• 4 minutes Nord Stream 2 Halt Possible Over Navalny Poisoning
  • 8 minutes America Could Go Fully Electric Right Now
  • 11 minutes JP Morgan says investors should prepare for rising odds of Trump win
  • 1 day Permian in for Prosperous and Bright Future
  • 3 hours Daniel Yergin Book is a Reality Check on Energy
  • 1 day YPF to redeploy rigs in Vaca Muerta on export potential
  • 1 day Gepthermal fracking: how to confuse a greenie
  • 9 hours Famine, Economic Collapse of China on the Horizon?
  • 9 hours Oil giants partner with environmental group to track Permian Basin's methane emissions
  • 2 days US after 4 more years of Trump?
  • 1 day Top HHS official takes leave of absence after Facebook rant about CDC conspiracies
  • 2 days The Perfect Solution To Remove Conflict Problems In The South China East Asia Sea
  • 3 hours Open letter from Politico about US-russian relations
  • 2 days Surviving without coal is a challenge!!
  • 3 days Portuguese government confirms world record solar price of $0.01316/kWh

How Much Spare Capacity Does Saudi Arabia Really Have?

Saudi Arabia has pledged to cover any supply gap that may emerge as Iranian oil goes offline, but how much spare capacity does it really have?

The massive reserve of spare capacity located in the Saudi desert is the stuff of legend, taken as gospel in the world of oil. After all, Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world that can ramp up or down millions of barrels of production on short notice. And the Saudis have never let us down. 

But Saudi Arabia’s mythical spare capacity may finally be tested. Saudi officials insist that they can produce up to between 12.0 and 12.5 million barrels per day (mb/d) if needed. With output at about 10.4 mb/d in August, the latest month for which data is available, that suggests that they have around 1.5 to 2 mb/d of spare capacity. 

Not everyone buys that figure. Indeed, the precise amount of spare capacity has been the subject of much debate for years and even decades. Now, because Iranian supply is going offline at a rapid clip, the world may soon find out if Saudi Arabia’s confidence is backed up by reality or if it has all been a bunch of bluster. 

The EIA says that total OPEC spare capacity is set to average 1.49 mb/d in the fourth quarter, which is rather low by historical standards. The EIA sees OPEC spare capacity falling to 1.19 mb/d by the fourth quarter of 2019. 

There are a few times in the relatively recent past when spare capacity was that low, including two years…




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News