Monday, January 31, 2011

1995 comment on OPEC reserves from the EIA

I've been trawling through old EIA documents looking for any references to the 80s OPEC revisions; this morning I downloaded all of the archived STEOs and come up short, although there is discussion of the bickering in OPEC. Another publication of theirs was the International Energy Outlook, which you'd think would cover this issue; the STEO, after all, does have Short Term in its very title. But they only go back to 1995 in the available Past IEO Editions; but as it happens, our topic is brought up:

OPEC Reserves and Production
Capacity Expansion

The decade of the 1960s saw considerable oil explora-
tion activity, which resulted in the addition of almost
310 billion barrels of crude oil reserves worldwide. (The
reserves referred to in this section are proven reserves,
that is, crude oil that is recoverable using present
technology at current market prices.) The OPEC nations
accounted for more than 60 percent of the additions, of
which almost 82 percent were concentrated in the
Persian Gulf. During the high oil price environment of
the 1970s and early 1980s, most of the oil investment
was in the downstream sector, with negligible additions
to reserves. However, in the latter part of the 1980s,
more than 350 billion barrels of crude oil reserves, an
unprecedented amount, were added worldwide. Unlike
the 1960s, however, when substantial additions were
realized by both OPEC and non-OPEC nations, the
additions during the late 1980s were predominantly by
the OPEC nations (almost 94 percent of the total). Over
the 30-year period from 1960 through 1990, more than
78 percent of the additions to worldwide crude oil
reserves were by the member nations of OPEC, and
more than 85 percent of the OPEC additions were in
the Persian Gulf region.

Considering the substantive additions to OPEC crude
oil reserves, it might be natural to assume that there
were also dramatic increases in OPEC crude oil produc-
tion. Such has not been the case. Although OPEC crude
oil production has been increasing steadily in recent years, it still falls below its 1980 level even today. On
the other hand, crude oil production from non-OPEC
suppliers has seen a two-decade increase of more than
two-thirds. The growth of non-OPEC supply between
1973 and 1980 was largely attributable to three areas:
the Alaska North Slope, Mexico, and the North Sea.
Since 1980, the trend in non-OPEC supply has been
increasingly toward geographic dispersion, with
particular supply potential exhibited in the developing
countries. This two-decade growth in non-OPEC supply
no doubt played a significant role in the erosion of
OPEC’s market share between 1973 and the mid-1980s.
In addition to the unanticipated resilience of non-OPEC
supply, OPEC’s diminished market share during this
period was also the result of the price-induced drop in
world oil consumption, as well as the conscious deci-
sion by Persian Gulf producers to reduce output in an
effort to maintain higher prices.

That's about as far as it goes, unfortunately; the validity of the massive jump in reserves isn't questioned at all, but used as a base for production projections with further reserve growth of varying degrees. It is noteworthy to see it mentioned at all, though.

They include their usual trio of forecasts, too:


Reference/High Price/Low Price
1995 29.5 29.3 30.3
2000 34.8 33.4 38.9
2005 41.7 39.7 48.3
2010 46.2 43.5 55

July 2008 was 36.4 mb/d. Jan-Aug 2010 average C+C was 29.1 mb/d, all liquids 29.9 mb/d. Missed the boat a bit there! 15 years is an eternity in forecasting, though.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

OPEC Quotas and Reserves Revisions

OPEC production, quota, and reserves data; quite the trove. Now, the official line has always been that the 80s reserves wars were all about beefing up individual nations' quotas; is there any evidence of causality there? I'll try and pin down when the countries actually announced their reserves upgrades, and see if there was an attendant jump in quota - kinda doubt it, but it will be fun/instructive. BTW the official line isn't quite correct; apparently OPEC were ruminating over a quota system based wholly on reserves, but that was as far as it went, although that seemed more than far enough, given the results - and now we're in Quota Wars II: The Numbers are Complete Rubbish.

We start with the handy table for OPEC countries in the Wiki article on reserves, with highlighted revisions in red.

First at bat was Iraq in 1982, jumping from 32 to 59 bbo; and I can find nary a peep about this event in a Google News Archive Search. So much for that!

Next was Kuwait in 1984; they claimed to discover massive finds that would boost reserves to 90-100 bbo, as reported on September 1, 1984, in the The Calgary Herald. BTW, I notice that events aren't always published in the papers precisely when they occurred, but it's close enough for our purposes.

1985 saw Venezuela go from 28 to 54.5 bbo, where I'm not sure, the pages of the O&GJ it seems, since on Feb 1 1986 the Reading Eagle was still reporting them at 25.8 bbo - lower than what the Wiki lists. They also have Iraq at 44.5 bbo, Iran at 48.6 bbo, Abu Dhabi at 30.5 bbo, and Libya at 21.1 bbo. Only this last is anywhere close to the BP Stat Review figures used in the Wiki...hmmm.

On April 26, 1987, the Bend Oregon paper The Bulletin reported a jump to 55 bbo - not 54.5 - with ample commentary for once. They picked up and expanded on an LA Times article.

Though Venezuela has long been known to contain enormous amounts of unique, "extra-heavy" oil, the geologists say that successful experimental work and the the updated seismic information now indicate that far more of the tarlike substance can be produced and transported easily and economically than was earlier believed. The most conservative numbers advanced by the Venezuelans - the amount of oil recoverable at current oil prices, with today's technology, from wells already in drilled — show an increase to 55 billion barrels from the year-earlier estimate of 29 billion barrels.

That 26 billion-barrel increase in proven reserves is like introducing three oil fields the size of this country's largest, Prudhoe Bay in Alaska, to a place half the distance to most U.S. oil markets.

In addition to those 55 billion barrels, the Venezuelans now say that another 267 billion barrels of oil — most of it extra-heavy Orinoco oil — fall within the reach of today's technology and economic requirements.

The U.S. Geological Survey, while using slightly different numbers and categories of oil, says it has no quarrel with the Venezuelan statistics.

They also quote Charlie Masters of the USGS, who from all accounts was a sound researcher; the implication seemed to be that he considered the upgrade bona fide.

For 1986 it's Iran, 59 to 92.9 bbo, and also the UAE from 33 to 97.2 bbo. Ah, now we're cooking with condensate! As mentioned above these two countries were still being reported in Feb with the old numbers, and this was still the case on June 27th, as reported in the Leader-Post, picking up an AP story. By now Kuwait is listed at 90 bbo.

The NYT seemed quite taken by surprise to report on January 17, 1989 that Six in OPEC Have 70% of Oil.

