The United States relies on a few producers to maintain enough spare capacity to keep prices and markets stable, even during war or disaster. As oil prices have climbed over the last few years amid surging demand and tight supplies, the Bush administration has looked to the Persian Gulf countries, particularly Saudi Arabia, to pump extra oil.I'm not sure who the NYT is referring to when they end that paragraph with a reference to "the oil expert" but one thing is clear--people are starting to get concerned about peak oil. Maybe it is happening and maybe it isn't. Regardless, the USG is nervous.
But doubts about Saudi Arabia's assurances of how much it can expand capacity - and for how long - have been raised in a secret intelligence report and in a separate analysis by a leading government oil adviser, according to a federal government official and the oil expert.
And there's a lot to be nervous about. After all, China is quickly becoming a rival to us on the world stage. With their bulging populace, they could be cozying up right next to us on the list of the Earth's top oil importers fairly soon.
So, Saudi Arabia says they can up their output, but the facts seem to say they can't. Enjoy those $2.70/gallon prices for gas while they last folks. This doesn't bode well...