Friday, November 12, 2010
Yesterday, OPEC reported a decent sized increase in oil production, and today the International Energy Agency concurs. The chart above shows all three major agencies that report public data for global liquid fuel production, with the data since the beginning of 2008. Interestingly, we are now within a few hundred thousand barrels/day of the all-time peak in July 2008. I pointed out back in the spring that it was logically possible we could exceed that peak if the demand was there. At this point, one good monthly increase could put us over that level.
Of course, it's not altogether clear whether the demand will be there. The incoming economic news flow is not too encouraging, with Ireland on the brink of default, and the G-20 leaders in disarray. And oil prices are on the upswing again, though a lot of that is really due to currency movements.
Anyway, here is the longer context since 2002, showing the whole "bumpy plateau" period since 2005.
One interesting sidenote is that the EIA reported a very downbeat preliminary estimate for August. We'll have to see if that gets revised away, or they are about to become the lowest estimate for a while.