The price of oil has soared in recent weeks to more than $US100 a barrel due to global demand and tensions in the Middle East. Many analysts expect the Saudis and others in the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries would pump more oil if rising prices threatened to choke off demand.
According to the cables, which date between 2007 and 2009, Mr Husseini said Saudi Arabia might reach an output of 12 million barrels a day in 10 years but before then, possibly as early as 2012, global oil production would have hit its highest point. This crunch point is known as ''peak oil''.
Others contend that Peak Oil won't arrive until 2020 and will then be followed by a production plateau that could last another 15-years. Either way it looks like we're in for permanent oil price increases which, in turn, will fuel increased demand for Athabasca bitumen. Oh well, we've always got the government's fairy tales about ethical oil to put our minds to rest.