How Much Oil Can Saudi Arabia Produce?

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There’s a fair amount of guesswork involved in this, but Stuart Staniford takes a look at Saudi oil production over the past decade, compares it to the number of active rigs in the Kingdom, and comes to a gloomy pair of conclusions:

  • Saudi Arabia currently is producing at capacity, which has eroded from 9.5mbd [million barrels per day] in mid 2008 to 8.8ish today.
  • If that’s right, then oil production will not go to 10mbd by July. Thus the IEA is going to be disappointed in its hopes, and world leaders will have to decide whether to keep draining the SPRs or not.

The official line from the Saudis has always been far more optimistic: they say they can produce 10-11 mbd right now and are building capacity to increase that significantly within a few years. And maybe they can. But the actual facts on the ground have never been very friendly toward this claim. I’d say they still aren’t.

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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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