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The United States fears Saudi Arabia may not have enough oil reserves to prevent world prices from rising sharply, according to cables from its embassy in Riyadh.

The cables, obtained by WikiLeaks, urge Washington to take heed of a warning from a former Saudi government oil executive that the kingdom's crude oil reserves may have been overstated by as much as 40 per cent.

US diplomats reported that Sadad al Husseini, the ex-head of exploration at Saudi oil monopoly Aramco, "disagreed" with Aramco's analysis that it had reserves of 716bn barrels that would rise to 900bn barrels in 20 years.

Al Jazeera's Imran Khan reports.

Source: Al Jazeera