Another day in the desert: A response to the book, Twilight in the desert
Ross Smith Energy Group, October 2005
We have reviewed Twilight in the Desert: The Coming Saudi Oil Shock and the World Economy, written by Matthew Simmons, CEO of Simmons & Company International, a Houstonbased investment bank that specializes in the energy industry. As independent petroleum engineers, we disagree with the primary conclusion of this book that Saudi Arabia’s oil production is teetering on the brink of steep, irrevocable production decline. We believe the process used by the author to arrive at the conclusion was impaired by incorrect interpretation of reservoir engineering concepts and common oilfield operations. The book posits a crisis where in our opinion none exists.
The author, through a review of more than 200 Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) research papers, contends he has discovered the “smoking gun” that until now was obscured for decades by the Saudi’s limited disclosure. Our review offers some balance to the dire predictions of Twilight.