OPEC oil production update July 2013

OPEC production has been bumping along a plateau of around 35 million bpd since 2005, that is despite prolonged record high oil prices.

This is the first in a series of updates on global oil supply based on  monthly data published by the US Energy Information Agency (EIA). Owing to budget cuts the EIA has fallen behind in data compilation hence the last reported data is for July 2013. JODI and the International Energy Agency (IEA) also report monthly oil production figures and at some point I will include these sources in my analysis.  OPEC has 12 members and there is a chart for each country and a stack for all 12 countries below the fold.

Iran: Prior to sanctions, Iran was likely producing at capacity of about 4.2 million barrels per day (bpd). The impact of sanctions was not as large as many may believe with production falling by less than 1 million bpd. Hence the easing of sanctions will have marginal impact on global oil supply, easily absorbed by swing producer Saudi Arabia. The IEA report capacity for crude oil (excluding NGL) of 2.9 million bpd and latest production in October 2013 of 2.68 million bpd.

Saudi Arabia is likely producing at close to capacity and may  welcome the opportunity to ease off a little with the re-introduction of more Iranian crude to the market. The IEA report capacity for crude oil (excluding NGL) of 12.4 million bpd and latest production in October 2013 of 9.75 million bpd.

The United Arab Emirates is likely producing at close to capacity. The IEA report capacity for crude oil (excluding NGL) of 2.9 million bpd and latest production in October 2013 of 2.76 million bpd.

Kuwait is likely producing at close to capacity. The IEA report capacity for crude oil (excluding NGL) of 2.9 million bpd and latest production in october 2013 of 2.74 million bpd.

Iraq: Growth in Iraqi production appears to have halted. There are many stories of spreading unrest and trouble for International Oil Companies (IOCs) operating in Iraq. According to BP, Iraqi production peaked at 3.5 million bpd in 1979. The IEA report capacity for crude oil (excluding NGL) of 3.1 million bpd and latest production of 2.97 million bpd in October 2013.

Qatar: The strong growth in Qatari production since 1994 appears to have halted. The IEA report capacity for crude oil (excluding NGL) of 0.75 million bpd and latest production in October 2013 of 0.73 million bpd, a discrepancy with the EIA that is worthy of further investigation.

Libya: The impact of the Arab Winter and civil war is clear to see. Not so obvious from this chart is the sharp decline in production to 1.1 million bpd in July 2013. The IEA report capacity for crude oil (excluding NGL) of 1.4 million bpd and latest production in October 2013 of just 0.45 million bpd.

Algeria has thus far managed to avoid the Arab Winter and appears to be producing at capacity that is declining slowly with time. The IEA report capacity for crude oil (excluding NGL) of 1.2 million bpd and latest production for October 2013 of 1.12 million bpd, also at odds with the EIA.

Nigeria normally has some production shut in owing to civil unrest. The IEA report capacity for crude oil (excluding NGL) of 2.25 million bpd and latest production in October 2013 of 1.99 million bpd.

Angola is producing at capacity that seems to be declining slowly with time. This offshore province can expect to undergo rapid decline similar to the North Sea at some point. The International Energy Agency report capacity for crude oil (excluding NGL) of 1.85 million bpd and latest production in october 2013 of 1.7 million bpd.

Venezuela appears to be producing at capacity. The flat line reporting for the last two years is suspicious and the data not to be trusted. The IEA report capacity for crude oil (excluding NGL) of 2.6 million bpd and latest production in october 2013 of 2.49 million bpd.

Ecuador: OPEC minnow Ecuador has steady production, operating at capacity. The IEA report capacity for crude oil (excluding NGL) of 0.53 million bpd and latest production in october 2013 of 0.52 million bpd.

OPEC: The OPEC stack shows that production has been bumping along a plateau of around 35 million bpd since 2005, that is despite prolonged record high oil prices.

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7 Responses to OPEC oil production update July 2013

  1. Hi Euan,

    Thank you for a thoughtful summary. Now that the US Army is completely out of Iraq, what is your take on the Iraqi production from 1997-2003? Is it a reasonable hypothesis that Saddam Hussein bribed key European leaders with oil vouchers to mitigate the effect of the sanctions?

    Dave

    • Euan Mearns says:

      Hi Dave, you got me on this one. Read the history of Iraq on wikipedia, it’s pretty interesting and complex. The USA has taken keener interest in Iraq than Europe, I think?

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraq

      I’m trying to recall the period 1997 to 2003 to which you refer. I believe that sanctions were viewed as causing undue hardship to Iraqi people and so Iraq was allowed to sell some oil to relieve this. 1998, oil was trading at $10 / barrel – do you think this could be relevant?

      • Hi Euan,

        Europe took a keener interest in the bribes. Just to pick the on the French, from the indispensable Wikipedia.
        .
        The French-Arab Friendship Association – 15,100,000 barrels
        Former French Interior Minister Charles Pasqua – 12,000,000 barrels
        Patrick Maugein, the Trafigura company – 25,000,000 barrels
        Michel Grimard, “founder of the French-Iraqi Export Club” – 17,100,000 barrels

        Dave

        Ps Whether it was humanitarian or not also depends on the time frame. The UN chose to leave North Korea under the control of thugs in 1952 and sixty years later they are still under a thug, a grandson. Many people have died in the North Korean gulags in the last sixty years, and they continue to die. By 1997 Saddam Hussein had already caused a million people to die, and he had two sons who were sadists.

      • Hi Euan,

        “do you think this could be relevant?”

        I have not seen a good history of the Oil-for-Food program. It may have started out as a humanitarian effort, but I think that the oil that was sold under the program has its own influence that I would like to understand better.

        Dave

        • Euan Mearns says:

          Dave, I guess I’m more interested in the recent past, present and future of Iraq. The apparent inability to “bring on” the fabled reserves and to enable the IOCs proper access. Compared with Kurdistan where 100% of the land is licensed to foreign operators, there is a strict tax regime and The State gets 20% of discoveries. They are finding huge amounts of oil. But with Iraq and Syria disintegrating, I do wonder if Kurdistan will survive as semi-autonimous region. They are aiming for oil / economic independence within years at which point I imagine they will want full independence. Exxon and Total are both involved now and so part of my calculation is that US and French forces will offer the Kurds some protection.

          PS Clive Best has started a discussion about coal reserves over on the Parasitic wind post that you maybe want to join.

  2. Graeme says:

    may I point you to a post by the economics prof John Kay….I think it sums up a lot of your concerns:

    http://www.johnkay.com/2013/07/24/a-real-energy-revolution-needs-us-to-look-beyond-sound-bites

    • Euan Mearns says:

      Graeme, thanks very much for the link. I’ve never heard of this guy. I personally believe that State management (ownership) of our energy infrastructure development is the only way forward for the UK whilst recognising that State management is often, but not always, a disaster. I believe only the State has the money to carry the political risk, for deployment of, for example, 30 GW of nuclear.

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