Global Oil Supply Update July 2013

  • 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.

Other posts
OECD oil production update July 2013
OPEC oil production update July 2013

1. The Energy Information Agency (EIA)
2. Statistics Canada
3. North Dakota Drilling and Production Statistics
4. Texas Railroad Commission
5. BP 2013

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5 Responses to Global Oil Supply Update July 2013

  1. Hi Euan,

    An excellent summary. From another perspective, world liquids ex US and Canada has been pretty flat since 2005.


  2. Luís says:

    Nice post Euan. More important than the sectioning by source would be the sectioning by API. I’d also like to know the amounts of heavy crude marketed from places like Venezuela. But as it is this is already a very useful dataset.

    • Euan Mearns says:

      Luis, I think the most significant consequence of the decreasing api globally is in the location and configuration of refineries. Take Grangemouth in Scotland as an example. Configured to handle Brent / Forties blends of light sweet crude, the feedstock is running out. New refineries are being built to deal with heavy sour, but these are not and never will be in Scotland. Hence, we are losing our petrochemicals industries to the developing world. The enviros will probably see this as a good thing, but it is just another major “traditional” industry going off shore.

  3. Bernard Durand says:

    Euan, what would be the variation of the real energy content (Mtep or EJ), and of the EROEI, for the production over this period of time? What would be then the quantities of energy really provided to the economy, and also by inhabitant of the world when including the increase of population?

    • Euan Mearns says:

      Bernard, a complex question. While the ERoEI of the conventional C+C will be falling, it will still be so high (>>20) so as to not matter. The syncrude has ERoEI ~ 3 where the main energy input is nat gas. So in energy terms that slice could be netted back by about 1/3. Shale I believe has significant high ERoEI, probably >>10 and so that slice is OK. The refinery gains represent a compensation term for the fact we are producing increasingly low gravity, i.e. heavy crude and so the volume of the lighter refined products is higher. It would be better to produce this chart as mass, not volume. NGL has about 70% energy content of crude per unit volume, so this would be a significant adjustment. Biofuel needs to be split in two parts – tropical which has significant net energy production and temperate where net energy is close to zero.

      The per capita adjustment is perhaps significant. Large bits of Europe have been excluded from the party as increasing numbers in the developing world join. But recalling that we waste maybe 70% of all primary energy, there is ample scope for efficiency gains to cancel lower per capita consumption.

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