  One wonders whether the results of American diplomacy  stems from extreme incompetence or is evidence of a much darker agenda.

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Manthong's picture

At least we are not currently making important countries anywhere else in the world mad at us.

DeadFred's picture

I vote that it's part a much darker agenda. But I'm just that way.

knukles's picture

"Barack is gonna change your life."
    -Michelle Obama

nmewn's picture

Boy, ain't that the fucking truth.

knukles's picture

"Just when you think it's safe to get back into the water..."

Gosh, golly, gee...
Regardless of who is doing what to whom to fuck things up, as it's happening just peachy fucking keen, neato, couldn't be done better, the KSA and Emirates will start siding with "somebody else" as our relationships (Which had been promised to become sterling with the whole world, I remind you, holding hands and singing Kumbayah in harmony.) shrivel like Babe the Blue Ox's nuts when immersed in Lake Michigan at -37 below ..... we're not gonna just loose their alliance, we're gonna never ever be able again to get their attention.
Imagine, we'll just give them all red plastic reset buttons and all will be well.

What the fuck is going on?

nmewn's picture

What the fuck is going on?

Outside of the fact we constantly "hire" incompetent idiots to pilot the good ship Merika toward the rocks?

Milestones's picture

You are referring to the "Good Ship Lollip" Being captained by 536+9 Intellectual nincompoops. We are going to get our lunches handed to us. Gawd, is life fun or what?            Milestones

Vampyroteuthis infernalis's picture


Milestones, you are way too generous.

MeMadMax's picture

How gives a crap what the terrorist saudi's think...


GOLD! Bitchez!

nmewn's picture

Hey, someone(s) decided "democroceee" was the way to go instead of the rule of law. Where people can vote to pillage their neighbor while not even being able to name their rep at the federal, state or local level.

It wasn't me, "they deserve to get it good and hard" I'll just stand out of the way and watch ;-)

TBT or not TBT's picture

One of those 536ers, in 2012, was caught open mic telling the Russian premier that he would have more flexibility after the election. That language about high crimes in the stone cold dead version of the constitution should've applied. Thanks MSM. Thanks 60's march-through-the-institutions true believers. So much for your pensions

caustixoid's picture

we constantly "hire" incompetent idiots

= AIPAC constantly annoints tools?

OpenThePodBayDoorHAL's picture

I say we are at ALL TIME HIGHS in total fucking incompetence, hubris, and just plain stupidity in our government. I mean just look at this crew: Community Organizer Obomba, village idiot Biden, Lurch Kerry, Hilary the wicked witch of the West, Susan Rice (coiner of the term "humanitarian bombing"), Sibelius the wonderful architect of our health care woes, Samantha Powers at the UN, know-nothing Berkeley-ite, fucking Jack Lew at Treasury, Eric "Place" Holder...the list is just endless. Not that the Repubs are covering themselves with their glorious bench team either. Makes me long for the days of Gerald Ford or least you had a 50% chance he would not COMPLETELY BLOW THE SHOT

lasvegaspersona's picture

'Lake Michigan streams like a young man's dreams, her islands and bays are for sportsmen.'...I think Babe was a Superior kinda lake ox.

Ifigenia's picture

money, man, they are more greedy than our 1%.

kchrisc's picture

I didn't turn gay or sleep with a wookie, so, nope, no effect.

0b1knob's picture

"darker agenda"?  Thas ray cyst.

Buckaroo Banzai's picture

And the ray cyst is the worst kind of cyst.

Obese-Redneck's picture

What a bunch of horse shit. Now the neo-cons who supposedly love freedom are bitching that we aren't licking enough Saudi butt? The article says , "near energy independence" holy shit this is rich. Attention goldfish memory Bushmongers, nobody gets it both ways, except Mrs. O-R.

chemystical's picture

Parse through the Saudi veneer.  This piece of shit was little more than an AIPAC position paper.

aVileRat's picture

a very bad article that is light on substance, high on speculation and weak on ZOG bullshit.

