Articles tagged with "iraq"
The continuing conflict in Syria, and the slow spread of violence in the region around it continue to make it difficult to accurately predict the future of oil exports from the region. Within Syria itself, production had fallen into decline about ten years ago, before the current struggle began. The precipitate drop over the last two years has, however, been much more dramatic. As Energy Export Databrowser noted from the BP statistic review, production fell by 49% last year.
As with most oil-producing nations, oil consumption had, on the other hand, been steadily rising with net exports (some is exported as crude and re-imported as refined product) falling to around 100 kbd. The conflict has, however, also reduced internal consumption at similar rates earlier in the conflict.
Let me begin with two brief apologies – first, my last post on Iraq on TOD was hit with a vast quantity of spam that made it difficult to find all the pertinent comments; hopefully this post will have a little easier time. And secondly, although I used an EIA graph to show Iraqi production and consumption, Westexas was kind enough to point to an error in the domestic consumption plot. The more accurate consumption plot can be found here through 2011, and the figures for last year are up to 880 kbd, higher than the plot I showed, and close to the current capacity (900 kbd) of the refineries in the country. Some of the difference between the two plots comes about because Iraq continues to import significant quantities of refined oil products.
Last week I mentioned that while the potential production from current contracts in Iraq held great promise for the future, that it was unlikely that those targets would be reached. This post is meant as an explanation for that pessimism, but it should be noted that Iraq itself is now seeking to revise the initial targets since it perceives that too much oil in the market may well be destabilizing. This, even though growth is spread over the next decades, and demand is projected to increase at more than 1 mbd/year for the next few years.
There is often quite a debate in the Peak Oil community over the difference between a reserve and a resource. Simplistically a resource is, for the sake of discussion, the amount of oil that is in the ground in a certain country, while the reserve is the amount of oil that can be both technically and economically recovered from that resource. The numbers can differ quite markedly, and the judgment as to whether a certain body is a reserve is finally made when a well is drilled down, and production (or not) begins.
Just having the reserve available is not, however, within the global discussion of Peak Oil, an adequate sufficiency. Because oil well flow declines over time, it is important that the rate of oil production from that reservoir, and the timeliness of its arrival within the supply chain, be considered. This is particularly true in discussions about the help that the reserve will provide in ensuring that there is an adequate supply available when the global demand needs it. Normally, as noted, the decisions about production are made on geologic and economic grounds, but it would be foolish not to recognize that there are other factors. Consider the case of Iraq. It is a common the assumption that Iraqi oil production will rise considerably, with some suggesting it will reach the levels currently only achieved by Russia and Saudi Arabia, although there are some who project it might even rise to as much as 13 mbd, given that there are contracts in place, which if fulfilled on time, would raise Iraqi production four-fold to 12 mbd by 2017.
In their Special Report on Iraq last year, the IEA noted that the country is already the world’s third-largest oil exporter, with the potential and intent to increase production much further. And, as the EIA notes, Iraq became the second largest oil producer in OPEC when it passed Iran at the end of last year.
Iraq is currently producing around 3.1 mbd of crude and thus the potential production levels, and their contribution to reserves and to the daily global need for supply, still has a way to go. With so much oil potentially available, and yet with considerable question over the rate at which it will arrive, it is worth examining the conclusions that the IEA came to, before the current increase in violence occurred. This new spate of attacks comes after an interval when violence was decreasing in the country, and may prove a further impediment to significant growth in production.
News of the future was, in my youth, something that one found by crossing the palm of a lady in a dark tent with a piece or two of silver (or the modern equivalent) at one of the fairs that came to town. Such opportunities still exist, with all the caveats that existed back then likely still being in force. However, projecting the future, whether of the weather, the likely corn crop this year in the United States, or the production of crude oil by the nations of the world has become a much bigger business with copious tables, graphs and theories replacing the rather worn pack of cards or crystal ball of my youthful experience.
Our part of the world underwent a drought last year severe enough to kill several trees in our yard, for example, as well as hurting the corn crop. This year, corn plantings have been severely impacted by the heavy rains and cold weather, so that decisions on crop plantings have become more complicated and delayed, with follow-on impacts on the ultimate yield in a number of Midwestern states. Corn yield apparently falls at an average rate of 2.3 bushels per acre per day of delay in northern Wisconsin. These changing conditions make it difficult to assess how much ethanol, for example, will be available to meet demand, although the latest EIA TWIP holds out some optimism for this year.
