Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Drill Baby Drill--Somewhere Else

Map of oil and gas fields in Saudi Arabia
Lost in the din of the drill shills here in the United States and those carping about the deepwater drilling moratorium is the news that Saudi Arabia is choosing not to drill what it could. The kingdom's King Abdullah announced that he wants to save the hydrocarbon wealth in the world's top crude exporting nation for future generations. The halt to oil exploration operations is a bit squishy and will not apparently interfere with the Saudi's role as a "balancing" force in world petroleum supply and demand, but still represents the desire to keep more oil in the ground to pump in later years.

Of course, Saudi doesn't have the internal demand--the vast majority of what they produce is for export--the option is relatively easy to produce less. Still, we could take a page from the playbook. While it is still relatively affordable, why we would not want to import more and husband our relatively paltry domestic supply against the future day of much higher oil prices or much less reliable foreign supply?

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