Saturday, November 28, 2009

US Price-Production Plot

Oil price versus US crude production 1900-2009.  2009 is through Aug for production, and through October for price.  Prices are inflation adjusted to 2008.  Sources: BP for prices, and EIA for production. 

For the US, still the world's third largest oil producer, rather than look at the monthly data from 2001 on, it seemed more illuminating to plot price and production over an extended period to see what a country that has peaked looks like.  The result is pretty interesting!  A few notes on years of special significance:
  • The series starts in 1900, because that's when the EIA production data starts.
  • Note the great depression, which causes a drop in production and prices.
  • Note how little impact Pearl Harbor and WWII had (though it would no doubt have been very different without rationing)
  • In general, prices get gradually cheaper in real terms all through the long increase in US production.  As soon as the US peaks in 1970, it's a different world and prices are never the same again.
  • Prices jump up sharply from 1973-1974 following the oil embargo.  Then there's a period of comparative stability from 1974-1978.
  • 1979 brings the Iranian revolution, and prices go through the roof.  They peak in 1980.
  • Price then gradually declines due to massive conservation efforts in the developed world, as well as new oil production regions in Alaska and the North Sea coming on line. 
  • Interestingly, in this plot, it's 1998 that really looks like the turning point to a new regime as prices start to shoot up.
  • Note the backward slope to both the big oil price shocks.  In both cases, production continued to decline as price shot up, and only started to increase after price had peaked.

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