I was chitchatting with a fellow at a party who keeps up with middle east news by reading English versions of local papers. The conversation turned to Saudi Arabia’s support for militant islam. I mentioned as a by-the-way that Saudi Arabia is the single largest source of oil in the world, the government is the only authorized source of reserve numbers, they have incentive to lie. Meanwhile, career oil engineers have reverse-engineered the Saudi reserve figures and believe that Saudi production has peaked. He hadn’t heard this. All in a calm, neutral tone appropriate for chips and beer.