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CHART OF THE WEEK: The Surprising Drop In U.S. Crude Oil Production

CHART OF THE WEEK: The Surprising Drop In U.S. Crude Oil Production

U.S. crude oil production experienced a surprising drop last week, even though domestic demand for oil and petroleum products increased.  This came as a surprise to some energy analysts.  Furthermore, the IEA, International Energy Agency came out with a forecast for global oil demand to fall 8.1 million barrels per day in 2020.

I have to say, this is terrible news coming from the IEA.  Just last month, the IEA stated that global oil demand could fall to 7.1 mbd (million barrels per day), but only recently updated their forecast for an 8.1 mbd decline in 2020 due to “gloomy airline travel.”

Actually, we don’t really know what global oil demand will look like by the end of the year.  There are way too many variables.  Even though the Fed and central banks are planning to pump in more stimulus plans over the next few months, the negative SNOWBALL EFFECT of all the closed stores, unemployment, commercial real estate armageddon, collapse in airline travel, supply chain disruptions, and so forth, will likely impact oil demand to a greater degree by the end of 2020 and into 2021.

Another CURVEBALL to hit the United States is the coming collapse in U.S. Shale oil production.  While some companies have curtailed production, and are now bringing some of it back online, total U.S. crude oil production surprisingly declined to 10.7 mbd last week.

U.S. crude oil production reached a peak of 13.1 mbd in late February, right before the global contagion and shutdown of economies.  It fell to a low of 10.5 mbd in mid-June, then rebounded to 11.0 mbd for the next two months.  However, in the lasted EIA, U.S. Energy Information Agency weekly report, U.S. oil production fell from 11.0 mbd to 10.7 mbd last week.

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Decline In U.S. Oil Rigs Sends WTI Higher

Decline In U.S. Oil Rigs Sends WTI Higher

oil rig

The the number of active oil and gas rigs fell in the United States this week according to Baker Hughes.

The total number of active oil and gas drilling rigs fell by 3 according to the report with the number of active oil rigs gaining 2 to reach 833 and the number of gas rigs falling 5 to reach 189.

The oil and gas rig count is now just 14 up from this time last year, with oil seeing just a 18-rig increase year on year, gas rigs down on the year by 3, and miscellaneous rigs seeing a 1-rig decrease for the year.

Oil prices were trading significantly up earlier on Friday leading up to the data release as bullish factors excited the market after a massive shakeup deal between Chevron and Exxon was announced, and on tightening supply signals from Libya, Algeria, and Venezuela.

WTI was trading up $0.60 (+0.94%) at $64.18—inching closer to $70 per barrel that some analysts predict would hurt demand. The Brent benchmark was trading up $0.67 (+0.95%) at $71.50 at 12:22pm EST, comfortably over the $70 threshold. Prices for both represent a significant gain week on week.

US crude oil production for week ending April 5 was 12.2 million barrels for the second week in a row.

Canada, too, saw a decline in the number of active rigs this week. Canada’s total oil and gas rig count fell by 2 after falling by 20 last week, and is now just 66, which is 36 fewer rigs than this time last year as Canada’s oil industry continues to face steep uphill battles over its constrained pipeline capacity that is necessary to get its heavy crude to market along with production caps instituted to keep Western Canadian Select prices from falling further.

By 1:06pm EDT, WTI was trading up 0.82% (+$0.52) at $64.10 on the day. Brent crude was trading up 0.99% (+$0.70) at $71.53 per barrel.

US Crude plus Condensate and Tight Oil, Jan 2018 Update

US Crude plus Condensate and Tight Oil, Jan 2018 Update

chart

From Dec 2016 to Dec 2017 US Tight oil output has increased by 975 kb/d based on US tight oil output data from the EIA.

For the entire US we only have EIA monthly output estimates through Oct 2017. Over the Dec 2016 to Oct 2017 period US output has increased by 866 kb/d and the OLS trend has a slope of 821 kb/d.

chart/

Note that the 866 kb/d increase in US output over 10 months would be a 1040 kb/d increase over a 12 month period.

Most of the increase in US output has been from increased LTO output. The forecasts by several agencies (EIA, IEA, and OPEC) of more than a 1000 kb/d increase in US output in 2018 may assume that the recently increased oil price level will lead to increased investment in the oil sector.

