Wednesday, February 27, 2013
In trying to understand why global oil supply has flattened out lately (in 2012 for the whole world, and since late 2010 for non-OPEC supply), I found it helpful to make the above graph which shows the top ten countries, and bottom ten countries, for change in oil supply between the second half of 2010, and May-October 2012 (the last six months available from the EIA).
Basically, the big increases have come from the US tight oil boom (with an assist from Canada), and also from the reasonably stable countries in OPEC, which have been increasing production (principally Saudi Arabia, Iraq, UAE, and Kuwait). Meanwhile, the decreases have been coming from ongoing exhaustion-related declines in the North Sea (UK and Norway), together with a variety of political problems around the globe (sanctions on Iran, instability in Sudan, Libya, and Syria).
So, the question of how much supplies go up or down in 2013 is likely to turn on how much the forces of entropy and political chaos affecting oil producing countries weigh against the profit motive acting to bring more supplies from stable countries.