As the largest oil exporter in the world, Aramco is the means by which Saudi Arabia has de facto control over the world oil price. Aramco was Saudi Arabia’s device in waging a ruinous price war against U.S. shale-oil producers, causing the world oil price to collapse, and driving foreign investment out of the Alberta oilpatch.
A more transparent Aramco would help Athabasca and other world producers to more accurately calculate anticipated rates and return on their costly long-term investments.
For now, the Saudi oil industry is opaque. For competitive and national-security reasons, Saudi Arabia provides only the sketchiest data on the true extent of its massive reserves, rivaled only by those of Athabasca and Venezuela. Continue Reading →