NICOSIA, Cyprus, Jan. 16 — Six members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries now have 70.5 percent of the world's proven oil reserves, the Middle East Economic Survey reported today.

The respected oil industry newsletter said that according to revised estimates, reserves for the ''big six'' in the last five years had risen from 308 billion barrels to 699 billion.

It listed Saudi Arabia's reserves at 255 billion barrels; Iraq, 100 billion; the United Arab Emirates, 98 billion; Kuwait, 95 billion; Iran, 93 billion, and Venezuela, 58 billion.

The five Persian Gulf states alone account for nearly two-thirds of the world's proven reserves.

Saudi Arabia last week upgraded its estimate of its reserves by 85 billion barrels after a six-year study. Describing the Saudi revision as ''a staggering increase,'' the Nicosia-based survey noted, ''The reassessment of reserves in Saudi Arabia represents the latest stage of a truly massive upward revision of proven oil reserves by the major OPEC countries in recent years.''

Revised over the last five years, or just now? At least we can pin down when KSA made the leap. Even that doesn't correspond with BP data, which lists this event for 1988.

Iraq went to 100 bbo in '87, again, this didn't hit the news until later; from May 26, 1988, again in the NYT: Iraq Seeking To Expand Oil Output.

For many years the country had shunned Western contacts.

''There was a one-time premium on secrecy,'' said Dr. Laurie A. Mylroie, a Harvard professor who is an expert on Iraq. ''Now the message is to let the world know that Iraq has the second-largest reserves in the world.''

Mr. Chalabi placed Iraq's proven reserves at 100 billion barrrels, compared with an estimated 170 billion barrels for Saudi Arabia.

This is then Iraqi Oil Minister Issam Abdul-Rahim al-Chalabi. He is still active in Iraqi oil debate, even being listed as giving a presentation at ASPO 2008. In 1990 Saddam replaced him with a palace bodyguard/son-in-law, as Chalabi imposed fuel rationing after the UN imposed sanctions for the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. The rationing lasted all of 5 days.

In June '88 we have Chalabi stating that Iraq Demands Oil Quota Rise.

''Iraq will never accept a quota below that of Iran within the framework of any new accord reached by the organization,'' Mr. Chalabi said in advance of a meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in Vienna.

Going back to KSA, on Jan 10, 1989 this was reported in the Anchorage Daily News, picked up from the LA Times; this is such an extraordinary article I'm going to repeat it in full:

Saudi Arabia, already blessed with the world's largest reserves of crude oil, declared Monday that a new computer assessment shows it has about 50 percent more crude oil and 25 percent more natural gas than previously believed.

If correct, the new Saudi numbers would boost by about 10 percent the world's proven reserves of crude oil to the 900 billion barrel range. This would tend to prolong the oil era and underscore the reliance of industrialized nations on the Middle East.

Some Saudi watchers said the dramatic upward revision is legitimate and over due, while others said it was at least partly inspired by the politics of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. Both views might be correct, analysts said.

"This was a political announcement. On the other hand, they may well have the oil," said William Dietzman, a retired Energy Department geologist who has studied the Saudi oil fields for the U.S. government.

Several other OPEC nations, including Iran, Iraq. Kuwait and Venezuela, have also increased their own oil reserve estimates sharply in the past year. The higher a country's reserves, the greater its influence and production quota in OPEC. Within the oil community, Iran's claims are widely discounted while the others are accepted to varying degrees.

The Saudis, through their Arabian American Oil Co., or Aramco, said that six years of studies at their new oil exploration and engineering computer center showed that they have 252.4 billion barrels of proven crude oil under ground and 177.3 trillion cubic feet of gas.

For many years, the official Saudi government number was 110 billion barrels. But since at least 1975, the scientific community has

carried Saudi Arabia on its books as having 150 to 170 billion barrels, the estimate varying annually with oil prices, discoveries and production levels.

The U.S. Geological Survey in Reston, Va., said its estimate a year ago was 167 billion barrels, similar to the Saudis' own numbers at that time. The USGS put the natural-gas estimate at 130 trillion cubic feet, while Aramco had previously estimated 141 trillion.

Dietzman and others said the timing of the announcement dramatically boosting the Saudis' official oil reserve estimate strongly suggests that it was inspired by the need to hold their ground within OPEC for the purposes of determining quotas.

"They're saying, if Iraq says it has 100 billion barrels, then we say we have 250 billion," said Dietzman.

Even without the political element, any assessment of how much oil is underground and how much of it can be recovered with known technology and current prices is inexact. But in Saudi Arabia, the reserves are considered so large that it is hard to challenge any estimate.

Consultant Joseph Story of McLean, Va., a former Aramco executive, said there is so much oil in Saudi Arabia that until recently, not much effort has been expended at determining just how much there is.

But skryocketing oil prices in the late 1970s and early 1980s prompted Saudi Arabia to spend some of the financial windfall on establishing a state-of-the-art oil exploration and engineering center in Dhahran in 1982 that is the envy of oil geologists.

Aramco, calling the latest estimates "very conservative," said the work done at the Dhahran center is the basis for the big increase in the official reserve estimates.

"There was no need to look for oil. But now they've put a lot of money into upgrading their seismic capabilities and into exploration activity," said Story, president of Gulf Consulting Services Inc. "The point of this is, the numbers are probably true. But in announcing it, they might also be trying to alleviate any worries that there are going to be shortages any time soon."

Here in a nutshell we have the whole peakist argument about the significance of the Quota Wars, along with some of the standard rebuttals.

So can we build a timeline? Not judging from what's been dug up, as that NYT article in 1989 seems to indicate, with its Oh My God sense of reserves having just suddenly gone through the roof at some point in the last five years. These three dates might get us somewhere, though:

1982 ??? Iraq
1984 Sep Kuwait
1987 Apr Venezuela

Iraq's quota held at 1.2 mb/d all through 1982-Jan 1987, when it was bumped up to 1466 kb/d, with attendant decrease from KSA. In Nov 84 Kuwait's share actually decreased, from 1050 kb/d to 900 kb/d. Shot themselves in the foot, eh? Venezuela got a bump up in July '87 from 1495 kb/d to 1571 kb/d. Why, that's almost as much as the 1574 kb/d they were at in Nov '86!

Mostly we see chaotic wobbling about, but get these bump ups from Dec '88 to Jan '89:

Iran Iraq Kuwait Libya Nigeria Qatar KSA UAE Venezuela
2369 0 996 996 1301 299 4343 948 1571
2640 2640 1037 1037 1355 312 4524 988 1636

That must have been some Meeting. Iran had been left out of the previous quota for some reason, subtracting their 1540 kb/d from the last quota set on Jul 1987 we get an advance of 1884 kb/d for the group as a whole.

