Petroleum superpower keeps pace with demand, but wonders how long its vast resources will last. Jim Krane - Associated Press - 04/03/2006 Hasan Jamali / Associated Press DAMMAM, Saudi Arabia - The world's only oil superpower boosted output last month, launching a pair of projects that are part of a massive $55 billion endeavor to keep pace with the world's ever-intensifying thirst for oil. But demand for the world's premiere source of energy is rising so fast - by around 2 million barrels a day each year - that even Saudi Arabia's vast resources will be unable to cope without drastic help, oil executives and analysts say. Even the Saudis, who control over a quarter of the world's known oil, are calling for relief from relentless consumption. "The current out-of-control demand is not good for us," Ghazi Al-Rawi, head of private equity at Gulf One Investment Bank, said in a recent interview. "When you have this kind of demand, you're forced to supply beyond the optimal rate. That's not a positive thing." "We need some help," said Nawaf Obaid, a Saudi petroleum adviser with close ties to the government. If such help doesn't materialize and Saudi Arabia maxes its output - cranking out perhaps 35 percent more oil than it does today - the kingdom's proven reserves might only sustain demand for a few decades before starting to dwindle, al-Husseini said. Saudis worry that consumer demand could overwhelm the slow progress in bringing new energies to market. "If this continues, you'll have demand outstripping supply over the next five years by a wide margin," Obaid said.