The Middle East is heading for a crisis in its oil industry. Unfortunately, the market doesn’t realize there is any danger on the horizon because it mainly focuses on how much oil the Middle East is producing rather than its exports. You see, it doesn’t really matter how much oil a country produces but rather the amount of its net oil exports.
A perfect example of this is Mexico. As I mentioned in a recent article, NEXT OIL DOMINO TO FALL? Mexico Becomes A Net Oil Importer, Mexico is now a net importer of oil for the first time in more than 50 years. Furthermore, the IEA – International Energy Agency, published in their newest OMR Report that Mexico is forecasted to lose another 170,000 barrels per day of oil production in 2019. Thus, this is terrible news for the United States southern neighbor as it will have to import even more oil to satisfy its domestic consumption.
Now, when we think of the Middle East, we are mostly concerned with its oil production. However, the Middle Eastern countries, just like Mexico, have been increasing their domestic consumption, quite considerably, over the past 40+ years. How much… well, let’s take a look. Since 2000, total Middle East domestic oil consumption jumped from 5.1 million barrels per day (mbd) to 9.3 mbd in 2017:
As we can see, while Middle East oil production increased by 7.9 mbd from 2000 to 2017, domestic consumption expanded by 4.2 mbd. This means that more than 50% of the Middle East’s production growth during this period was absorbed by domestic use. The next chart shows how the changes in the regions oil production and consumption impacted net oil exports.
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