Did anyone come out ahead here? Iraq did advance 4.09% - while KSA declined -4.60%. Tit for tat. Venezuela did get bumped up 1.02% at the Jan '88 meeting, in the wake of its revision. But Kuwait declined -0.38% in Nov '84, in the wake of its announcements. Their average shift over Nov '84 to Jan '88, when I'd think their bump up in reserves would have its primary effect, is 0.09% up - fairly small potatoes in the grand scheme of things.

All in all I can't see much clear correlation between an increase in reserves and more quota.

Investigating all of this revealed the most intriguing tidbit of all, however - from Oct 2000 to July 2005 percentage of total for all member nations remained totally constant, barring a 0.1% drop in Feb 2001 for Venezuela. This, despite the total quota having shifted from 26.7 down to 21.0 up to 28.0 mb/d! It's as if OPEC has just given up on all that horse trading and jockeying for position; the general meetings, with the eyes of the world upon them, now consist of the Chairman saying "So, what do you think, increase 750 kb/d?" "Sure, sounds great!" "Right on!" "Ah, splendid. Now, who's up for some baccarac?"

I did a fair bit of digging around for impartial papers analyzing the OPEC quota system, and/or its effectiveness as a cartel, and there are a good deal of them, this being oil and they being OPEC and all; didn't find anything about the reserves revisions which wasn't a screed on one side or other of the fence, and the analytical papers treat the published reserves as a given; but none of these documents seem to notice how proportion of quota has become wholly set in stone. Perhaps this is laid out in OPEC's bylaws and I just didn't catch the fine print. It certainly must make operations run that much smoother, as my snide scenario in the previous paragraph suggests.

Link to revised worksheet: OPEC Quotas

Thursday, January 27, 2011

OPEC Quotas/Production/Price 1982-2006

Armed with our quarterly production series for OPEC 1982 through 1993, let's match that up with OPEC quotas and oil prices. For historic prices I generally use US FOB Spot, since the EIA monthly series goes all the way back to 1973. OPEC quotas are here; I've distilled what they offer into a spreadsheet, downloadable here: OPEC Quotas (revised 1/29/2011). I'd keep going past 2006 if they provided the numbers, or if it weren't a massive project in its own right to figure out what they were, as Margaret McQuaile explained in Nov '09, writing about The parallel worlds of OPEC quotas and actual production for Platts:

In the world of OPEC, the word production can mean different things. There is official production, whereby OPEC sets quotas for individual members under an overall volume, and there is actual production, which can bear little resemblance to official levels.

And there is a further complication. OPEC, although it has given out the overall target number for the current output agreement, has not published the individual quotas under that target. Which means that people like my colleagues and myself have had to work out those quotas by ourselves, sometimes with a bit of help from delegates or ministers who may confirm figures or indicate that our calculations are close to the mark.

It would, of course, be so much easier if OPEC just published the figures.

I'll investigate what recent OPEC quotas have been later on, if they don't update these numbers themselves; for now, here's my chart:

OPEC Quotas and Production 1982-2006

I'd post it full size but aren't having luck getting the resolution right at smaller sizes, and full size it covers a lot of the page, including the sidebar.

Lots of cheating in the 80s, as widely reported in the news; they showed little interest in bringing the price up for a few years there, but actively defended the $20/bbl ceiling thereafter. The spike in quota in Jan '98 is odd, I'd guess this was in response to the Asian financial crisis which kicked off in July '97, but wouldn't that crater demand? All of this with a trend towards falling prices. John Williams at WTRG explains thusly:

OPEC continued to have mixed success in controlling prices. There were mistakes in timing of quota changes as well as the usual problems in maintaining production discipline among its member countries.

The price increases came to a rapid end in 1997 and 1998 when the impact of the economic crisis in Asia was either ignored or severely underestimated by OPEC. In December, 1997 OPEC increased its quota by 2.5 million barrels per day (10 percent) to 27.5 MMBPD effective January 1, 1998. The rapid growth in Asian economies had come to a halt. In 1998 Asian Pacific oil consumption declined for the first time since 1982. The combination of lower consumption and higher OPEC production sent prices into a downward spiral. In response, OPEC cut quotas by 1.25 million b/d in April and another 1.335 million in July. Price continued down through December 1998.

Prices began to recover in early 1999 and OPEC reduced production another 1.719 million barrels in April. As usual not all of the quotas were observed but between early 1998 and the middle of 1999 OPEC production dropped by about 3 million barrels per day and was sufficient to move prices above $25 per barrel.

Then in July '98 Iraq no longer took part in OPEC quotas. This was in the era of the Oil-for-Food Programme; in the wake of Gulf War I Iraq's quota was ca. 500 kb/d from Oct '91 for exactly two years, then was bumped up to 1200 kb/d for some reason, and to 1314 kb/d for Jan '98, while production hovered around 550 kb/d until Dec '96.

Note how the dates of OPEC changes in quota (which I've marked in bold on the spreadsheet) don't match what Williams mentions in his analysis; also OPEC list a production shift of some kind for July '98 on their page, highlighting a bunch of small numbers in yellow; I've discarded these on my sheet.

The drop in OPEC production in Jan '94 is an artifact of the EIA numbers, at the transition between the quarterly data I dug up, and the monthly numbers which begin here. The quarterly numbers are definitely all liquids, but for some reason the monthly numbers are much lower; still, the shape of the curve conveys the general idea. Perhaps the monthly numbers don't include Iraq, and also Gabon left OPEC in '94 but they were only producing 340 kb/d, and as stated above Iraq wasn't cranking out much either; the drop in the data is almost 4 mb/d. Odd!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

EIA Quarterly Data 1983-1993

The EIA has an excellent site but it isn't without its quirks - for instance, many of the figures for annual data only begin in the early 80s, but sets covering much longer spans of time for the same subjects are available in the Annual Energy Review. Another oddity, which I'll remedy with this post, is how Monthly/Quarterly International data only goes back to 1994, even though these numbers are readily available in old issues of the Short Term Energy Outlook. Presumably they're waiting for a flunky to scan these and punch the numbers in; well, having waited some years for this to happen, I went ahead and did the deed myself. This was a bit time consuming, but I learned a fair deal about OCR software in the process.

As the post title states only quarterly numbers are given. I tried to stick to numbers that weren't preliminary, as is the case when the numbers are given in boldface in the original documents, but in one or two instances this wasn't possible. Note that numbers for Canada
Japan, Australia/New Zealand, and Total OECD are given starting Q1 1987. I threw out the "Statistical Discrepancies" sequence. I don't think there any serious errors in the scanning, but take all this with a grain of salt anyway.

