Only an idiot mines a valuable resource without regard to future needs. If SA does have that kind of reserves, then they are showing great intelligence and great stupidity at the same time.
Smart: We've got plenty of oil, so we're going to keep it and spread out the income so that future generations can enjoy the wealth. This is very smart because they realize that they have a finite supply (albeit a large one) and wish to maximize profits over the long term. They live in a desert and need a lot of things brought in to their country in order to support their population.
Stupid: If you want our oil, you have to pay for it and we're going to get every penny we can out of you. This is very stupid because they fail to consider what countries will do if things get desperate. If they fail in this delicate balancing act, then they lose everything.
However, lets imagine wildly and say they still have 1 trillion barrels of recoverable oil. How fast can they pull it out of the ground? I contend that even if they fill the entire country with oil wells that they would not be able to drill, pump, and distribute enough oil to satisfy the world's needs and prices would continue to climb.
How can this be? First, consider the time and cost factor of obtaining the materials and drilling the wells. The consider distribution bottlenecks. How many pipelines can you snake out of the middle east? How many ships can be built? How will you get 110 million barrels of oil from Saudi Arabia to its destination every single day? The economics of it all are staggering and I would contend that while it would sell at $40 at the well head, by the time it got to the consumer, it would average over $100 a barrel.
Oh, and that 1 trillion barrels? 25 years later, its gone. So in our imagined world, nothing changed because "we didn't have to" change. It's the old joke of "why would I fix the leaky roof if it's not raining?"
They have a right to be laughing their asses off and we were all dumb enough set the stage for their amusement. All they have to do now is make sure they pump enough oil at a price which makes it uneconomical to be invaded.
In the end, we are well and truly deserving of any and all pain we experience. As a whole, our species has done nothing to prove it has what it takes to survive. Worse, very few have even asked if there is a reason we should survive. We still visit evil upon each other. We still think of only today and of ourselves. We still hate those not like ourselves and we sow the seeds of our own destruction every single day. Barring several miracles of new technology, our species is in for one hell of a comeuppance in the very near future.
When somebody makes a statement you don't understand, don't tell him he's crazy. Ask him what he means. -- Otto Harkaman, Space Viking