1. Carbonate's in Saudi Arabia are some of the oldest wells on studied record. Some of the first Acid Jobs and "fracs" were on Saudi wells

2. Very little exploration has been done inside Saudi Aramco since 1978. They had no need to do this.

3. Saudi oil laws do not allow for foreign SOE's or Upstream companies from booking reserves or barrels for trade. Everything is done on management agreements of the fields or assets, which is why exploitation or new seismic and oil companies have never bothered to negotiate in the heavily lopsided deal table in Saudi. This will likely change in the next 5 years since Kingdom Holdings is well aware without help, and advanced seismic shoots the country of Saud can not continue to produce at this pace.

4. No production = no growth, and the high leverage blowing up Dubai is well understood by the Crown Prince.

5. The security negotiations are in no way related to natural resource investment or SaudiAramco negotiations. Story editor and the author need a way better oil sources & feeder articles.The ability to mis-educate and misdirect natural energy investors on ZH is way to great. A good brand can become shit overnight if the stories start to go off the rails and/or journalistic integrity is put at risk by ignorant articles.


Buck Johnson's picture

It is part of a much darker agenda.  The US knows that eventually the Saudis will want their trillions out of our banks and the UK banks.  So while they have this frakking and is becoming energy dependant they can start to troll the terrorists thing onto the Saudis and eventually tie them to terrorism and when we have regime change, we won't have to pay those trillions out.

Also this frakking is costing the US much in fresh water.  Most of our water is becoming irreputable contaminated and we still aren't seeing it.

tom a taxpayer's picture

Yes, I think the U.S. is still on good terms with Monaco.

knukles's picture

For that having been attributed to Westin employees about their special guests, betcha Starwood (HOT: NYSE) gets some special consideration form the IRS, DoJ, whomever...


wintermute's picture



Nope, that's one of the evil money havens which is funding global terrorism (translation: hiding US citizens' savings from the IRnaziS)

Monaco firmly on the bad boy list.


ILLILLILLI's picture

"If we want your oil fields, we will take your oil fields."

Canadian Dirtlump's picture

tigh oil wells don't have the staying power to permanently suppant conventional forever. That being the case the neo lithic bronze age house of Saud with perhaps one exception, should be the first place on the globe for a nuke to fall.


Why? Because they are both the ideological home base and cash register for radical islam and the folks for whom the west purportedly fights a "war on terror" ( which is actually being successfully fought by syria despite the best efforts of the US and Saudi Arabia ).

I Write Code's picture

We still have good relations with Kenya, Indonesia, and Hawaii.

Ifigenia's picture

Zimbabwe would be our future friend, when we both go out to buy bread in a bycicle load of paper money.

bh2's picture

Well, but maybe not so much with actual Hawaiians.

Ifigenia's picture

indonesia no, since the West forced them to regurgitate East Timor to Australia and US elected their boy as USA president

Andrew G's picture

Support: Saudi Arabia, Isreal. Invade: Iran, Syria, Ukraine. Got it!

McMolotov's picture

Who's this fuckin' guy?

Canadian Dirtlump's picture

Bandar Bush's male consort affectionately known as woodie I think.

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture


Who's this fuckin' guy?

Just another neocon bullshit artist. Sort of.

I mean, it's his own shit, not shit from a bull, and he's more of a finger painter than an artist. That makes him a neocon that plays with his feces and smears it all over everything he touches, but that's pretty much the same thing.

RafterManFMJ's picture

Pro tip FNGs; note how he used a period before going into a quote?

That allows people to vote on your post.

Can't vote iffin you lead with a quote.

Matt's picture

"Ironically, even though the Obama administration has reduced drilling on Federal lands in the US and attempted to curtail hydrocarbon use overall, it is fracking which has allowed the United States to nearly gain energy independence, become a net energy exporter again, and reduced the need to buy oil from the Middle East."