The format changed massively in 1991, hence the extra headers beneath the main ones. I did fill in US and OPEC production to make a quick and dirty graph. OPEC really flails about in the 80s, but levels off in the 90s...hmmm...was it the markets calming down, or did they just lose the ability to swing? I have data on OPEC quotas ready to match up with this in the next post, and also the spare capacity stuff from WTRG.

Link to download of .ods file: EIA Quarterly Data 1983-1993

Monday, January 17, 2011

Historical Spare Capacity

It's simple enough to find charts of this, but the actual numbers are MIA. The EIA provides them for the previous decade or so via their Short-Term Energy Outlook, select "11. OPEC Surplus Crude Oil Production Capacity" under the "Figures" section. It's a given that only OPEC have any SC these days, natch. You have your choice of graph or .xls. But STEOs I've checked out from the 80s/90s just seem to have graphs and helpful statements like "Significant excess oil production capacity is expected to exist in the OPEC member nations throughout the forecast period." They provide a table for International Petroleum Balance, but this juxtaposes production with product supplied, noting the difference between the two, which is neglible, at < 1 mb/d generally; good for tracking how much went into stock draws, but not spare cap. Stuart Staniford tackled this approach in Refining the Plateau, a 2006 TOD post, by noting the difference between production and refining capacity in the 2005 BP Stat Review, yielding this:

Two problems present themselves here, firstly that BP's production numbers are ex biofuels, and have late become quite divorced from other All Liquids measures; also this approach yields what seem to be quite implausible figures, like 2.1 mb/d for 2006, whereas EIA gives 1.42 mb/d. Numbers for the 80s from BP are even more out there, peaking at 18.7 mb/d in 1981. There was a lot of unused supply back then, but this deviates sharply from other estimates you see in graphs from professional research firms and government agencies.

A site I've found very useful is John Williams's WTRG, and its Oil Price History and Analysis page. This graph isn't there anymore, perhaps it's still stuck away in a corner of the site somewhere:

Well, I'll put my trust in John to deliver the goods, and have reverse engineered his numbers:

1970 4.4
1971 4.8
1972 4.8
1973 3.2
1974 4.5
1975 8
1976 4.7
1977 5.2
1978 7
1979 4.2
1980 6.1
1981 7.7
1982 9.8
1983 10.3
1984 9.6
1985 10.8
1986 8.8
1987 8.7
1988 6.7
1989 5.9
1990 3.3
1991 1.2
1992 2
1993 3.1
1994 3.2
1995 3.2
1996 3.2
1997 3.5
1998 3.6
1999 5.4
2000 3.6
2001 4.9
2002 6.2
2003 1

I made a graph of these numbers and superimposed it on John's, revealing a pretty tight fit. Close enough for government work, as my Dad used to say. Here's what the EIA have in the latest STEO:

2000 3.0
2001 4.1
2002 5.5
2003 1.9
2004 1.3
2005 1.0
2006 1.4
2007 2.1
2008 1.5
2009 4.3
2010 4.7
2011 4.7
2012 4.2

I rounded down to the 10th decimal place here, FYI. They expect a 200 kb/d build for this year. Yay! Their own data shows only 1.4 mb/d shut in from the July 2008 absolute peak, so the 2.8 mb/d difference is fresh oil, 1.2 mb/d from Khurais, which we are led to believe will provide 10 times its historic output. Wonder if that's ever been pulled off before...

Spare Capacity in the papers:

"Nearly 8 mb/d, compared to about <1.5 mb/d before the Middle East war last October" - The Milwaukee Journal - Dec 9, 1974

"In less than two years, it is doubtful that OPEC will have any spare capacity" - The Montreal Gazette - Nov 3, 1979

<3.2 mb/d from OPEC, less on a sustained basis, according to State Department rep: St. Petersburg Times - Nov 16, 1979

3.5 mb/d from KSA: The Milwaukee Journal - May 24, 1982

8 mb/d total from Arabian Gulf countries, according to Exxon rep: The Leader-Post - May 17, 1984

Herald-Journal - Jun 25, 1987e 10 mb/d according to DOE rep, 1 mb/d before the 70s oil crises, warns of SC drying up by the 90s without reserves additions.

2 mb/d, down from 14 mb/d in 1986, according to employee of DC firm the Petroleum Financial Company: NYT, March 6 1990

4% of total, i.e. ca. 2.5 mb/d: The Telegraph-Herald - Apr 9, 1990

Few solid figures are available in the 90s; starting in the middle of that decade more online web based commentary is available, as opposed to the earlier format of scanned newspapers; beginning about 10 years ago papers seem to start directly quoting the IEA's OMR and the like.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Wide World of Energy as a Percentage of Personal Income/Consumption

I've been mucking about with data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), attempting to get a handle on how much we spend on energy; after all, if it's not a major component of one's budget, who cares how high the price goes? The obvious first rejoinder is that with a boost in fuel prices the price of everything else will be inflated in toto/lockstep/subsequently/never/immediately/initially, before government price controls are set/etc. Such a simple thing, but there seem to be an infinite number of ways to dice this carrot.

For starters, my graph of "Gasoline fuel oil and other energy goods" from the BEA's table 2.5.3, available via their "underlying data" for their national income and product account (NIPA) tables.

BEA Gasoline Fuel Oil and Other Energy Goods as Personal Consumption Expenditures 1959-2010

Looks straightforward enough, right? As time goes by energy is becoming less and less a part of total "Personal Consumption Expenditures," which one handy econo dictionary informs me is also known as "consumption." Had enough weasel words yet? Just you hang on! This is just one of a whole calvacade of different slices of the pie - you can also plug in "Gasoline and oil," or "Fuel oil and coal." Yeah, lots of Americans still buying coal out to heat their homes.

My graph does show a substantial bottoming out in the last five years or so of the trend of decline which has been going on for decades. One thing I found out about PCE is that is quite the juggernaut, only breaking stride in the BEA data for a brief spell 2008-2009. Clusterstock made fun of American's verrrrrrrry brief dalliance with austerity thus: CHART OF THE DAY: American Consumers Return To Their Historical Pattern Of Going Nuts

Remember when it looked as though consumers might enter into some new age of thrift and austerity?
Well, it's true that there was in fact a brief, unprecedented dip, but the key word is: brief.
As you can see, the steady march higher continues apace.

