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excerpts from jassem al saadoun, chairman of al shall economic institute:

“there is no such thing as kuwait after oil,….. in 2007 we will have been producing oil in kuwait for 60 years, but this will change in a decade or two.”

“we are neither preserving our oil nor finding solutions to generate a new economy”

“in 1930, half of the kuwaitis were travelling in order to make a living to india and north africa,…if we do not start now, we will go back to working and living in other places and kuwait will lose its ability to survive. Today the workforce in kuwait is not based on productivity”

the government here reckons they cant tell anyone what kuwaits oil reserves are, on the groundof national security. but rough estimates range from 48 billion to 100 billion barrels of oil.

sound like more than enough right? surely its not your problem but rather your grandkids’s grandkids’s problem?

uhhh, not quite.

lets be chicken little and say there are 48 billion barrels left. thats 48 billion barrels of oil that can feasibly be pumped without out costing too much of course. because if you go purely on the total volume, then canada kicks kuwaits ass with its oil sands which come in as the worlds second largest oil reserve. but its bloody expensive to extract, and has only recently become feasible since oil went about $50 a barrel.

thing is, proven reserves, probable reserves, and possible reserves have nothing to do with feasible reserves.

kuwait pumps out about 2 million barrels a day. officially its 1.7 million, but lets say for argument’s sake that we take into account a slight increas in production,…. and kuwait decides to never pump more than 2 million barrels, and demand to pump more never increases.

2 million a day x 30 days = 60 million barrels a month.

60 million x 12 months = 720 million barrels a year.

thats 0.72 billion barrels a year.

and if theres only 48 billion barrels left,… thats little over 50 years.

and thats assuming that kuwait doesnt pump more, and doesnt need to pump anymore, and that the kuwaiti population stays put at 3 million.

all of which we know isnt gonna happen.

the population alone is increasing by about 10% a year for the kuwaitis alone! with half the population under the age of 15,… all of whom will need jobs, somewhere to live, consume water and electricity, etc.

and what about the foreigners who will come to serve the increased kuwaiti population?

since population, local demand and global demand is compounding and not just staying stagnant since china and india dont give a shit if kuwait gets sucked dry, and since koc will more than likely increase production as time goes by just to meet local demand and finance their employees expensive drinking  and shopping trips to london……

taking all that into account, 50 years comes down to what,…. 25 years?

even if we assume theres 100 billion barrels left,…. that only means another 50 years.

does that not scare anyone else?

i’m hitting 31 this year, which means that with advances in modern medicine, i’ll more than likely see the day that kuwait runs dry. which means, for everyone below the age of 70 as of today, a kuwait with no oil is pretty much gonna be your problem and not that of 2 generations down the line.

the only feasible future i see for kuwait is one of two:

1) kuwait decides to attract foreign investment by never introducing taxes, thereby become another offshore safe haven and money laundering centre like the cayman islands and the seychelles.

but theyre already talking taxes, and with the governments love of short term solutions, taxes will be levied pretty soon, on kuwaitis and non-kuwaitis. so the idea of kuwait as a financial hub even as a safe haven? LMFAO! yeah right!

2) kuwait becomes a port for iraq. whether you like it or not, this is probably what kuwait after oil is gong to be. umm qasr port in iraq is their only access to global shipping, and in the past containerships used to be lined up in the gulf cos iraq didnt have the capacity to unload everything quickly. some people eventually resorted to unloading in kuwait and trucking the stuff up to iraq by road. this is what kuwait before major oil production used to be, so once oils all gone this is what it’ll revert to.

Khorafi knows this, which is why he’s spearheading the boubyan port project.

and with a brand new world class port in kuwait, do you really think iraq will allow kuwait to have that kind of leverage agains the iraqi population?

and if the next time around iraqi soldiers march across the border, when kuwait is pretty much dry, and with the US sitting in baghdad and possibly terhan by then,…. what are the chances of another desert storm? absolutely nil!

you see, i’ve been setting up somewhere else to go when it all runs out ( everybody sing: malaysia truelly asiaaaaaaa 😛 ), and its something i’ve been working hard on the past few years.

and its not cos i’m foreign.

the vast majority of kuwaits wealth is outside, the governments wealth, the sabah’s wealth, the big business families,…. its all outside. all the big boys are getting ready for the day that we all have to leave. even khorafi bought his own lil chunk of egypt.

i’m surprised you lot arent panicing more.

just talk to the oldest kuwaiti you can find one day, and ask them what it was like before, compare it to what its like now,…. and if theyre honest with you, they’ll say that they dont know how much longer this country will still exist.

the government doesnt want to tell you how much oil is left on the grounds of national security.

but the government isnt of the people and for the people. the government isnt parliament either. the government is the ruling family.

so theyre not telling you on the grounds of their own family’s security.

if they didnt care enough to stay and atleast warn people about the iraqis in 1990, before they scrammbled across the border,…… what makes you think they give a shit about your ass now?



  1. Idk about the estimates, u already mentioned that the Kuwaiti gov is not releasing the numbers.. what’s ur reference for teh estimate?
    However, let’s say teh oil runs out and we’re doomed. Do u actualy think the current situation should stay the same? we should strive to change and we might need this slap to the face to wake us up and change our society.
    Whatever the estimate is, don’t count on our competent government nor our extremely reasonable parliment to do shit about it sooo…
    U said the big boys are getting rdy for the dark day that they expect to come, and so should u. Think about your own welfare and your family’s welfare
    there is nothing wrong w/ Kuwaitis leaving the country and finding better opportunities outside. The age of globalization is here whether we like it or not

  2. Holy Smokes, Skunk!

    Interesting article a couple months ago about the wave of the future being countries with large desert areas for gathering solar energy, which can in turn be sold to the rest of the (less sunshine filled) world.

