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Energy Insights:68: An Analysis of the 2006 BP Statistical Review of World Energy: Oil

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68: An Analysis of the 2006 BP Statistical Review of World Energy: Oil


June 2007. It was, after 4 years, time to take another look at the net production graphs. In the updated versions, the red curve is always the entire region's net production--negative being a net importer and positive being a net exporter. What individual countries can be analyzed are. Additional comments will be in italics.

Feb, 2003--Every year British Petroleum publishes an analysis of the state of global energy.  This year, I decided to analyze the supply situation for every individual region.  The following graphs show that over the last three years, production has declined in every region.  for some areas this very well might be due to political (read that OPEC decisions) but for other regions,  that argument doesn't hold water.    I focused on net oil production for each country. This is the difference between what a country produces and what it consumes.  Importing nations are negative, exporting nations are positive.  Here is the chart for North America. The most fascinating aspect of North America's updated production is that the high prices have had such little effect on the consumption.  In 2006 there was less net importation than in 2005, but only by a small amount.  The response to the high prices of the 1970s was much, much greater than has currently taken place. 

Clearly the US is a huge energy sink.  Both Canada and Mexico are gradually rising but, Mexico has been plateaued for quite a while.

Central and South America

This chart shows that Venezuela (upper dark green) peaked out net production in 1996 and its exports have been going down ever since. One very important issue concerns the net production of Central and South America, the upper light blue curve.  It is dropping, meaning less oil on the market. Brazil (pink curve), whose production has soared over the past few years is still a net importer of oil. Brazil's offshore has proved to be a prolific region.  However, it is unlikely as Venezuela drops, that Brazil will be able to replace that much lost production. Indeed, four years on, Brazil, whose economy is using up more oil, is still a net importer and the largest user of ethanol. After having exports rise in the 1990s, they began to decline early in this century. Four years on, that decline in total Central and South American exports continues. The slight rise in Venezuela's production early in this century was due to the heavy oil sands.  The traditional part of the Venezuelan oil industry, controlled by Chavez, was dropping throughout this time period.  


Production data for the Former Soviet Union was not available prior to 1985 so that is where the data begins and explains the weird jumps at that time.  The red  is the net for all of Eurasia.  If this were merely Europe, the curve would be a huge hole.  But production from the Russian Federation (top green curve) is what is causing the Eurasia to be nearly an exporter. However, the future looks dim for Eurasia as a whole to become a net exporter.  Why?  Because  Norway ( the upper purple curve) production peaked in 2001 and it is going down. As of May 2003, the UK production drop is accelerating to the point where 2003 will probably produce 6 million less tonnes of oil than the UK produced in 2002. Increases in Russian production will have to replace the losses in both the UK and Norway. Four years on, Europe remains a net importer. Russian production has flattened, and the decline in the UK and Norwegian production has accelerated. Since 2003, the demand for oil in the 'other' category has accelerated tremendously. Perhaps this is the economies of eastern Europe growing rapidly.

Middle East

What can one say except that there is lots of production in the Middle East.  The drop over the past 4 years is probably due to OPEC cuts. Four years on, with the knowledge that oil prices reached record highs in nominal dollars, the Middle East's production no longer match's and appears incapable of matching the total Mid-East production of 1980-1981.  Given that the governments of the Middle East need the money, it is surprising that they seem incapable of increasing their production, even when there is an economic need.  The rise in production from 2003 to 2007 is the time of all out production.  Is this all they have to give? Is this evidence that they have no spare capacity?  


Unfortunately, the Statistical review doesn't have enough data to break out the production by countries.  However, it is clear that for the short term, Africa, with its increasing net exports, will be a major player on the world scene. But it is only half of the production of the Middle East. Four years on, Africa's net production has continued to increase.  And with all probability, it will continue for another few years.


The big story, not covered in the past version of this page is Asia-Pacific.  Here is the chart for that region.

It shows how the improving economies of China and India are driving the consumption of oil in this region to new levels. China's 10+% growth every year for the past several years is clearly seen in the consumption curve.  While I was in China the first time, in 1994, China switched from being self-sufficient in energy to being a net importer.  We wondered at that time what the impact would be on world oil prices.  Little did we envision what would happen the next few years, although, one should have been able to see it at the time, given the vast number of construction cranes being used across northern China at the time. Over the past 5 years China's percentage of growth in net oil consumption has varied from 2% to 37% (2004--which caused the price rise that year).  This trend is going to continue. Social stability in China requires it.

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