Cool, eh? Americans spending more each year is as predictable as death, taxes, increased VMT. Wonder what you see in other nations here. I was able to recreate this chart with BEA Table 2.8.5., "Personal Consumption Expenditures by Major Type of Product Monthly," if you want to fiddle about yourself.

I'd also like to see an even longer data series, which might exist, but BEA only goes back to 1959 at best, and unfortunately their data with indexes in chained 2005 dollars only start in 1995; I'm very interested in how things transpired during the 80s recessions, and would really like to know how the fuel spikes back then hit peoples' wallets.

An august commentator on this issue is James Hamilton, and last month he had a post at his Econbrowser blog delving into how bullish oil prices might impact our current ostensible economic recovery: Worrying About Oil Prices. Here's his chart of "Energy expenditures as a percentage of consumer spending":

Which yields a much different shape than my attempt; mine would really do the job for a BAU politician or cornucopian, though. The Prof knows his stuff so I'm going to recreate his data/chart for future ref.

Here's another take on this subject, focusing on gasoline this time:

From Adjusted for Income & Fuel Efficiency Increases, Gas Today is Almost 50% Below Record High - Seeking Alpha. Note that this was published July 01, 2008, before data covering energy's ascent into the stratosphere and subsequent crash to ground was in. But it looks to largely follow Hamilton's curve, yet uses a quite different approach. It was a refinement on a chart of 1k gallons of gasoline as a % of per capita disposable income. Slapping all of these sets on one graph would be very instructive, I'd say.

To conclude, and get back to what kicked off this line of investigation, the nice folks at provide a table/chart of Inflation Adjusted Crude Oil Prices. In a future post I'll look into this in more detail.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

From the Archives

I posted interesting news clippings at TOD for a while, in the DB. Oh! These acronyms. That's the DrumBeat Section of Perhaps a glossary is in order? I'll round up what I posted there as the chance arises and throw the contents into this post, which I'll link to on the blog front page. You come across some real eye openers trawling through old news.

Kicking things off is a piece in the NYT, that is, New York Times, from 2003, about Iraq and its long-suffering oil reservoirs. Colin Campbell mentioned this article in one of his ASPO newsletters, which I've been listening to lately - very interesting copy. How do you listen to a newsletter? With text-to-speech software, which I hope achieves breakthroughs in listenability this decade - as it stands you need a high tolerance for robotic monotones to utilize it. But it's so much an improvement on talk radio. Podcasts are OK too, but you're still beholden to whatever your host wants to ramble on about. Doubt anyone's going to read an SPE paper front-to-back soon.

Anyway - Iraq, reservoirs - I've come across various refs to how Saddam had them dumping oil into Rumailia etc to keep production levels up over the years; this article was from Nov '03 and I wonder if that's when this meme began to spread.


Motor Car Saturation Point Held To Be Still Far In Future - Palm Beach Post - Sep 16, 1929

"Mr. Chrysler, do you regard the American business of making automobiles as approaching its maximum?"

"By no means. There is no such thing as saturation point for a standard product in any nation which is growing.

"Some one has said that saturation would come 'when everybody in the world owned a motor car and none over wore out.' Even that would not tell the story because as a nation increases in population and wealth it needs more automobiles, furniture, houses, and other means of civilization.

"Not only are millions of cars being sold to replace those going out of use, but the owner of two or more cars is now a considerable and increasing market. Together with first time owners, this class amounted to 825,000 in 1927 and increased to 1,326,000 in 1928. This increase by more than half a million in a single year represents an advance in American standards. Many of our newer communities have been constructed on the presumption that every adult will have his own car. In some of our best suburbs it is essential that each house have a multiple-car garage. The two-car families are increasing.


Cuba Seizes Last 2 West Oil Refineries - The Milwaukee Sentinel - Jul 2, 1960

HAVANA, July 1 (AP) Premier Castro Friday took over the last two foreign-owned oil refineries in Cuba and with them the problem of supplying his country with oil from distant fields in the Soviet Union.

He seized the Esso Standard Oil and the Shell Oil refineries under resolutions accusing both firms of violating a 1938 law by refusing to process state-owned crude he obtained in a sugar-for-oil deal with Moscow.

The action immediately ended all normal imports of Western oil—except for a trickle of finished products, and raised prospects of an oil famine unless means are found to expand by at least four times the flow of Soviet crude.


OIL SUPPLY IN COAL AND CORN - St. Petersburg Times - Jan 21, 1928

WASHINGTON. Jan 21.—{JP} — When present petroleum deposits in the United States are exhausted the country can turn to oil shale, coal, corn, and sugar cane for a supply of oil and oil substitutes that will last for many years, in the opinion of the federal oil conservation board.

The board further recommended that while there was no immediate need of developing oil from shale and coal, the study of the technical problems involved in the process should be carried on, as eventually the well oil in the country would be exhausted.

The substitution of alcohol for efficient uses of all the products of gasoline, the constant study of more petroleum, and the possible substitution of crude oil burning engines for the high compression motors now generally used were mentioned by the board as means of conserving the country's supply of oil fuels.

Permalink to TOD comments about prorationing etc.


THE STRUGGLE FOR IRAQ: RESOURCES; Oil Experts See Long-Term Risk To Iraqi Underground Reserves - New York Times, By JEFF GERTH
Published: November 30, 2003

Pumping oil too quickly can upset the balance, leading to more gas and water migrating into the wells and ultimately making extraction of oil uneconomical. Oil experts said Saddam Hussein demanded high production, but United Nations economic sanctions precluded Iraq from acquiring the sophisticated computer-modeling equipment and technology required to manage older reservoirs properly. As a result, despite the ingenuity of Iraqi engineers, the fields have suffered.

Oil experts working for the United Nations found that some reservoirs in southern Iraq ''may only have ultimate recoveries of between 15 percent and 25 percent of the total oil'' in the field, as compared with an industry norm of 35 to 60 percent.

Before the United States-led invasion, the Iraqis sought outside help in managing its reservoirs. ''Kirkuk was of particular concern and particular urgency,'' said Maury Vasilev, senior vice president of PetroAlliance Services, a Russian oil-field company that held discussions last year with Iraq's Oil Ministry. He said that because of the water content in the wells, ''there was a question of how much oil they could recover.''


Oil Rigs In Deep Water - The Miami News - Aug 20, 1962

HOUSTON, Tex. (AP) — Millions of dollars are being spent on new drilling equipment designed lo push offshore oil operations into deeper water.

One project calls for a floating platform to operate at depths of 600 feet or more. Its developers say experiments indicate it will withstand hurricane force waves and winds.