So, just how close to energy independence and net energy exporter is America? Producing 51% of your oil doesn't make you independent.

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture


So, just how close to energy independence and net energy exporter is America? Producing 51% of your oil doesn't make you independent.

Well, sure, the math doesn't work as far as being energy independent or being a net energy exporter.

But hey, for fiction writers like L. Todd Wood, facts are only useful if they sound good. No sense spoiling a good story with truth.

Robot Traders Mom's picture

"Iran needs to show real progress in addressing the world’s fear that they intend on acquiring the bomb and have plans to use this threat to destroy Israel and/or the interests of the United States."


Israel has attacked us more in the last 50 years than Iran (USS Liberty), despite the fact we destabilized Iran and put in the Shah, a little further back. Israel is also the biggest spy threat in the Middle East, not Iran, per the CIA. In addition, who are we to determine another country's interests, Team America World Police? 


In addition, shale is in a bubble. This dude is like the guy screaming in 1999 to buy tech. Big fail. 

Offthebeach's picture

Yeah, I bet the million Iranians killed under The Mullahs ( LLc ), including 12 year old boys given Chinese made plastic keys to heaven before being made to walk through mine fields would hate to have strongman ( snicker ) the Shah back. Good thing corruption is gone now.

When, if ever; was Iran "stable". Maybe when invading Greece.

Outside of war, the largest killer of servicemen, is the US Military.
I can think of off hand three instances during war were US mil has killed 2-500 at a time. I don't belive the Liberty story. Third world, poorly trained pilots, bad comnand, shoots up old ship.
US A-10 have shot up marked vehicles. F-16's shot down 2 ( two ) Blackhawks. Maybe they were Jew pilots

RafterManFMJ's picture

You don't believe the 'Liberty Story?'

Unmarked aircraft and ships, trying to get the USA involved to fight Israel's wars?

Despite survivors accounts?

Despite McStain's old man recalling US aircraft sent to defend the Liberty and treasonously letting them die?

Do you believe in 9-11 and dancing Israelies?

I don't want to swear but you're a word that begins with c, ends in t and rhymes with 'cunt.'

Offthebeach's picture

Machinations vs incompetents? You kmow, fog of war from that old german guy?
Oh, YOU read it on the internet....and a McCain supposedy did someting SO it must be true?

Even the then poorly equipped, poorly piloted Israili air force could of easily sunk the Liberty. So, motive Missy The Israili leadership at thevhigest level, during war, attacks but not to sink a US Navy ship which according to you..they didn't the US Navy? And then trick the restvof the Joint Chiefs, the White House, a Democrat President...of the one single country it depends upon?
That this was a plan?
That they not only acted but couldn't accomplish sinking a elderly cargo bucket?
Please. Which is it. Highest level machevelian plan done by superjews or fuk up?

Vs my opinion of Israli military as forth rate, maybe fith, that can bairly get its Army a hundred miles up a road, that has never fought any non slave, non turd world force.

Im on the fuk up

Dick Cheney set the charges, running the stairs after hours, drilling the holes and tying the Dent cord..

Yeah, no sparrow falls in a forest withou the 100% perfect Zionist/ Israel/SuperJews .

hot sauce technician's picture

You've gone full retard there I see. Why did Israel need USA to fight this war? Israelis destroyed Egypt's air force within an hour. Sinai peninsula was taken within a day and a half. Golan heights within a day. Syrian/Egyptian artillery and tanks destroyed/captured by the hundred. All courtesy of the IDF. No foreign involvement. Research the topic yourself if that would be too much to ask of you.

9-11 dancing Israelis?  You have any evidence of that? How about some dancing phillistinians?

Offthebeach's picture

So there goes the Isralies needed/wanted/schemed to "drag the US into the fight" notion.

So, other then fog of war fuk up, what was their motivation?

Ifigenia's picture

you must be pal to McCain in Hanoi Hilton.Perhaps he told you his old man made a thoroughly investigation about the matter and found nothing, right?