I have updated my graphs with initial estimates of March total oil supply from OPEC and the IEA. There continues to be an appearance of a small plateau the last few months. According to the IEA this is due to outages:
Non-OPEC supply fell by 0.5 mb/d in March to 52.7 mb/d. Decline was widespread, but notable in the UK and at synthetic crude plants in Canada. Unplanned outages reached 1.1 mb/d in 1Q12, restraining non-OPEC output to 53.2 mb/d, albeit 0.5 mb/d higher than 1Q11.If so, we may get a bump up in supply shortly. If not, I would expect prices to move up further before too long.
The graph above only goes back to 2008, and is not zero-scaled: it's intended to show recent movements in close-up focus. If we broaden our view back to 2002, and add prices on the right scale, we get this:
Which shows the "bumpy plateau" in oil supply since 2005 (and I've been maintaining a version of this graph for that long). Note that this month I have updated the inflation adjustment basis for prices from Jan 2010 to Jan 2012.
Finally, I received a request from the staff of Congressman Roscoe Bartlett for a version of this data that shows a still wider view and is zero-scaled. So here is one that adds annual data back to 1970 and is zero-scaled:
That's global liquid fuel production on the left scale (EIA for the annual data and average of OPEC, EIA, and IEA for monthly). Price is on the right scale (BP for annual data and Brent spot prices for monthly - all CPI adjusted to Jan 2012 price level).
Current prices are well above the levels of the 1970s oil shocks in inflation adjusted terms.