300 FEET Shell Oil Co. and the Blue Water Drilling Corp. have had an all-weather floating platform in operation off the Louisiana Coast the past year. The rig now is drilling in nearly 300 feel of water, the deepest depth so far for the Gulf of Mexico.

Shell announced this week the 242-foot vessel operated successfully through winter storms with waves of 28 feet and winds of 63 miles an hour.

Shell said the drilling vessel is using a new method of completing offshore wells by remote control from the surface. The new technique was developed by Shell at a cost in excess of 7 million dollars.

Shell officials said the floating platform and the remote control equipment make it possible to find and produce oil from the open sea regardless of distance from land and depth of water.


Oil Shale on the Horizon - Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Feb 29 1980

But there is an immense difference in scale between test production and commercial operations. To produce the 48,000 barrels of oil a day Colony says it can start turning out in 1985 it would need a half dozen six-story-tall retorts each capable of processing 11,000 tons of shale a day.

Colony officials now estimate that it will cost $13 billion to 15 billion for that operation, and the fact remains that it has never been done.

Occidental Shale Oil Inc., a subsidiary of Occidental Petroleum Corp. of Los Angeles, has spent over $100 million developing modified in situ technology and leads the industry in the field.

Occidental has been testing underground retorting since 1973. The last three retorts built by Occidental were big enough for commercial production - 160 feet square and almost 300 feet high.

The last of those retorts collapsed during production, but Occidental says it still is ready to go to commercial production on a 5,000 acre tract of land leased from the federal government for $117 million.

Again, there is the task of scaling operations up to commercial production. It will take 40 underground retorts, with a new one being ignited each week, to produce the 50,000 barrels a day Occidental says it can be turning out by 1987.

Oil Shale as New Fuel Industry - The Southeast Missourian - Nov 2, 1946

Sweden also had a unique oil shale project. Experts of the Bureau of Mines say Swedish engineers drilled holes into the near-the-surface shale beds. They introduced heat into these holes by means of electricity. The temperature of the ground was raised until the oil vaporized and escaped through the holes. The vapor then was condensed and refined, producing oil.

Tropic Plants Grown.

A queer by-product of this project was reported. The intense heat was said to make it possible to grow sub-tropical vegetation in a climate distinctly northern. Swedish experts reportedly estimated the soil warmth might last for years, permitting the growing of exotic plants.

Such a method is not expected in American shale areas. For one thing vast quantities of electricity are not available, and in addition much of the shale soil isn't sufficiently rich for crops.


Oil Countries Making Most of a Seller's Market - Edmonton Journal - Jan 27, 1971

Many oil men were thus unprepared for the militancy at a Caracas meeting when the 10-nation Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) served unprecedented joint demands for higher revenues and threatened joint retaliation if refused.
The OPEC countries, which account for 90 per cent of world oil exports, are Venezuela, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Abu Dhabi, Libya and Algeria.

Why, many people ask, had the producing countries suddenly escalated their chronic discontent to a major confrontation? The answer is the countries believe they hold a winning hand — at this time.

However, it is a special short-term advantage rather than the longer term one that has compelled the Middle East countries to move now. This advantage is that international oil, to general surprise, has been transformed over the past 12 months from a buyer's to a seller's market.


Reading Eagle - Feb 19, 1978

Deputy Energy Secretary John O'Leary says world oil production must increase by at least 3 million barrels a day to keep up with demand. He says such increases can be maintained for four years before worldwide production follow the U.S. pattern of peak and plateau or decline.
When that happens, O'Leary says, prices will soar from the present $14 a barrel to $25 or more and shortages of crisis proportions will develop.
Even after world production hits its peak, oil will remain a major source of energy. The big questions are how long it can do so and when it will run out. Answers are uncertain, but many experts believe the oil age will be over in less than half a century.
"Children born within the last 10 years will see the world consume most of its oil during their lifetime," says M. King Hubbert of the U.S. Geological Survey, the man whose accurately forecast of the peak in U.S. production was at first ridiculed by fellow geologists.


Study of oil reserves gloomy - The Deseret News - Jul 18, 1977

WASHINGTON UPI) - Recovery of oil from known U S reserves will trail expectations and could Jeopardize President Carter's hope of cutting oil imports with increased domestic production, a congressional study says.
The report Sunday by the concessional Office of Technology and Assessment said regardless of how high oil prices rise, the nation is not likely to retrieve more than 17 percent of the oil captured in existing known reserves.
"It is well known that traditional methods of oil production recover only a small portion of the oil present in the producing formation. " the report said
The oil recovery study predicted US production will decline from its present level of about 8 million barrels a day this year to 7.6 million in 1980 and perhaps 1.2 million in 1990.
"Unless steps are taken to reduce consumption and/or to increase domestic production, this projected decline will need to be offset by additional imports of oil which averaged 9.1 million barrels a day during the first quarter of 1977" the report said.

Permalink to TOD commentary, I also provided a link to the study in question and a chart extracted therefrom, with actuals superimposed upon it by myself.

Arctic oil reserves 'equal rest of world' - Ottawa Citizen - Aug 24, 1972

MONTREAL (CP) — Potential gas and oil reserves within the Arctic Circle—a major portion of those are within Canada's Arctic—are equal to all known reserves in the rest of the world, says Dr. A. J. Eardley, professor emeritus of geology at the University of Utah.

During presentations Wednesday on worldwide distribution of petroleum at the International Geological Congress, he estimated the reserves within the Arctic Circle at 540 billion barrels of oil and 38,800 billion cubic metres of gas.

Dr. Eardley based his figures on areas of the geologic basins in which oil and
gas are found and the potential oil-bearing of existing wells. He said his are "preliminary estimates" and further drilling could prove them on the low side.

Permalink to TOD commentary.

Iraq Expected to Seek Increase in Its Oil Quota - New York Times, September 05, 1989

Iraq's announcement in July of a new oil reserve figure of 280 billion barrels - nearly triple the previous year's level and higher even than Saudi Arabia's - was a calculated move, people in the oil business said. 'More Politics Than Geology'

''It's a game that's being played, which is more politics than geology,'' one source said. ''It may be true that the oil is there, but it may not be economically feasible to produce it.''

Oil reserves are among the parameters used by OPEC to determine the size of a member's sales quota.


A 'Special Place' for Arabian Oil - Herald-Journal - Oct 7, 1972

Saudi Arabia recently proposed a joint arrangement under which the oil of that country would be given a "special place" in the expanding United States market. In return, the Arab state would be permitted to invest in U.S. refining, distribution and sales.

