I had said that this morning I would provide a synthesis of the constraints on oil demand/supply recovery and how they set up the next price shock. However, I realized over the weekend that I don't have all the pieces in place to do that yet. So I think I'll keep working on it one piece at a time, and then early in the new year provide a synthesis.
Here's one piece of the picture. I updated my spreadsheet of Saudi production numbers up to the latest data available from five different data sources. The big black line is the average (for October and November, where I only have some sources so far, I provide a preliminary estimate based on the changes in the series that I do have).
Overall, it looks like Saudi production has recovered about 400kbd from its low point. Given that global production has recovered about 1.5mbd, Saudi Arabia is responsible for less than a third of that, which is interesting.
Also, in the top panel of the figure is the rig count. From a plateau of about 50 +/- rigs in country, there was a noticeable decline beginning in fall of 2008. I take this to be a sign of Saudi Aramco slackening its effort once the cliff-diving in the global economy forced their production cut and meant they had spare capacity again.