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January Oil Supply


Stuart Staniford is a scientist and innovator in the technology industry with advanced degrees in physics and computer science, This post presents the latest data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) on crude oil and associated liquids production and price as of January 2012. This article is cross posted from Early Warning where it forms part of a long running series of articles that charts monthly changes in global oil supply (total liquids) from the EIA, IEA and OPEC.

Total liquid fuels were at all time highs in January, according to OPEC and the IEA.

A graph of changes just since 2008 is above, and a longer picture (with prices on the RHS) is here:

The combination of higher production and (slightly) lower prices is causing the price production curve to push the envelope of recent behavior:

The above data are all for “Total Oil Supply” aka “Total Liquid Fuels”.  To break it down into components we need to rely on EIA data that only go through October (so we can’t see where the surge in Nov-Jan came from yet):

Note the above is not zero-scaled.  It allows us to see that “crude plus condensate” (C&C) has been pretty flat since 2005, with increases in the total mainly coming from other components of the liquid fuel stream.  This next picture makes a line graph of that data and moves the “crude plus condensate” line onto the right hand scale to make the changes in the different streams more easily comparable:

You can see that during the C&C plateau period since 2005, about 1mpd in additional total supply has come from a long standing trend in the increase in natural gas liquids (NGPL), while another 1mpd has come from “Other Liquids” and appears to be specifically a response to the plateauing of conventional oil.  This is mainly biofuels.  Note that the increases in “Other Liquids” appear to have leveled off in 2011.  The world has very limited capacity to produce more biofuel without causing severe increases in food prices.

The Oil Drum

2 Comments on "January Oil Supply"

  1. John Kintree on Sat, 25th Feb 2012 3:09 pm 

    How would these graphs of total liquid fuels production look if EROEI was factored in to show net liquid fuels production?

  2. BillT on Sun, 26th Feb 2012 2:18 am 

    John, changing the graph to oil equivalent NET energy would show a decline since 2006 at least. A sharp decline. No report I have seen even mentions EROEI as it would pull the rug out from under the idea that we are ok.

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