The Saudi Arabian proposal is attractive in several particulars: (1) a vital and growing need would be met; and (2) much of the money used to secure, process and distribute the additional oil would come from the investment by Saudi Arabia of its profits.

However, it is not without its drawbacks. The heavy reliance on a single supplier is not without its dangers. Also, Saudi Arabia would want to acquire an immediate 20 per cent interest in companies handling such oil and ultimately a 51 per cent interest — or control.

Still the United States is facing an oil shortage and is going to have to make up the difference between available supplies and need from some source. The Arab states have the world's largest known proven reserves.

Vast Additional Oil Fields Discovered In Saudi Arabia - Sarasota Herald-Tribune - Mar 19, 1976

DHAHRAN, Saudi Arabia - Vast additional oil fields, equivalent in size to more than 20 per cent of the United stales' total proven oil reserves, have been discovered in Saudi Arabia, executives of the Arabian American Oil Company reported here.

“That makes us feel we're going to be in business here for a while," the company's chairman, Frank Jungers, observed drily.

The 3 fields discovered were Ribyan, Lawhah, and Dibdibah. These last two are incorrectly spelled "Lawadah" and "Didibah" in the article. Permalink to more info at TOD.

Saudi Reserves - The Age - Jun 2, 1983

BAHRAIN. 1 June. — Arabian- American Oil Company (ARAMCO) chairman John Kelberer estimated Saudi Arabian recoverable reserves as being in excess of 165 billion barrels, using present oil exploitation techniques.
He wrote in the 'ARAMCO Bulletin' that a 10 per cent increase in the recovery factor would mean the addition of 16 or 17 billion barrels of oil, an amount probably equal to total remaining recoverable reserves in the US.

Permalink to TOD commentary.

Saudi Oil Production Questioned In Decade - Ocala Star-Banner - Mar 5, 1979

Matt Simmons referenced these Congressional inquiries in Twilight in the Desert; here's some contemporary coverage of them from the redoubtable Seymour Hirsch.

Saudi Oil Production Questioned In Decade
By SEYMOUR M. HIRSCH The New York Times

WASHINGTON — Two major United States oil companies, under subpoena, have submitted documents to a congressional committee that raise serious questions about the long- term productivity of Saudi Arabia's oilfields, according to administration officials familiar with the documents.
The material was furnished to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee by the Exxon Corp. and the Standard Oil Co. of California, both members of the Arabian American Oil Co., the consortium that produces Saudi Arabia's oil.

The documents, citing a study com­piled for the Saudi government by a British consulting company, showed that the oilfields. If producing at 8.5 million barrels dally, would not begin to diminish until the year 2000 if producing at 12 million barrels dally, the documents Indicate, the Saudi fields would begin to become depleted within 15 years.

—A report that the Aramco consor­tium has not made any significant finding of new reserves In Saudi Arabia since 1970. That failure is known to have distressed many oil experts in the Carter administration, who say they had apparently been misled by repeated Aramco claims of reserve findings. Knight said the com­pany has increased its probable reserves between 1973 and 1977 by 15 billion barrels.


Multiple links are given at the end of the post on Historical Spare Capacity.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

TAPS shutdown

Trans-Alaska oil pipeline is scheduled for bypass surgery, specifically routing around the pump building.

But the pipeline remains shut down, and crews were working from Fairbanks Monday to prepare to circumvent the leak. A 24-inch diameter, 170 foot-long line will bypass the concrete-encased pump station site and let Alyeska restart the pipeline.

“They’re working as fast as they can, and we have welders working on it 24/7,” Alyeska spokeswoman Katie Pesznecker said.

Here's a diagram of Pump Station #1:

TAPS Pump Station 1

And an overhead photo:

TAPS Pump Station 1

Here's a map of the TAPS system:

Pump Station #1's at the northern end. Note that some of the stations are on standby, What is TAPS? has all the info.

Pump Stations 1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 9, and 12 are now operating. Pump Stations 2, 6, 8, and 10 were placed on standby in 1996 and 1997, while Pump Stations 7 and 12 may be placed on standby over the next 5 to 10 years.

The Wiki page on TAPS has a whole section on incidents; worst spill was a bit of sabotage carried out in 1978, spilling 16k bbls. Only an inch hole though so it was up and running again a day later. Wiki also has a whole page on the 2006 issues with corrosion.

Where does all that oil go? The EIA doesn't tell you much about interstate traffic, just what goes between the 5 PADD districts, so you have to snoop about a bit to suss this info out. The California Energy Commission has a nice page detailing Oil Supply Sources to California. For 2009 Alaska accounted for 91,147 kb, divided by 365 you get 249 kb/d, out of 645 kb/d annual production total. EIA says 2008 AK consumption was 134.5 kb/d; so 261.5 kb/d to Washington state? Certainly I doubt they still ship AK oil to foreign nations, not after the stink that was raised in the 90s about that.

This is largely prompting snoozes from the industry at large, lots of stories about lack of interest in traders, and also OPEC have stated they won't step into the miniscule breach.

The 2006 corrosion issues halved throughput, according to that Wiki page; here's how things looked 2005 to 2007, utilizing that CEC page:

California Receipts of Alaska crude 2005-2007

We see a definite bump for a few months, yet surprisingly there's little sign of things throttling down when looking at monthly North Slope production. Perhaps it was all just being dumped into tank farms?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Oil Company Directory

This will be a post which I'll regularly update, listing all the oil companies, using the simple search terms whose creation I described in the post on creating automatic searches. I'll note any cos which don't have homepages - surely not possible in this year of AD 2011! - also attempt to find out if anybody's missing. A bit of cleanup is in order - when you simply copy the Wiki data, there are 11 entries for Eni, including Eni NIOC and Eni/BG. Don't know why OpenOffice thinks "ENI" and "eni" are discrete entities, but there you are. There are a handful of these collaborations, which I'll weed out. I assume the companies involved are separate...TNK-BP might be an exception.

UPDATE: Finished the whole thing off in one evening. Most of the "????????" companies seem to be out of Vietnam, with "Joint" in their name. Lots of articles about them at RIGZONE but no homepage. There is PTTEP out of Bangkok, who seems to partner with lots of these enigmatic Vietnamese companies. This will require further research, after finishing off the 95% of companies with sites that is.

Also largely lacking in the home page department are the NOCs - NIOC, INOC, LNOC. "NOC NOC, who's there?" "Resource grab." ;) Guess when you control the majority of the reserves you can stay under the radar.


Albian Sands


BHP Billiton
Burgundy Global


Cairn Energy
Conoco Phillips
Cuu Long Joint ???????????????????




