Thursday, July 12, 2007

EIA Data for April 2007

The U.S. Department of Energy’s EIA production data for April 2007 has just been released – The world’s average daily production of crude and condensate for the month was 73,404,000 barrels per day. EIA crude and condensate data for the past 2.33 years:

2005 average crude and condensate production = 73,791,000
2006 average crude and condensate production = 73,546,000
2007 average crude and condensate production = 73,302,000, January - April data

EIA data for “All Liquids” (crude, condensate, natural gas plant liquids, ethanol, coal to liquids, tar sands… hence the term “All Liquids”) for April 2007 was 84,327,000 barrels per day. EIA All Liquids average daily production for the past 2.33 years:

2005 All liquids = 84,542,000
2006 All liquids = 84,481,000
2007 All liquids = 84,148,000, January - April data

The peak month for average daily production continues to be May, 2005. We now have 23 months of declining production, while at the same time prices continue to rise. There is no shortage of incentive for the producers to produce.

The Blogs are abuzz with the release from the IEA that, in their opinion, a significant oil "supply crunch" is likely unless OPEC increases output by an additional 1 million bpd immediately, and more over the next 5 years. This is very much a "show me the money" moment. OPEC (Saudi Arabia) claims they have the capacity to continue to control the oil markets and prices by increasing the supply of oil in EXACTLY SUCH TIMES AS THIS. If, in fact, they have such capacity we will know it shortly, (by December, at the absolute latest). There is no need to speculate. A couple of posts ago I listed an alphabet soup of acronyms that were denying the problem - and losing the argument to the data; well, you can remove the IEA from that list. Another 12 months of data continuing the above trend and the rest - EIA, CERA, USGS, API (wow, the list of those who deny is getting rather short!) - will fall quietly into line.

The truly disquieting thing about this sudden about face of the IEA is that the IEA is a political organization - at leaset as much so as a geologic, scentific, data repository, etc... organization, and as such is not in the business of making controversial calls - like causing a panic in the public or in the oil markets. In my view, the IEA must see Peak Oil, they called it a "Plateau", as being upon us or already in the past. Under no other circumstance would they make this kind of pronouncement.

I take no joy in having the data continue to confirm my assertions. The unforeseen outcomes and unintended consequences of a permanent decline in liquid petroleum products could very well be significantly worse than any of us could have imagined, especially if declines in North American Natural Gas production were to occur simultaneously.

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