Mostly made up of jumping to conclusions on both sides.

With little fanfare, Aramco released some details …and they are somewhat damning. For instance, the Ghawar oil field, which has at times held an almost mythical status both because of its massive size and also because of the complete opaqueness on its inner workings, can’t produce as much as previously thought. Ghawar is the core of Aramco’s oil production, and is of vital national security importance to the Saudi state.

The prospectus says that the Ghawar field can only produce 3.8 million barrels per day (mb/d), not the widely thought 5 mb/d that has floated around for years as a rough estimate. “As Saudi’s largest field, a surprisingly low production capacity figure from Ghawar is the stand-out of the report,” said Virendra Chauhan, head of upstream at consultant Energy Aspects Ltd., according to Bloomberg.

Concerns about global oil peaking due to declining reserves at Saudi Aramco’s Ghawar oil field may be overstated, according to Bernstein Research commenting on the results of a recent satellite survey.
In a note to investors, Bernstein Research said satellite images show that a recent rise in Aramco drilling activity has focused on two major expansion developments and not, as earlier assumed, on keeping older parts of the field producing with enhanced recovery techniques.
“The majority of the increased activity in the Ghawar field can be explained by the Haradh-III, and the Hawiyah natural gas liquids recovery megaprojects, which were not designed as a quick fix to Ghawar’s supposed rapid decline,” the Bernstein Research note said.