El Paso Natural Gas




Hoang Long Joint ????????????????????
Husky Energy
HVJOC ????????????????????


INOC ??????????


Joint ??????????


Kerr McGee


LNOC ???????????????




Nelson Resources ????????????????
Nexus Energy
NIOC ???????????????
Noble Energy
Norsk Hydro
NWS Venture


OPTI ?????????????????


Pan Orient
Petroecuador ?????????????????
PVEP Joint ??????????????????




Repsol ???????????????


Saudi Aramco
Shenhua (ZhenHua)
SKS Ventures ?????????????
Slavneft http://www.slavneftoil.en


Tanganyika (subsidary of Sinopec)


Unocal (subsidary of Chevron)


VRJ Petroleum ???????????????


Woodside Petroleum

Creating automatic searches

OK, onto checking on all these oil companies - I've 114 of them listed. What are they up to? Google is our friend, of course, but how to streamline conducting the research?

In OpenOffice I have the list in one column, then "" in another, then "%20%20oil" in another. In yet another I have "=CONCATENATE($L$1;H1;$M$1)", which mashes all these items together. No quotes in any of these entries; note that it's "L$1$" to denote a fixed reference. These aren't actually hyperlinks yet, however; to convert them search for ".*" (no quotes) and replace with =HYPERLINK("&") (include quotes), with regular expressions on. You likely just want to do this to the list of the urls, or a copy thereof, rather than the whole sheet. Of course you can modify the original Google search url to one for Google News, to find the latest on the company in question, etc. This is a bit more quick than just retyping all this crud ad nauseum or infinitum. "Ad nauseum an infinitum"? I'm guessing at the correct Latin for the English "or."

This post should help anyone who wants to do a bit of searching on their own. As usual it was a colossal chore figuring out this rather simple operation. The anoraks of spreadsheets really need some kind of operations glossary, for those of us who don't want to spend hours delving into this arcana.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Iraq boosts oil production to highest level in, uh...20 months?

Linked at Drumbeat, Dec 27th: Iraq's Oil Production Reaches Highest in 20 Years to 2.6 Million Barrels.

Iraq’s oil production exceeded 2.6 million barrels a day for the first time in 20 years, newly appointed Oil Minister Abdul Kareem al-Luaibi said at a press conference in Baghdad.
The rising output will boost Iraq’s oil exports by 5 percent to 2 million barrels a day next month, Falah al-Amri, head of the country’s State Oil Marketing Organization, said today in an interview in Baghdad. The nation sells about 60 percent of supplies to India, China and other Asian countries where demand is increasing, he said

As the expression goes, OMFG! Numbers for Iraq production are freely available to the public and clearly show them topping that figure around a decade ago. I couldn't let this stand, and responded thus:

EIA also has Iraq at 2756.08 kb/d C+C in Nov 2001. Between this and that latest Peak Demand story people sure are fond of the Big Lie for the holidays. Perhaps al-Luaibi is referring to homegrown production numbers that we're simply not privy to? Or he's consolidating his position with Bold Claims to match al-Shahristani's, and we know how bold those were.

Wonder if any MSM ists will notice this simple fact about those production numbers.

Now, on closer examination, the good Minister must be utilizing a more conservative source for his data than the EIA; how else could he make such a fantastic statement when they have Iraq at 3005 for October 2000? Joint Oil Data Initiative (JODI) data for Iraq only begins in 2007; checking out Stuart Staniford's Dec 14th Update on Iraqi Oil Production it doesn't look like I'm missing anything - he charts O&GJ numbers back through 2000 but from the looks of things they track EIA perfectly anyway.  You can clearly see that they breach 2.6 mb/d a number of times.

But feh, these are just distant government agencies, what would they know about production on the ground? Surely OPEC themselves will be the final arbiter of what OPEC is producing? Er...


From the December 2001 MOMR, here are the archives for that year. Well hey, Iraq has been a mess for decades, perhaps as I suggested the Minister is privy to real numbers - but not one ist has stepped forward to point out this rather glaring anomaly.

As a finale, giving the Minister the benefit of the benefit of the benefit of the doubt, searching for online charts of Iraq production I do see a good few like this:

From Why is petrol so expensive? - On Line Opinion - 8/8/2006. "mathews" is part of the filename for this chart. Damn Peakists! But Matt wouldn't have just blatantly revised numbers downward. I wonder if the data was massaged at some point - which is something with EIA data I've noticed myself on occasion.

UPDATE: A table from the 2001 OPEC Annual Report:


That certainly creates the impression of <2.6 mb/d. Averaging out EIA numbers for 2001 gives 2387.55 kb/d, vs 2390 kb/d for the annual figure. But that first is seriously compromised by sharply reduced levels for four months. The median figure for 2001 monthly is still 2691.23 kb/d. For 2000 the mean is 2572.5 kb/d, the median is 2625 kb/d. OPEC : Annual Report archive.

Wiki Oil Megaprojects - "New" Projects

Alright, back in action after a bout of viral gastroenteritis for the holidays - thought that flu shot would leave me in the clear but my best friend's snot nosed kids put an end to that cheery notion. If you haven't contracted this bug - actually a cocktail of viruses - you're in for a period of total exhaustion, followed by one or more of the following: vomiting, bad case of the trots, severe chills, loss of sense of taste, weakness. I had to cope with the last three, the snot nosed kids puked and then went on their merry way. Yes, copiously washed my hands when visiting, too. Lot of good that does!

Had some time to fiddle with my spreadsheet, and here's where new oil seems to be coming from:

Ah, Iraq, cornucopia of cornucopias. They chime in with 2050 kb/d out of 2120 kb/d total - sic. You got that right, so much for a gusher of anything tangible. As for the remaining, I added Algar myself - my first and probably last round of editing Wikis. It's 10 kb/d so technically under the radar of the Wiki in the first place, which is supposed to be ≥ 20 kb/d. But it doesn't look like there are too many cooks in that kitchen anymore - emailed Sam Foucher about this blog, will see if he chimes in.

Taking Rumalia out of the picture brings 2010 down to 3100 kb/d - which is below my putative decline rate of 3755 kb/d for that year, which can't be that far from those calculated by real researchers, no? This gives a deficit of 655 kb/d for last year - a factor in the inexorable price rise? Of course OPEC have at least ca. 1.4 mb/d of spare cap somewhere or another. This would just eat into that to an extent - but we heard no news of OPEC turning on taps, rather them saying that they're satisfied with whatever the price band was at the moment.

Now, Rumalia has made no such collosal gain, in case you haven't heard. In fact, investigating a bit closer, that subject deserves a post of its own.