Wednesday 4 September 2013

Supply Side: Global Oil Production

This post is meant to be a highlevel look at who is currently producing oil and will sketch out some areas that I will explore in this blog going forward.

Looking at April 2013 total liquids production data we can see that the US actually was the leading producer at over 12MM bpd. The Saudi Arabia (KSA) and Russia rounded out the top three. These have been the big three since oil took on it’s central importance in the 20th century. The key trends to notice are the American upswing and the steady European Decline. We’ll have plenty of time to explore some production possibilities for all the major players.

An interesting comparison is this April 2013 graph of Crude and Condensate production (C+C)

In this graph we actually see that Russia is producing at the highest C+C level with KSA, Africa both coming in at a higher production level then the US. I will have a post on terminology and the other liquids that create the large gap between C+C and Total Liquids.

To reprint this graph from a previous post I want to again stress the importance of the undulating plateau that we’ve been on for C+C since 2005 around the 75MM bpd mark; despite the price incentives. This is the stuff that matters, crude oil is what we’ve built our society and economies upon. A decline in its production may not necessarily result in a decline in overall liquids, but it would bring a sense of urgency to the POD analysis.

I will post on the different types of liquids that cause the diverging gap between C+C and Total Liquids production.

Exploring the following areas will be my area of interest for what I deem the supply side of the POD:

1. American Production: What impact will the 'unconventional resources' have on future production?
2. Saudi Arabia and Russia: Guessing at the health of their existing conventional resources and their potential for new sources of production.
3. Decline Rates: How are the new sources of oil production impacting the overall decline rate of producing sources? How will Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) methods, used to increase recovery rate and even prolong the plateau phase of a field ultimately impact the eventual decline rate?
4. Africa: What is the potential for new conventional resources on this continent? Exploration has been constrained more by political risk concerns then the lack of potential. Assuming, (and hoping!) that Africa can collectively stabilize and develop in the coming future, what is the potential for the world to gain some new conventional production from this region?
5. Pricing: How will these different scenarios impact pricing, and how will pricing impact these different scenarios.
6. Megaprojects: the importance of Giant Oilfields that are currently producing. 

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