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euanmearns.com: OPEC crude oil production capacity

January 31, 2014

— OPEC crude oil production spare capacity stood at just over 5 million barrels per day (Mbpd) in December 2013 according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

— OPEC total production capacity stands at 35 Mbpd, a plateau level first reached in 2009. Only Saudi Arabia has significant, tangible spare capacity that can be called upon to iron out the swings in global oil supply. In the supply crisis of July 2008, Saudi spare capacity stood at 1.1 Mbpd, in November 2013 it was 2.7 Mbpd.

— In 2005 and again in 2008, OPEC spare capacity dipped towards 2 Mbpd, a symptom of scarcity, that lead to the enormous run up in oil price last decade.

— The picture today is clouded by sanctions in Iran and turmoil in Iraq and Libya.

— With OPEC production capacity on a plateau, it is growth in N American shale oil and Canadian tar sands production that is meeting growing global demand and keeping prices in cheque.

Figure 1 OPEC spare production capacity according the IEA Oil Market Reports. Spare capacity is higher than the supply crisis years of the mid-2000s, but is still wafer thin compared to anticipated growth in crude oil demand. Data to November 2013.

Figure 2 OPEC oil production + spare capacity has been on a plateau of around 35 Mbpd since 2009. It is not clear that OPEC countries have the appetite for the massive investment required to build capacity from these levels.

Figure 3 Saudi Arabia has built new capacity since 2008 with the development of the Khurais and Manifa oil fields that combined add 2.1 Mbpd new production capacity. These were the last two giant undeveloped oil fields in Saudi Arabia.

Figure 4 Iraq had successfully built production from 2.5 to > 3 Mbpd by early 2013. Bur recent violence, that seems to be spreading, and disagreements with the IOCs over Kurdistan has seen production fall back sharply.

Figure 5 sanctions have not had such a dramatic effect on Iranian production as many believe. With the ending of sanctions, Iranian production will increase by < 1 Mbpd.

Figure 6 A new round of civil unrest in Libya has seen production fall dramatically. The IEA has taken the view that this is temporary, offsetting lost production with a gain in spare capacity.

Figure 7 Angola total capacity is falling. I am unsure how many new fields Angola has to develop. But with deepwater offshore oil it seems likely that Angola may one day soon go the same way as the North Sea with 10% per annum annual declines.

All data comes from the monthly IEA oil market report. The US EIA also used to report on OPEC spare capacity


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2012-06-12 ОПЕК: текущие данные http://iv-g.livejournal.com/689138.html

euanmearns.com: Global Oil Supply Update July 2013

January 3, 2014 by
— Global conventional crude oil and condensate production has been following a bumpy plateau just over 73 million barrels per day since May 2005.

— All growth in liquids supply since May 2005 has come from natural gas liquids (NGL), unconventional oil and biofuels which together with refinery gains now amount to 17.4 million barrel per day providing a total global liquids supply of 90 million barrels per day.

— The US Energy Information Agency (EIA) provides the most comprehensive and readily accessible oil supply data, but owing to budget cuts, is behind in compiling and publishing statistics. The most recent data are for July 2013.

Figure 1 Global crude oil + condensate (C+C) production as reported by the EIA [1] less Canadian syncrude [2] (oil sands) and N American light tight oil [3, 4] (Bakken and Eagleford). Chart not zero scaled. Note how conventional C+C production (blue) rose to 73 million barrels per day in May 2005 but has since been following a bumpy plateau. It remains to be seen if 73 million barrels per day will emerge as the peak in cheap conventional oil production. All growth in global liquids supplies has come from unconventional oil, biofuel and natural gas liquids (Figures 2 and 3).

Figure 2 Global total liquids production now stands at 90.2 million barrels per day [1]. Since May 2005, all growth in liquids production has come from NGL, unconventional oil and bio fuel (Figure 3).

Figure 3 Global liquids excluding conventional crude and condensate. Note that the energy content of NGL is about 70% of crude oil and that significant energy is required to produce syncrude from oil sands and to produce biofuels. Refinery gains represent volume expansion of liquids during the refining process.

Figure 4 Natural gas liquids represent the C2 to C6 fraction that condenses from natural gas production in pipelines or separated from methane in gas process plant. The red line is a ratio between NGL and global gas production [5] and shows that NGL production has simply grown in lock step with global gas production.

Figure 5 The EIA have not updated their biofuel production statistics since January 2012. In figures 2 and 3 the 2011 value has been extrapolated through 2012 and 2013.


1. The Energy Information Agency (EIA)

2. Statistics Canada

3. North Dakota Drilling and Production Statistics

4. Texas Railroad Commission

5. BP 2013