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A Snapshot of the Global Oil Market: The Good and the Bad

JODI is the Joint Oil Data Initiative. A project run by the International Energy Agency and a consortium of partners, collecting data on oil demand and supply around the world.

Every month, JODI polls nearly 100 nations asking about their crude production, imports, stockpiles and refinery pulls. The result is one of the most comprehensive snapshots of the global oil market.

Perhaps equally interesting to the data itself, JODI publishes a bi-yearly evaluation of how good participating nations have been in providing data on their energy markets.

The system is simple. Countries are marked on three categories: whether or not they submitted all information, whether or not they got the information in to JODI on time, and the completeness of the provided information. As in elementary school, participants are given a happy, neutral or sad face in each of these areas (guess they ran out of gold stars).

Openness in energy markets has always been a big issue. For years there have been accusations that Gulf nations, for example, incorrectly report their reserves in order to receive higher production quotas from OPEC. Making it very tough to figure out what's happening with global oil supply and demand.

The JODI evaluation offers an interesting view on who's being "naughty or nice" when it comes to reporting. Here's the latest, covering the period July to December, 2009.

Global Energy Market

Some important petro-nations like Mexico, Nigeria, Norway, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait get three smiley faces, indicating a fair degree of openness about their oil market activities.

Nations that were not so forthcoming include Yemen, Vietnam, United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, Greece and Egypt. Interestingly, emerging market powers China, India and Russia submitted data on time but failed to provide the full spectrum of requested information. Perhaps some things they still don't want the outside world to know?

The JODI initiative is an ambitious and worthwhile one. Hopefully more nations play ball over the coming months and years.

By. Dave Forest of Notela Resources

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