The impact of the drought on corn prices, and the consequent fall in ethanol production, as production costs rose, are directly visible from their plot of the two over the last year.
However, with the weather impacts still being assessed, it is already being concluded that the US corn crop is unlikely to reach the record level of close to 14.6 billion bushels that were earlier projected. It still, however, has the potential to reach around 12.3 billion bushels, which would satisfy the just under 5 billion bushel need for ethanol, as well as other demands of the market. By May 12 only 28% of this year's expected crop had been planted, in contrast with a normal year where 65% would be in the ground. Thus, even the relatively short-term projections of the EIA could yet be in trouble for this year.
Posted by Heading Out on January 23, 2013 - 10:59am
Tags: gas prices, iran, iraq, nigeria, opec oil production, saudi crude production, vehicle miles driven, venezuela [list all tags]
Leanan has noted the API report of the continuing drop in US oil demand. It would be wrong, I believe, to explain this purely by reference to the increased efficiency of vehicles now on the road, nor would it be realistic to expect that these changing conditions will result in a lowering of gas prices.
To explain the rationale behind these thoughts requires reference to two sets of data. The most potent is the behavior of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), but before discussing their actions the story begins with the changes in the miles travelled reports that are issued by the Federal Highway Administration each month. Driven by a comment on recent versions of that plot, it is worth revisiting the summary of the rolling total of miles travelled in the United States, with the October 2012 plot being the last available.
The Oil Drum staff wishes a Merry Christmas to all in our readership community. We are on a brief hiatus in this period, and will be back with our regular publications early in the new year. In the meantime we present the top 10 of best read Oil Drum posts in 2012. The first in this series is an analysis by Heading Out discussing the report by Leonardo Maugeri on future oil production, originally published in July 2012.
The Tech Talks of the last few months have followed a path of looking in a relatively realistic manner at crude oil production with emphasis on that coming from the United States and Russia, as well as Saudi Arabia, the current focus of my weekly pieces. An earlier piece looked at a Citigroup report of considerable optimism, and the post explained why, in reality, it is impractical to anticipate much increase in US production this decade. Since then, after reviewing the production from Russia, several posts have shown why the current lead in Russian daily crude oil production is likely to be soon over and then decline, as the oil companies are not bringing new fields on line as fast as the old ones are running out. Saudi Arabia, as the current posts are in the process of explaining, is unlikely to increase production much beyond 10 mbd, since Ghawar, the major field on which its current production level is built, is reaching the end of its major contribution, though it will continue to produce at a lower rate into the future. The bottom line, at least to date, is that there is no evidence from the top three producers that their production will be even close, in total, to current levels by the end of the decade.
So, (h/t Leanan) there now comes an Energy Study from Harvard which boldly states that this is rubbish - that by 2020, global production will be at 110.6 mbd and these concerns that most of us have at The Oil Drum (inter alia) are chimeras of the imagination.
Posted by Heading Out on December 23, 2012 - 5:40am
Tags: azerbaijan, caspian sea, iran oil exports, iran sanctions, iraq, kyapaz, kyrgyzstan, serdar, turkmenistan [list all tags]
As we come to the end of the year, Leanan continues to point to the many stories that now fill the media reporting on the perception that the time to worry about peak oil is over. However, as Darwinian perceptively points out, the global supply of oil (crude and condensate) is not going up with the celerity that most commentators are envisaging.
The global balance between available supply and demand is in a balance, where the amount of oil remaining available to meet a surge in market demand is quite small. OPEC (and largely Saudi Arabia), by adjusting their production, ensures that the balance is maintained and prices remain at a level with which they are comfortable.
In the December 19th TWIP, the EIA has explained, without endorsing the statement that the US might surpass Saudi Arabia in global fuel production, why that is a less important statistic than folk are generally making it out to be.
The EIA note, in their review, that this balance is predicated on a sustained production from the Middle East. Yet, for several years now, reliance on maintaining current supplies, and guaranteeing adequate supplies in the future has assumed a steadily growing production from Iraq. The EIA notes that it is in the combined production from Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia that contains the additional oil needed for significantly greater production. (Venezuela is also mentioned, though there are more obstacles to overcome before their oil production can increase).
There is, unfortunately, a down-side to the glee which many commentators have greeted the news of potential US production gains. With the assumption that North America (and for this Mexico and Canada are included) can reach the higher targets projected, there is less concern with ensuring that alternate supplies remain available, as world demand continues to rise. This failure to ensure “insurance” may well cause some significant changes in the global market in the non-too-distant future, should the existing projections prove overly optimistic. (And Leanan referenced Kurt Cobb’s more realistic assessment, on Friday).
