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Peak oil in Latin America

Peak oil in Latin America

This post is using mainly BP’s Statistical Review published in June 2017. Although these statistics put Mexico under North America, it is included here and added to South and Central America’s data at the end of this article. We start with 2 big oil suppliers: Brazil and Venezuela.

Brazil_oil_prod_cons_biofuels_1965-2016Fig 1: Brazil’s oil production, net imports and bio fuels

Brazil’s oil production (crude plus NGLs) has not yet peaked. BP’s consumption data include bio fuels which are a very important contributor to liquid supplies (data taken from EIA’s international energy statistics). We can see that net oil imports have been reduced and even turned into net exports (145 kb/d in 2016) by using biofuels (ethanol and bio diesel, around 560 kb/d in 2016).

Venezuela_oil_production_vs_consumption_1965-2016Fig 2: Venezuela’s oil production and net exports

Venezuela’s oil production peaked in the 70s and more recently in 2006. Conventional oil fields in Maracaibo peaked in 1997 while extra heavy oil production from the Orinoco belt cannot offset that decline. Low oil prices have worsened this situation. The impact on the economy is devastating as can be seen in media reports every day. They usually blame Maduro’s socialist government for this malaise but rarely mention the oil geological problems. A separate article on this is under preparation. Since 2006, Venezuelan production declined by 930 kb/d, more than Brazil’s growth of 800 kb/d in the same period. Recent monthly data from JODI show these different trends. Venezuela’s sharp drop in 2003 was caused by a PDVSA strike. Can that happen again?

Brazil_vs_Venezuela_crude_2002-Jun2017Fig 3: Brazil vs Venezuela monthly crude production

In its August 2017 oil market report the IEA showed declining exports from Venezuela.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

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