    The time to start the R&D is like yesterday. . .

  3. vinnie: the quote from saadoun had him saying ” how much is there? 48 billion or 100 billion?” i forgot to add that bit. thanks for reminding me, but yeah thats where i got those numbers. i’m sure if he thought it was closer to 10 or 200 billion he would have mentioned it.

    “a slap in the face”,…the question is, will it be too late then? has the arm doing the slapping already started to swing while the face is busy admiring the new avenues mall?

    i agree that something needs to be done to protect your own futures. alot of the companies here are already becomeing global entities by going overseas, so its not them that will suffer but rather the average govt worker who doesnt know shit, but expects the government to look after them. but then again maybe they deserve it for not being productive? generational karma?

    in my families case we’re alone, we dont pay taxes to our government so we know we have only ourselves to look out for. but yeah we’re in the process of diversifying out of kuwait and into iraq and the far east.

    dont you think the look out for yourself is the reason kuwait hasnt done much about its future? i mean because teh rulers suck out most of the oil money, everyone else decides to leech for themselves. but maybe its too late to change now.

    xpatr: you know, thats something thats always surprised me. i could never figure out why no ones done a solar power station here. most of them arent even made up of the expensive photovoltaics, but rather they focus the suns heat on one point to heat salts which in turn boils water to turn turbines.

    with the sea and the sand here theyd never run out of salts or water. and yet no ones doing anything. kuwait could easily become a solar energy farm selling power to the world.

  4. Ya, I agree w/ u skunk. But what do u think will change? Our society simply is against change and it’s prolly a cultural thing that we dont plan for shit
    xpatr: I always thought of that idea and that Kuwait should pioneer alternative energy especially since we have the resources.
    am glad that others are thinking but u have to realize most of the population is not. So why should we care about them?

  5. i dont think its really a cultural thing cos if you think about it living in this environment either as fishermen or nomads requires loads of planning.

    but wealth and modern conveniances spoils everyone i guess.

    ah well.

    but its true that if the rulers themselves only think of themselves then why should anyone else care?

    it may suck but thats still leadership by example.

    i must admit tho, i am curious to see what’ll happen when things get really bad.

  6. Vinnie – Why do Skunk and I even care about Kuwait issues? We’re not Kuwaiti – but on some level, every decent human being living on this earth understands we are all connected, often in ways we can’t see and can’t fathom.

    And what is happening is now can change in a heartbeat. Kuwait is full of so much potential, potential visionary leaders – people who CAN change things, can plan, can get things accomplished, lifting the standard of life for EVERYONE involved!

    Scratch the cynicism and Skunk is also an idealist – just as YOU are. Don’t get discouraged. Hang in there. Wouldn’t it be great to see Kuwait once again a major energy provider – with a resource that will never go away – solar power?

  7. morning xpatr 😀

    youre right, i am an idealist fundamentally,…which feeds the cynic in me.

    there is loads of potential here no doubt. i’m surethat inthe next few years youre going to see more and more local businesses started up by young entrepreneurs than ever before.

    having said that vinnie does know his own people, and the ones moving their asses arent the problem, its the rest of them who have gotten fat and lazy that are the problem,… and they’ll bethe ones that will suffer when it all runs dry.

    and he’s right in that kuwaits history has been one of needing a slap in the face to learn its lessons.

    having said that, the only hope i see for kuwait are the people like vinnie and alot of the other bloggers. but theyre such a tiny part of this society.

    and theyre being cussed at for being too western too modern not islamic/arab/whatever enough, when in actual fact they are the perfect balance of east and west and modern and traditional.

    its ironic that the majority of society is suppressing them in the name of progress.

  8. The religious “right” tends to strangle any country it gets its hands on. It’s ironic how fundamentally they are all alike in their attempts to tell people how they MUST live their lives. And this from me – a believer!

  9. too true xpatr, which is why my problem is with “organised” religion and not with religion or the religious itself.

    the politics of religion is what really gets my goat 😛

  10. Guys I am seriously touched by the kind words… I lost passion to change this country a long time ago. I do tell people not to lose their passions for change around the world while I do that myself (hypocracy?)
    The main solution to our problem is education. And no one can expect any change in a heartbeat realistically. For example, from what I hear in Britain alternative energy is a part of their curricullum. which means their next generations are aware of teh problem and when one of them tries to do something about it they will find all the suport they need.
    We are poorly educated, imo education is not just knowledge, although it is power.
    According to skunk’s estimates 50-100 years.. maybe in 30-50 years people will start realizing and talking about the problem.
    But if the leadership doesn’t care for change, and the people overall are not motivated to move and change anything. In addition mentioning change is a taboo and you’ll be ridiculed as skunk said.
    There are people who are aware.. there is a lot of potential, but I’ve seen creativity get killed in this country 😦 There’s always hope but we need a few leaders to arise and demand change

  11. saddly the people doing the rising and the demanding of change all wear big ass beardies.

    and everyones afraid of them.

    i reckon that if you kick em in the ass, then thats half the problem solved as far as the future is concerned.

    the west went thru their kick the squares in the nuts phase, japan’s youth are going thru it now,… the only place it isnt happening is here in the middle east.

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