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TOD-EU: Will OPEC Spare Capacity Disappear in 2011?


In this post I present an analysis of how OPEC oil supplies have responded to changes in crude oil prices during the last 10 years. My objective was to estimate OPEC’s probable marketable crude oil capacities as of May 2010, based on responses of OPEC oil supplies to price changes.

This approach suggests that as of May 2010, OPEC’s marketable spare crude oil capacity was approximately 2 Mb/d and that a majority of this spare capacity is most likely in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and UAE.

The stacked columns show each OPEC member’s crude oil supplies and OPEC’s supplies of lease condensates and NGLs between January 2001 and May 2010. The average monthly oil price is also plotted using amounts on the left hand y-axis.
I also briefly present a recent history of OECD and Non OECD oil supplies/consumption. Based on this analysis, it is probable that demand for OPEC supplies could grow by approximately 2 Mb/d between 2010 and the end of 2011. Putting the estimated current OPEC spare capacity of 2 Mb/d together with the expected increase in demand for OPEC oil supplies of 2 Mb/d suggests that during 2011, OPEC’s spare capacity may be completely eroded–a very serious situation.

The Oil Drum Europe

One Comment on "TOD-EU: Will OPEC Spare Capacity Disappear in 2011?"

  1. ShagRAg on Wed, 1st Sep 2010 5:03 am 

    The Saudi oil minister said that we had excess oil capacity for at least 50 years. He also believes that there is the potential to find enough oil in Saudi Arabia alone, to provide for the World capacity for another 100 years.
    We should stop worrying about oil and start regulating the markets.

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