Friday, February 11, 2011

OPEC Production

The above graph shows four different series for OPEC production.  The EIA Table 1.4 and IEA series are "all liquids" (that is, including NGLs - Natural Gas Liquids).  The EIA Table 1.1 is Crude+Condensate, and the OPEC MOMR series is crude only.

Note that during the period of this graph (since 2000), there have been membership changes.  The history is as follows:
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) was founded in Baghdad, Iraq, with the signing of an agreement in September 1960 by five countries namely Islamic Republic of Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. They were to become the Founder Members of the Organization.

These countries were later joined by Qatar (1961), Indonesia (1962), Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya (1962), the United Arab Emirates (1967), Algeria (1969), Nigeria (1971), Ecuador (1973), Gabon (1975) and Angola (2007).

From December 1992 until October 2007, Ecuador suspended its membership. Gabon terminated its membership in 1995. Indonesia suspended its membership effective January 2009.
The IEA series reflects these changes, but the EIA series seems to have been reworked backwards to be the production of the current OPEC membership, rather than production of the membership at the time.

The questions of most interest at present are how far from the previous peak production we are now, and how soon we will reach that again.  All series show increases since the depths of the recession, and we are 1.5-2mbd from the peak in each case (accounting for the disappearance of about 850kbd of Indonesian production from the OPEC total in the IEA series since the 2008 peak of production).

Once we reach that peak, the main remaining question will be how much of Saudi Arabia's new capacity has been offset by losses in the big old fields - particularly the northern part of Ghawar.


KLR said...

Tables 1 and 3 of the OMR have OPEC crude too, wonder how they differ from the MOMR and its "secondary sources." Think I'll get cracking on that, what with all this talk about fealty to quota etc. Laherrère's TOD post on that was good stuff as usual.

Really wish the IEA would make their numbers more accessible. They have those disclaimers about "Historic Composition" too. I seem to recall the EIA making a disclaimer about revising historic OPEC data, and the Dec STEO says:

Historical data: Latest data available from Energy Information Administration databases supporting the International Petroleum Monthly ; and International Energy Agency, Monthly Oil Data
Service, latest monthly release.
Minor discrepancies with published historical data are due to independent rounding.

FWIW. Ack, EIA has done an Extreme Makeover on their front page, nice. Ack ack, they've revised the STEO archive too, with all the files - including .xls - on one handy page, a couple weeks after I laboriously downloaded it all a file at a time...what's it they say in cartoons? &*$(%*()#&!@^$!!

OK, these STEO .xls files have OPEC crude too - along with the exact same disclaimers...thank you EIA! Simplified that. They start providing the international petroleum data in Oct 2007, before that it's all US-centric stuff. That will provide OPEC numbers back to 2003.

Kenneth D. Worth said...

When I look at this data, what strikes me is the magnitude of the monthly changes in output prior to January 2005 compared to afterward. Before 05, there are routine one and two million bpd swings in just a month. This suggests a "turning up the taps" and then a "turning down the taps" to regulate price (i.e. to keep it between $20 and $30) which they did very successfully until 2004 when it appears global and especially Chinese demand (about 900k bbl increase from China alone) was just too strong.

Price data here:

After that time, with the exception of the output reductions of late 2008, nearly all the moves were incremental suggesting that bringing on additional capacity to limit price increases was very difficult.

And after 2004, of course, prices moved violently, as you would expect if supply was constrained.

Now, after the output drop of late 08, we have almost baby steps upward.

It would be comforting to see a nice 1 mbpd increase in OPEC output in one of these months to indicate that readily available excess capacity actually still exists, especially as prices have crossed $100 a barrel again.

Stuart Staniford said...

Ken - agreed. In theory OPEC has not agreed to any production increase since the depths of the recession - actual increases are leakages from their agreements.