OK, what do we know for certain when it comes to oil in Saudi Arabia? Not much it would appear. One certainty is now that Saudi Aramco was willing to lie to the world for decades on the production capacity of its superstar asset. And they have released this information only because it was inevitable. Admit what you have to – not an ounce more. So, what more is crawling under the rock? How about the 2-3 USD production cost figure that they throw on everyone? How realistic is this knowing that their fields are the grandfathers of the oil age (Al Ghawar was discovered when my 84 year old father was born) and require massive artificial lift technology input in order to keep churning out oil?
It was a state secret and the source of a kingdom’s riches. It was so important that U.S. military planners once debated how to seize it by force. For oil traders, it was a source of endless speculation.