Thursday, February 4, 2010

Crosschecking US Oil Demand Statistics

Yesterday, I posted this graph of OPEC's estimates of quarterly demand.

I was trying to figure out where the increased global production is going.  In cross-checking the OPEC numbers, I started by looking at US demand, which is the great bulk of North American demand:

As you can see, in the OPEC chart above, the recovery in oil demand from Q2 of 2009 is about 350kbd in Q3, and then about 500kbd in Q4.

So then I took a look at the EIA weekly product supplied numbers (which I last looked at here).  Since this series does not have a strong seasonal element historically, and the OPEC demand numbers are not seasonally adjusted, I didn't seasonally adjust.  Here are the weekly numbers (blue), together with a seven week centered moving averages (red), and the quarterly averages (black horizontal lines).

As you can see, the pattern is rather different - the numbers go up 700 kbd from Q2 to Q3 but then fall so that we are only up about 500kbd from Q2 to Q4.  So we get to the same place as the OPEC numbers but via a rather different route.

One possibility is that Mexico and Canada significantly correct this picture.  I will shortly go up to the Canadian site and pay my $3 to find out.

Update: Here is the Canadian data - free!

They are only up to October, but so far the pattern looks roughly similar to the US - lowest in Q2, recovery in Q3, and then lower again in Q4.  One million m3/month translates to 206kbd, so you can pretty much divide by five to get mbd from the scale of the above graph.  Eyeballing the graph, the change from Q2 to Q3 was of order 50kbd.  So Canada is only going to give an O(10%) correction to the US changes, and apparently in a generally similar direction.

I doubt the data for Mexico is available, but presumably it would not change the broad conclusion, given that Mexican consumption is even less than Canada's, and is also probably correlated with the US.

Update 2:  I've added the monthly data, and the quarterly averages of it (Q4 only through November) to the graph in green, along the lines suggested by Datamunger in comments.  As he says, the pattern is different - the Q3 bump up and back down in Q4 is reduced to a 200kbd bump in Q3, and flat between Q3 and Q4.  This is in no better agreement with the OPEC numbers.

So my conclusion for the time being is that we have no idea where the increase in global production is going, because the data is too poor to draw any clear conclusion.  Hopefully, time and more investigation will clarify the issue. 


Datamunger said...

As I mentioned in your previous article, the weekly demand numbers are not final. Just estimates based on a sample.

You can get final quarterly consumption numbers here.

Datamunger said...

Monthly (final) numbers for US consumption are here .

Stuart Staniford said...

Datamunger - yeah, I'm aware of that. But we don't have the final numbers for Q4 yet.

Datamunger said...

Sure, but the final numbers we do have for 2009 show massive revisions. eg. The bump up in Q3 mostly disappears.

Stuart Staniford said...

DM: I've added those numbers to the graph in an update up above. They are as you say. The agreement with the OPEC numbers is no better.

KLR said...

I use SIE :: Sistema de Información Energética to javascript:go('bdiController?action=temas')check monthly PEMEX data, perhaps there's supply figures as well. Go to Información estadística, HIDROCARBUROS. "Petróleo crudo" is where the field data resides. Petroquímicos=Petrochemicals. Petrolíferos=Petroleum. I think that one is consumption data, but gana a la mierda de mí. ;)

KLR said...

Valor de ventas de petrolíferos=Value of petroleum sales

Elaboración de productos petrolíferos=Production of petroleum products

Volumen de ventas de petrolíferos=Sales volume of petroleum. Tenemos un ganador!

No, you can't feed the site through Google Translate etc. Some kind of funky html issue.

Stuart Staniford said...

KLR - awesome!