WASHINGTON, 29 April 2004 — Officials from Saudi Arabia’s oil industry and the international petroleum organizations shocked a gathering of foreign policy experts in Washington yesterday with an announcement that the Kingdom’s previous estimate of 261 billion barrels of recoverable petroleum has now more than tripled, to 1.2 trillion barrels.
[I]n Kuwait, it costs a mere $2 to get a barrel of oil out of the ground. It costs Shell $15 to produce a barrel from the tar sands of Alberta—which is why the reserves sat largely untapped throughout the 1980s and 1990s. "The prime driver of what's being extracted is the cost per barrel," says John Gibson, president and CEO of Halliburton's Energy Services Group. "When the price of oil is back down in the 20s and high teens, there's a lot of risk."
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