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Why Saudi Arabia’s Crackdown Sent Oil Prices Soaring

Saudi Arabia’s most powerful man…

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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…

More Info

What’s Next For OPEC?

What’s Next For OPEC?

The latest OPEC Monthly Oil Market Report is out with OPEC production data for. The data is “Crude Only” and does not reflect condensate production.

Also the charts, except for Libya, are not zero based. I chose to amplify the change rather than the total.

All Data is in thousand barrels per day with the last data point December 2014.

OPEC12

OPEC 12 production has averaged slightly above or below 30 million barrels per day for about two years now and there is little chance it will go anywhere very fast. But what is obvious from the above chart is there has been no surge in OPEC oil production. OPEC’s December production of 30,204,000 barrels per day is still more than 1.4 million barrels per day below the peaks of 2008 and 2012.

Algeria

Algeria is struggling to keep production relatively flat.

Angola

Angola is holding its own… so far.

Ecuador

Ecuador increased production by 13,000 barrels per day in December, from 543,000 to 556,000 bpd. Not much but quite a jump for such a small producer. Related: New King In Saudi Arabia But Same Old Oil Policy

Iran

Nothing is happening in Iran. What might happen in Iran is another thing altogether.

Iraq

Iraq was where the big OPEC increase came from in December. They went from 3,331,000 bpd to 3,616,000 bpd, an increase of 285,000 barrels per day. This is considerably less than their almost half a million barrels per day increase in February but very significant nevertheless.

Libya

Libya is still having very serious political problems and that is putting it mildly. Who knows what is going to happen there, but it is unlikely they will see these problems solved anytime soon.

Kuwait

Kuwait’s super-giant Burgan Field is in decline so Kuwait has engaged in a massive infill drilling program to increase production in five northern oil fields—Abdali, Bahra, Ratqa, Raudhatain, and Sabriya (Kuwait’s third largest field) from around 650,000 bpd to 900,000 bpd. They were successful but now they have peaked again and production is headed down.

Nigeria

Nigeria’s political problems have been raging for years and there is little hope they will be settled within the next decade or so. Nigeria will be very lucky if they can maintain their current production level.

Qatar

Qatar peaked back in 2008 and is now producing almost 200,000 barrels per day below that peak. From the looks of what has happened in the last four months they may be in terminal decline. They can only hope that the decline slows. Is this their Seneca Cliff?

Related: What King Abdullah’s Passing Means For The Oil Markets

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Aramco to cut drilling costs, hold rig count steady

Aramco deployed 210 oil and gas rigs in 2014, marking an exceptionally busy year.

Saudi has more than doubled its rig count in recent years, operating 210 rigs even after Manifa is complete. This this means they are drilling about 2500 new wells per year. Why? They are not increasing production, all those new wells are only keeping production flat.

United Arab Emirates

The UAE, like Kuwait and everyone else for that matter, has been doing a lot of infill drilling. They have managed to increase production from their 2008 peak by about 150 thousand barrels per day.

Venezuela

Despite having more oil reserves than anyone else in the world, Venezuela’s oil production continues to languish. Engineers with six years’ experience in Venezuela make about $400 a month, 9% of the world average and one fourth what they are making just across the border in Colombia.

IraqKuwaitSaudi

Which OPEC nations are holding their own and which ones are languishing? OPEC production peaked in 2012 and only four countries have held their own or slightly increased production since then, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

OtherEight

The other eight OPEC countries, combined, peaked in 2005 and have declined by about 3 million barrels per day since then. Of the eight, only Libya and Iran could produce very much more if their political problems were to disappear. However that is not likely to happen in the next few years.

Political problems in the Middle East, Africa and Venezuela will get a lot worse before they get better. Low oil prices will, very likely, greatly exacerbate these problems. And who knows what might happen in Saudi Arabia?

By Ron Patterson

Source - http://peakoilbarrel.com/ 

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  • Johnny A. Franco Arboine on January 27 2015 said:
    OPEC ministers invited to Buckingham Palace, 10 Downing Street, and the White House for an accomplishment milestone dinner.

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