With the possibility that demand for Iranian oil may fall below 1 million barrels a day (mbd) as sanctions continue to bite, Iran has announced that it wants OPEC to cut back production to the agreed quotas, rather than the overall additional 1 mbd that is actually being produced and sold. Such a move would, of course, make it more difficult for those customers who have found a way to replace Iranian oil, and perhaps incline them more toward disregarding the embargo.
OPEC has just released their December Monthly Oil Market Report (MOMR) in which they anticipate that earlier projections for 2013 oil demand growth will still be valid at 0.8 mbd. (Though they note that December 2012 growth y-o-y was at 1.0 mbd as the US economy continued to improve). They expect that all of this increase will be met by non-OPEC increases in supply, and that demand for OPEC oil may even drop 0.4 mbd. Part of that projection continues to rely on increased US crude production, and the EIA TWIP of December 5th had the latest chart showing that projected growth, based on the newly released Annual Energy Outlook 2013.
Figure 1. Projections of future growth in US crude oil production. (EIA TWIP) from Annual Energy Outlook 2013)
As a footnote to that graph, the Alyeska pipeline pumped an average of 582,755 bd in November, which brings the annual average up to 544, 625 bd. It is clear from looking at that plot that the gains in production are assumed to come from increased production of the "tight" oil deposits that have produced the overall gains achieved to date. The optimism of this projection goes a little beyond the levels that I anticipate will be achieved.
Posted by Euan Mearns on November 28, 2012 - 3:45pm
Tags: algeria, angola, crude oil production, ecuador, iea, iran, iraq, kuwait, libya, nigeria, oil watch, opec, qatar, saudi arabia, spare capacity, united arab emirates, venezuela [list all tags]
OPEC is currently pumping at close to near term and historic highs of 31.2 mmbpd of crude oil. Outside of Saudi Arabia, the majority of spare capacity is deemed to lie in Iran and Nigeria. Iran could certainly pump more if permitted to do so by the international community. It is doubtful that Nigeria could. The UAE Kuwait, Qatar, Libya, Algeria and Venezuela are all pumping at close to capacity levels. Saudi Arabia alone has meaningful spare capacity of 2.1 mmbpd.
Embedded in the production stack (Figure 1) is an intriguing tale of general strike, international conflict, civil war and sanctions combined with masterly control of oil supply that has kept global markets in balance.
Figure 1 Monthly crude oil production for 12 OPEC countries. All data published in this interim report are taken from the monthly IEA Oil Market Reports.
From May 2007 to August 2010, Rembrandt Koppelaar published an e-report called Oil Watch Monthly that summarised global and national oil production and consumption data from the International Energy Agency (IEA) of the OECD and Energy Information Agency (EIA) of the USA. This is the second in a series of new Oil Watch reports, co-authored with Rembrandt and details crude oil production data for 12 OPEC countries (includes Angola and Ecuador, excludes Indonesia) as reported by the International Energy Agency. Earlier editions:
This is a guest post by Stephen Sorrell, senior lecturer Science and Technology Policy Research, Sussex Energy Group, and lead author of the UKERC Global Oil Depletion report, and Christophe McGlade, doctoral researcher at the UCL Energy Institute. This post was slightly revised by the authors and updated here on 25/07/2012. Please see paragrapghs 8 and 9 below the fold for the updated text.
Commentary on: Oil: 'The Next Revolution: The Unprecedented Upsurge of Oil Production Capacity and What it Means for the World' - Leonardo Maugeri, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
Summary Maugeri's analysis and conclusions are critically dependent upon the decline rates applied to existing and future fields, and yet he does not explicitly say what these decline rates will be. However, Maugeri’s assumptions can be derived from his Table 2, which projects gross and net capacity additions over the period to 2020. Doing so suggests he uses an average annual decline rate for all fields of 1.6% over this period, which is less than half of the IEA and CERA estimates for 2008 (4.1%/year and 4.5%/year respectively). The discrepancy is even greater since the IEA and other analysts project an increase in average decline rates over the 2011-20 period. If we replace Maugeri’s 1.6% decline rate assumption with the IEA estimate of 4.1%, the projected loss of production capacity over the period to 2020 increases from 11 mb/d to 26.5 mb/d. In turn, the projected global production capacity in 2020 reduces from 110.6 mb/d to 95.1mb/d (a reduction of 14%). Since average decline rates would be expected to increase over this period, this projection must be considered optimistic.