Over at the OilDrum.com there is an interesting and potentially disturbing look at Saudi oil production in 2006. Looking at data from a number or different sources (where the exact numbers vary but the trend is definitely the same), crude oil production in Saudi Arabia dropped eight percent in the past year. Although this is not the first time their output has dipped, one interesting graph shows oil production and the number of drilling rigs operating since 2000. The amount of oil pumped has remained relatively steady and dropped in the past year, while the number of rigs drilling has skyrocketed in the past two years. It's unclear at this point whether they are just drilling dry holes, or the Saudis are just finding the oil and holding it in reserve to bargain with. If this is an irreversible trend, it could have severe political implications. The article is worth checking out at the Read link.
[Source: The Oil Drum, thanks to Ticia for the tip]