Saudis Report -8% on Mature Fields

It looks like Matt Simmons was right about Saudi Arabia's decline rates. They have finally started to talk about their decline rates and it's not pretty.

Saudi Aramco's mature crude oil fields are expected to decline at a gross average rate of 8%/year without additional maintenance and drilling, a Saudi Aramco spokesman said Tuesday.  
     But Saudi Aramco has taken a number of measures to offset a decline in output from the country's aging oil fields, the spokesman added.
     "A variety of remedial activities are always being taken in oil fields influencing their effective decline rates," the spokesman said. "The drilling of additional development wells in the producing fields is Saudi Aramco's standard practice to offset normal declines of older wells."
     This is particularly important when oil fields are progressively depleted under a well thought out strategy of maximizing the sweep and displacement efficiencies, leading to high ultimate oil recovery, the spokesman said.
     "This maintain potential drilling in mature fields combined with a multitude of remedial actions and the development of new fields, with long plateau lives, lowers the composite decline rate of producing fields to around 2%," the spokesman said.

But for how long? Just this year? 2-3 years? When the new fields plateau and they start drilling progressively lower yield fields, eventually it will get closer to that -8% decline rate. And that means it will be even harder to maintain a plateau of world production.

At least they are starting to get the data out in the open...

...But this is clearly not a good sign for the near future. This is no doubt something we will be chewing over the next couple of weeks, like here.
-8% is not a pretty number.  I wonder how Gahwar is doing.  Rumors about the water cut continue to circulate online.  I'm sure the Saudis realize that releasing bad news about that field would make the futures curve significantly steeper and lead to (gasp!) demand destruction.
East Texas is to Texas as Ghawar is to Saudi Arabia.  

The East Texas Field is now producing 1.2 mbpd of water, with a 1% oil cut.