Interesting story in the Telegraph today, commenting on a report released by Citigroup on the Saudi petrochemical industry. The main issue is that domestic energy demand is rising fast in Saudi, so more and more of their oil production is being used at home, providing power for air conditioning, desalination, etc.
The report says Saudi could be an oil importer after 2030 - but this is of course not going to happen, as if they stop exporting oil they won't have any money, so importing is out of the question. That does leave me wondering what will happen as exports dwindle, as unless prices keep rising (and the world economy may simply not support that beyond a certain point), then Saudi won't have enough money to keep the country running - and we've seen what's happened in other Arab countries in recent years...
None of this is really news of course - the Export Land Model described the situation years ago - but it's interesting to see the same conclusion coming out of Citigroup!
The quote at the end of the article sums it up for me:
Jeremy Leggett, the head of the UK Taskforce on Peak Oil and Energy Security, says Britain is sleepwalking into a potential disaster by failing to prepare fully for a global supply crunch. The refusal to listen to warning signals is comparable to the complacency in the build-up to the financial crisis, he argues, but with graver implications for the British economy.