Tag Archives: eia

The gulf between the Paris Climate Agreement and energy projections

According to the Paris Climate Agreement a rapid decrease in the world’s consumption of fossil fuels is now mandatory if the Earth is to be saved from climate disaster. Projections of future energy use, however, are unanimous in predicting an increase in the world’s consumption of fossil fuels in coming decades. Either the energy consumption projections are wrong or the Paris goal is unachievable. This post reviews the basic provisions of the Paris Agreement, compares them with six independent estimates of future energy consumption and concludes that while the energy consumption estimates are subject to uncertainty the goals of the Paris Agreement are indeed unachievable. Continue reading

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Emissions reductions and world energy demand growth

A major obstacle to cutting global CO2 emissions is growth in world energy demand. In this post I examine world energy growth projections from a number of different sources and compare them with the growth trends that will be necessary to meet emissions reductions goals. It goes without saying that there is an enormous gulf between the two. This leaves the world with a stark choice – cut fossil fuel consumption by 80% by 2050 or suffer the consequences of global warming, whatever they may be. Continue reading

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Solar PV capacity factors in the US – the EIA data

A post I wrote a little over two years ago concluded that solar PV capacity factors in the US ranged between 13% and 19% with an average of around 16%. Recently, however, the US Energy Information Agency published a table showing an average capacity factor of around 28% for utility-sized PV plants in the US in 2015. This post looks into the reasons for this large difference and also addresses the question of whether the EIA estimates can be used to predict future US solar PV output. Continue reading

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Oil Production Vital Statistics May 2016

The big news in April’s production numbers is the surge in global production by 250,000 bpd that is largely down to a 300,000 bpd surge from Iran that the IEA now deems to be producing at capacity. The oil price rally continued through May into June with Brent now over $50 supported by the Fort McMurray black swan and growing unrest in the Niger Delta that the WSJ reports has knocked 1 Mbpd off Nigeria’s production. Continue reading

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Oil Price Volatility

Oil market observers will appreciate that the oil price has become more volatile with daily movements of several percent common place. A friend suggested I could look into this to see if past patterns of price volatility had any predictive powers. Continue reading

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Obama’s CO2 Deception

President Obama presented his plan to reduce CO2 emissions from US power generation by 32% by 2030 compared with 2005 levels. Sounds great? Not really since this was already achieved by 2013 – depending on how you slice EIA statistics. So Obama’s ambition is for the USA to achieve nothing in the next 15 years? Continue reading

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US Shale Oil: drilling productivity and decline rates

The main message from this post is that a precipitous fall in US production in the months ahead, upon which most analysts are depending upon to send the oil price higher, may not materialise YET. This is simply the end of round one of the current oil price crisis and the standoff between US shale and OPEC.

Is it good news or bad news that US oil production may not collapse (yet) under the weight of low oil price? It’s certainly good news for US energy security…… Continue reading

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“The bottom of the market may still be ahead”

The title of this post, “The bottom of the market may still be ahead”, is the last line of the July IEA OMR summary. Those companies and investors hoping for an early end to this low price crisis may be disappointed. Global supply was up again in June by 550,000 bpd. Demand growth looks set to slow. Inventories are at record levels. And not surprisingly prices have once again yielded to the gravity of glut and have fallen below $60 / bbl. To add insult to injury US oil rig count has risen these last two weeks and UK North Sea oil production looks set to rise in the years ahead. Continue reading

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A New Peak in Conventional Crude Oil Production

Since May 2005, global conventional crude oil + condensate production (C+C) has been constrained to a bumpy plateau of around 73.2 Mbpd. That limit was breached in December 2014 with a new high of 74.28 Mbpd (Figure 1). This comes on the back of a prolonged period of record high oil price. It seems likely that the reason for the new high is OPEC abandoning constraint rather than an actual expansion of global conventional C+C production capacity. Continue reading

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Oil Production Vital Statistics: April 2015

Global oil production is declining slowly but remains just above its long-term trend. Just over 94.04 Mbpd was produced in February.

The recovery in the oil price in February reversed in March and WTI has tested its January lows. Spreading conflict in the Middle East adds further complexity to the price dynamic.

The plunge in US oil rig count has slowed significantly although still falling slowly. This may signal a new phase of the oil price war that is discussed at the end of this post. Continue reading

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The 2014 Oil Price Crash Explained

In February 2009 Phil Hart published on The Oil Drum a simple supply demand model that explained then the action in the oil price. In this post I update Phil’s model to July 2014 using monthly oil supply (crude+condensate) and price data from the Energy Information Agency (EIA).

This model explains how a drop in demand for oil of only 1 million barrels per day can account for the fall in price from $110 to below $80 per barrel. Continue reading

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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, unconventional oil and biofuels… Continue reading

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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. Continue reading

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