Gosh... here's that former Saudi-Aramco VP admitting his country's reserve figures are vastly inflated: Saudi Arabia cannot pump enough oil to keep a lid on prices US diplomat convinced by Saudi expert that reserves of world's biggest oil exporter have been overstated by nearly 40% The US fears that Saudi Arabia, the world's largest crude oil exporter, may not have enough reserves to prevent oil prices escalating, confidential cables from its embassy in Riyadh show. The cables, released by WikiLeaks, urge Washington to take seriously a warning from a senior Saudi government oil executive that the kingdom's crude oil reserves may have been overstated by as much as 300bn barrels nearly 40%. The revelation comes as the oil price has soared in recent weeks to more than $100 a barrel on global demand and tensions in the Middle East. Many analysts expect that the Saudis and their Opec cartel partners would pump more oil if rising prices threatened to choke off demand. However, Sadad al-Husseini, a geologist and former head of exploration at the Saudi oil monopoly Aramco, met the US consul general in Riyadh in November 2007 and told the US diplomat that Aramco's 12.5m barrel-a-day capacity needed to keep a lid on prices could not be reached. According to the cables, which date between 2007-09, Husseini said Saudi Arabia might reach an output of 12m barrels a day in 10 years but before then possibly as early as 2012 global oil production would have hit its highest point. This crunch point is known as "peak oil". <snip> The US consul then told Washington: "While al-Husseini fundamentally contradicts the Aramco company line, he is no doomsday theorist. His pedigree, experience and outlook demand that his predictions be thoughtfully considered." And, from the Jeremy Leggett commentary on the article: Peak oil: We are asleep at the wheel | Jeremy Leggett | Environment | guardian.co.uk The US government is among many administrations that routinely reassure the public that supplies of oil can go on growing far into the future. But in private, top diplomats have been telling Washington that they hold deep concerns about supplies from the world's number one supplier. <snip> After this graphic warning about the difficulties the Saudis are having even to replace existing production, much less grow it, the cable goes on to say "while this mission is far from embracing doomsday 'peak oil' theorists, Saudi Aramco's challenges are significant." Al-Husseini himself insisted to embassy staff that he "does not subscribe to the theory of peak oil", before going on to air precisely the concerns that advocates of premature peak oil do: that global demand has essentially met supply, and that a premature drop in global oil production lies a worryingly short way off.