- In September 2013 oil production in the BRICK countries was 19.4 million barrels per day (Mbpd) representing 22% of the global total.
- Brazil, Russia, India and China are often bundled as a group of large developing economies. I’ve added Kazakhstan to this group since it is a major oil producer and former member of The Soviet Union.
- Half of the production in this group comes from Russia where production continues to grow slowly, offsetting static / slowly falling production in each of the other countries (Figure 1).
- While it is convenient to group these countries, Russia and Kazakhstan are significant oil exporters whilst China, India and Brazil are oil importers. Rising internal demand has resulted in static exports from Russia and Kazakhstan for 4 years (Figure 7) whilst growing demand in China, India and Brazil has resulted in major growth in oil imports in these countries since 1985 (Figure 7).
- Falling oil production in Brazil for two years has put paid to that country’s ambition to become an oil exporter, for the time being at least (Figure 6).
Figure 1 Crude oil + condensate + natural gas liquids (C+C+NGL) production stack for the BRICK countries. Data from the EIA who have now updated statistics to end September 2013. Oil production for this significant group of producers has been static for the last three years. Click on all charts to get a larger image that will open in a new browser window.
Figure 2 Russia is the second largest oil producer in the world after Saudi Arabia. The rapid growth in production from 1998 to 2004 reflects recovery from the disruption caused by the break up of the Soviet Union. Since 2004 production has grown more slowly and is now being matched by growth in domestic consumption resulting in static exports (see Figure 7).
Figure 3 Kazakhstan’s oil production has grown significantly on the back of new field developments in the Caspian region. Production growth is / was set to continue with the development of the giant Kashagan field that was brought on stream late 2013. Kashagan is a sour gas (H2S) oil field presenting serious development problems and the field is currently reported to be shut down owing to gas leaks.
Figure 4 With oil production over 4 Mbpd China is a significant producer but an even more prodigious consumer of oil (Figure 7). Static production for 3 years suggests that the Chinese oil industry is fighting a losing battle against declines in the conventional oil fields. Only time will tell if shale developments push Chinese production higher.
Figure 5 With production below 1 Mbpd, India is oil poor compared with its size and population. The step up in production in 2009 / 11 was due to new oil fields discovered in Rajasthan, by Edinburgh based Cairn Energy, being brought on stream.
Figure 6 Brazil’s oil industry has been hugely successful growing production from 700,000 bpd in 1994 to over 2 Mbpd in 2009. The country was on course to become self sufficient / net exporter of oil but production growth has faltered in recent years as Brazil learns the consequences of managing fields drilled in ever deeper water with complex geology and engineering challenges.
Figure 7 Using annual production and consumption data reported by BP it is possible to make a crude estimate of the net import-export balance for this group of countries. Balance = production – consumption. In 2011, exports from Russia and Kazakhstan were roughly equivalent to the imports of China, India and Brazil. In this group, demand growth is outstripping supply growth and the group seems set to become a significant net importer of oil in the years ahead.