Saudis Stop New Oil Exploration to Prolong Petroleum Supply for Future Generations: King Abdullah

For the radar: The Saudi Gazette reports King Abdullah has announced that the nation has stopped oil exploration on new fields to protect the petroleum supply for future generations.

King Abdullah, who expressed hope that oil will last for a long time, said that when recent exploration for underground resources started, he ordered that it be ended because the oil should be left for future generations. The King said once in a meeting of the Cabinet he asked the ministers to repeat a prayer after him "May Allah prolong its life." "What is it?, the ministers replied," the King said.

"It is the oil wealth," he answered them. "Just leave the underground wealth for our sons and their sons," the King said as he continued his response to the ministers.

As JedReport notes, it's not entirely clear whether the King is to be taken literally in his statement, but perhaps the most striking thing about this is that in his words is a recognition that oil production simply just can't go on forever in Saudi Arabia, that oil is a practically finite resource.

The long-standing Saudi line is that there's plenty of oil still in the ground to keep expanding production (despite actual production stats running counter to this), with the not entirely accurately if reassuringly glib maxim "the Stone Age didn't end because we ran out of stones and the oil age won't end because we run out of oil" often invoked.

I wonder if this change in talking point will be accompanied by a similar change on climate policy away from insisting that the nation be compensated for the feared economic impact from curbing carbon emissions?

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Tags: Energy | Oil | Saudi Arabia