Monday, February 13, 2012
Total liquid fuels were at all time highs in January, according to OPEC and the IEA. A graph of changes just since 2008 is above, and a longer picture (with prices on the RHS) is here:
The combination of higher production and (slightly) lower prices is causing the price production curve to push the envelope of recent behavior:
The above data are all for "Total Oil Supply" aka "Total Liquid Fuels". To break it down into components we need to rely on EIA data that only go through October (so we can't see where the surge in Nov-Jan came from yet):
Note the above is not zero-scaled. It allows us to see that "crude plus condensate" (C&C) has been pretty flat since 2005, with increases in the total mainly coming from other components of the liquid fuel stream. This next picture makes a line graph of that data and moves the "crude plus condensate" line onto the right hand scale to make the changes in the different streams more easily comparable:
You can see that during the C&C plateau period since 2005, about 1mpd in additional total supply has come from a long standing trend in the increase in natural gas liquids (NGPL), while another 1mpd has come from "Other Liquids" and appears to be specifically a response to the plateauing of conventional oil. This is mainly biofuels. Note that the increases in "Other Liquids" appear to have leveled off in 2011. The world has very limited capacity to produce more biofuel without causing severe increases in food prices.