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Ron Patterson

Ron Patterson

Ron Patterson is a retired computer engineer. He worked in Saudi Arabia for five years, two years at the Ghazlan Power Plant near Ras Tanura…

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Iranian Oil Is Disguising A Significant Decline In Global Production

Yemen Oil Wells

The EIA has apparently stopped publishing its International Energy Statistics. Instead they are now publishing an abbreviated version on their Total Energy web page titled: Table 11.1b World Crude Oil Production. Here they publish crude + condensate production numbers for Persian Gulf Nations, Selected Non-OPEC Countries, Total Non-OPEC and World. The “Selected Non-OPEC Producers are Canada, China, Egypt, Mexico, Norway, Russia, United Kingdom and the United States. They have just released their latest data through February 2016.

All the data below is in thousand barrels per day and through February 2016 unless otherwise noted.

(Click to enlarge)

They have world C+C peaking, so far, in November 2015 at 80,630,000 bpd. February production was 79,653,000 bpd, or 977,000 bpd below the peak. World C+C production, they say, averaged 80,035,000 in 2015. Average for the first two months of 2016 was 79,933.000 or 102,000 bpd below the average for 2015.

So with world production continuing to decline, there is little doubt that 2016 production will be well below 2015 production.

(Click to enlarge)

They have Non-OPEC peaking in March 2015 at 46,504,000 bpd and down by 925,000 bpd in February to 45,579,000 bpd.

(Click to enlarge)

They also publish OPEC member’s data, Table 11.1a. OPEC C+C failed to breach its 2012 peak but did reach 34,562,000 bpd in July 2015 but by February 2016 it was down 488,000 bpd to 34,074,000 bpd.

(Click to enlarge)

This is the EIA’s version of Canadian production. It looks exactly like Canada’s National Energy Board data except the EIA’s data is about 150,000 bpd less than Canada’s NEB shows. Obviously Canada is counting something that the EIA is not. Look for Canada’s production to decline substantially in 2016. And those May wildfires will not help at all.

(Click to enlarge)

China has peaked. The only question left to be answered is how fast will she decline? There are several articles on the web about China’s decline, but they all say about the same thing. Related: Over 20 Oil Majors Sign Up for Mexico’s Most Lucrative Offshore Oil Blocks

Data from the National Bureau of Statistics released on Saturday showed China produced 16.59 million tonnes of crude oil last month, or about 4.04 million barrels per day (bpd), the lowest rate since July 2013 on a daily basis.

(Click to enlarge)

Egypt is in a slow decline. But we have known that for years.

(Click to enlarge)

Mexico managed to stem their decline for a few months but their production has begun to decline again.

(Click to enlarge)

Norway, which produced around 3 million barrels per day from 1996 to 2004, has now dropped to almost half that amount. But they have managed halt the decline in 2012 and have since even increased their production slightly. It is likely they will continue to hold this production for at least another year. They are managing to buck the trend.

(Click to enlarge)

The UK peaked at just under 3 million barrels per day in 1998 and for the last three years or so has averaged about one third that amount. But the UK has also managed to stem their decline. For how long, I have no idea.

(Click to enlarge)


Russia has been a real shocker. No one, inside or outside Russia, expected them to increase production by over 200,000 bpd over the last few months. *Production declined by .7 percent in April according to the Russian Energy Ministry. My above projection was made using average change in production of the Energy Ministry’s data.

Everyone has a different opinion on what to expect from Russia next year. Everyone now expects their production to increase slightly this year. I say now because everyone had a different opinion a few months ago. But…

The U.S. is, of course, a big part of what is happening to world oil production, and will continue to play a big part. I think U.S. production will continue to decline for another year or so. After that? I think production will flatten out then increase slightly. But the boom times very expensive shale oil brought are over. Related: Crude Bounces Back On Pre-OPEC Meeting Rumors

(Click to enlarge)

Iran is the main reason the price induced decline has not become obvious.

In conclusion, In spite of the recent increase in Russian production, as well as the slight increase from the North Sea, and in spite of the dramatic production increase from Iran due to the lifting of sanctions, world crude oil production is in decline. And while it is true that most of this decline is due to the price crash, it remains to be seen just how much production will recover when the price returns to… to… wherever it returns to before it stops.

But… the decline has only just begun. The price collapse caused the plateau in world oil production that begun about March 2015. However, the decline did not actually begin until January 2016. The dramatic rise in production from Iran has kept the decline from becoming obvious to everyone. However when the May production numbers come in, I think it will then become obvious to everyone.

By Ron Patterson via Peakoilbarrel.com

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Leave a comment
  • adec on June 01 2016 said:
    Thanks for the informative article.
  • Tayis on June 02 2016 said:
    What you left out is the steady decline in demand that will continue.
  • Sam on June 04 2016 said:
    Very good and informative, but seems kind of one sided. No mention of process and cost changes in USA shale industry. Also where is an analysis of the whole world production including growing Iran, Iraq, Libya, Russia, Saudi Arabia and so. The main point is that oil has become a function of market and not a will of criminal Arabian Carleones.
  • aceibis on June 08 2016 said:
    As always,...demand is the driver in any market. Outside of India, demand for crude oil is low. The global economy remains sluggish and is forecasted to be so into 2017. Producers tend to become undisciplined in a soft market, as evidenced by lack of investment (new sourcing) maintenance of existing infrastructure, and innovation (efficiency gains). In addition, there are always the wild cards of war, terrorism, and endemic corruption to put a damper on production.

    At the moment sentiment favors circumstances on the production side in the face of a weak demand environment, which offers an explanation for the slow rise in price point over last while

    We can look forward to relative price stability in the near to medium term. Over the longer term, If demand does pickup there maybe a lag in the response from producers, however we can rest assured given the existing overhang, there would need to be a major disruption in order for price to rise significantly
  • Amtet on June 08 2016 said:

    You got it backward, global demand continues a steady increase.
  • Bill Simpson on June 08 2016 said:
    Think of the world of hurt we would be in already without the advancements in horizontal drilling and fracking. That probably gave us until around 2022 before the peak in liquid production really becomes obvious to everyone.
    Less oil has to shrink the global economy because electric vehicles can't replace oil driven ones at the same, or cheaper price. Developing world people can't afford $35,000 electric cars so they will buy gasoline ones, millions and millions of them. Since they outnumber the # of people in the developed world, the price of oil will go way up from increasing demand for oil. They will use oil faster than you can save it, because they outnumber us.
    The basic potential problem is that it has historically taken more energy to grow the global economy. That energy has to come from somewhere. If not from oil in transportation, then from where will the energy come? The peak oil problem can cause the economy to shrink, which can threaten the indebted economy with a downward spiral. We might not have time for the economy to adjust to having less work done. The financial system might collapse soon after peak oil arrives because of bad debts. It nearly happened in 2008. We will know in less than 10 years. Expect governments to try everything imaginable to try and stop it. They might delay the collapse, but overcoming physics is tough. It takes energy to accomplish work.

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