Some Saudi field Locations

Some saudi fields
Originally uploaded by Heading Out.
In response to the request for the location of some of the Saudi oil fields I have shaded a map from Greg Croft to show in orange some of the older fields, in yellow where the new production is planned to come from and in black the Munifa field that is currently not apparently refinable.

The map does not show the sandstone deposits furthr north at Safaniya, and Zuluf, so when I can find the map that shows them all I will post it.

Current plans to reach a 12.5 mbd goal call for the following production numbers (according to Cordesman and the CSIS)
Abqaiq - 400,000 bd
Ghawar - 5,500,000 bd
Berri - 400,000 bd
Safaniya - 1,500,000 bd
Abu Sa'fah - 300,000 bd
Zuluf - 800,000 bd
Marjan - 450,000 bd
Haradh - 170,000 bd
Shaybah - 500,000 bd
Munifa - 1,000,000 bd

This gives the 11 mbd that they claim to be able to currently produce - though it includes Munifa, of which we have commented negatively earlier.

To bring this up to 12.5 mbd they plan an additional
Haradh - 300,000 bd
Khursaniyah 500,000 bd
Shaybah - 500,000 bd
Khurais - 1,100,000 bd

when you include an anticipated 800,000 bd loss due to old fields declining, the sum comes in just over the required number.

It does not indicate that in the period from now through the end of the decade that there will be that much decline in production from any of the existing fields, even those that are over 50% produced.

Current production is estimated here

Part of the problem, of course , is deciding what they mean by Ghawar at any given time, since parts of it are over 60% depleted already.

Oh, and a brief salary update - I had given the Mining Engineering BS salaries as they came from the Prism article, a quick check today indicated that Petroleum Engineering BS students start in the mid $60's with, on occasion, a $10k signing bonus, so you may understand that the industry is beginning to appreciate the shortage.

From J's postings, there were quite of few layoffs of engineers in the industry over the last 10-20 years. Shouldn't there be an adequate supply of engineers kicking around already? Or do they only look for newbies?

Tim -
Read what KW wrote under 'another diminishing resource' post. The problem is that the people who left the oil patch are not likely to come back. They starved and lost their houses and finally left the industry in disgust. In Lafayette, LA we lived in a brand new neighborhood in 1986 where 50% of the homes were vacant due to people just walking away from their mortgages, because there was no work in the industry. I have 3 neighbors who used to be in the "oil bidness", and now are in IT, insurance and construction. They will quickly tell you that hell will freeze over before they go back to the "oil bidness". A lot of engineers in my industry have mechanical or civil degrees. When things got bad, they opted for careers elsewhere, like groundwater hydrology or in the M/I complex..

Now, you also need to factor in that there has been only a 10% replacement of retiring engineers for 20 years. Most of those you say are "kicking around" out there are in their 50's! How likely is any guy to change careers at 55 unless forced? They are already well into their retirement plans based on their new career path.

The good thing? If you can breathe, and want to work in the oil patch, you can. We are probably the only industry where the average workers age is over 50, and my Dad still works occasionally at age 76. I just hired a consultant for a job who is 66 - most industries are trying to unload you when you hit 50, because they don't want to pay your pension.

Those of us with experience are all working, and getting offers from other companies daily. I worked two jobs simultaneously for 6 months last year, each paying the going consultant rate. They don't care - they just need the work done by someone that can understand and deliver.

I hope that helps you understand where my industry is right now. And with Peak Oil becoming headlines, most young people will opt for something that will be around when they are 70 years old. I'm not looking for a tidal wave of new engineers...

OT - the pension funds for the oilfield sector are likely to be the only unraided ones by the end of this decade - food for thought.

I guess my next question is:

Assuming they do ramp up production, how much additional sour crude can Valero handle? They are the only US guys capable of dealing with sour, heavy Saudi oil?

Well, I can't blame them for giving up on the profession. I see that in chemical engineering, and it's probably true in most engineering disciplines nowadays. Engineering is treated as a commodity now by large companies. IMHO, most U.S. corporations have screwed themselves by eroding their technical base with cost reductions over the last twenty years. Apparently, it's just showing up first in the oil industry, but the rest of petrochem will probably follow.

And you're right, once a discipline gets known for layoffs and failed careers undergraduates avoid it like the plague.

Tim -

My industry was the first to get gutted of people, starting in 1982. As we are today, each of us is normally working at least a 12 hour day, vacations are use it or lose it yearly with one week off per year - two weeks max, medical is part-pay by the corp, no dental, retirement is stock options or 401k or nothing. 20 years ago they tried to replace everybody with kids, and 10 years ago they tried to replace everybody with computers. Energy is second only to dotcoms in mergers/acquisitions over the last 10-15 years.

Dude, we are entering the depletion era with a few grizzled old roughnecks like me, too few fresh graduates, some very complicated technology we old farts use, old equipment, not enough old (or new) equipment, and little else.

It's just not pretty in the oil patch, even if the money is finally becoming worth the long wait.

HO & pg - OT but important...

I followed this link from ianqui's site:

Weeks ago we were talking about where to send people that wouldn't scare the beejeezus out of them. This one just might work, and it even has some oil primer details in it.

If you guys haven't read it, then have a look!

I agree, having gone through it myself - very conversational and yet gets the point across