Much of the increase in LTO output has been in the Permian basin and several factors may slow down the recent rapid growth. Among these are limited fracking crews, inadequate pipeline capacity for natural gas, which will limit output as flaring limits are reached, and potential water shortages.

Longer term the various LTO plays will run out of space to drill more wells in the tier one areas (the so-called sweet-spots) and this will limit the rate of increase within 2 or 3 years. It is likely that the Eagle Ford is close to this point, the Bakken might reach that point by 2019, and the Permian basin perhaps by 2021.

For US C+C output, I expect about a 600+/-100 kb/d increase in 2018.

Truth takes a hit in the battle over U.S. oil export ban

Truth takes a hit in the battle over U.S. oil export ban

They say that the first casualty of war is truth. And, on both sides of the fight over lifting the ban on exports of U.S. crude oil, the truth has already fallen into a coma. The ban was instituted in 1975 in order to make America less subject to swings in international oil supply after suffering the price shock associated with the Arab oil embargo in 1973.

Last week a committee in the U.S. House of Representatives voted to end the ban after a Senate committee voted in July to do the same. A vote by the full House and Senate could be near.

The proponents are careful NOT to say that the United States is energy-independent and so has oil to spare. Such claims made in the past backfired because it is too easy to look this up. Net U.S. imports of crude oil were almost 7 million barrels per day (mbpd) in the week ending September 4. That’s out of about 15.6 mbpd of liquid fuels consumed domestically.*

Yet, it is this state of affairs that the proponents of lifting the export ban label as “abundance.” Here’s the relevant quote from the website of the Domestic Energy Producers Alliance (DEPA), a consortium of U.S. oil drillers: “Thanks to the genius of America’s independent oil and natural gas producers, the world is moving from a concept of ‘resource scarcity’ toward ‘resource abundance.'” (So, the world is not moving toward actualabundance, just the concept of abundance. But, I’m nitpicking.)

In another piece entitled “From Scarcity To Abundance: Why The Strategic Petroleum Reserve Is Unnecessary” the group is more bold, saying that the supposed “abundance” is right here in the United States:

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The EIA Changes Data Collection Methods

The EIA Changes Data Collection Methods

With the release of today’s  Petroleum Supply Monthly, EIA is incorporating the first survey-based reporting of monthly U.S. crude oil production statistics. Today’s Petroleum Supply Monthly includes estimates for June 2015 crude oil production using new survey data for 13 states and the federal Gulf of Mexico, and revises figures previously reported for January through May 2015.

From the EIA’s Monthly Crude Oil and Natural Gas Production webpage.

Beginning with the June 2015 data, EIA is providing estimates for crude oil production (including lease condensate) based on data from the EIA-914 survey. Survey-based monthly production estimates starting with January 2015 are provided for Arkansas, California, Colorado, Kansas, Louisiana, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Wyoming, and the Federal Gulf of Mexico. For two states covered by the EIA-914—Oklahoma and West Virginia—and all remaining oil-producing states and areas not individually covered by the EIA-914, production estimates are based on the previous methodology (using lagged state data). When EIA completes its validation of Oklahoma and West Virginia data, estimates for these states will also be based on EIA-914 data. For all states and areas, production data prior to 2015 are estimates published in the Petroleum Supply Monthly. Later in 2015, EIA will report monthly crude oil production by API gravity category for the individually-surveyed EIA-914 states.

This is great news for those of us who have been complaining for years about the EIA’s poor and misleading data collection methods.Petroleum Supply Monthly

June C+C production, according to the Monthly Energy Review, was almost 9.6 million barrels per day. But the Petroleum Supply Monthly cuts that by 303,000 bpd. And they have production dropping by 316,000 barrels per day in the last two months, May and June.

 

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The EIA Is Bizarrely Optimistic About Future US Oil Production

The EIA Is Bizarrely Optimistic About Future US Oil Production

The EIA came out with its final update of Annual Energy Outlook 2015. It seems that the EIA is extremely optimistic concerning future US crude oil production.

USC+CProduction

Here is a comparison with AEO 2014. The EIA still expects US crude production to peak in 2019 but at 10,472,000 bpd or 824,000 barrels per day higher than the expected last year. But the biggest difference is in the EIA’s change in decline expectations. They now expect the US to be producing 9,329,000 bpd in 2040 or 1,812 higher than they had 2040 production last year. This is the EIA’s reference, or most likely case.

USLTOProduction

Production from tight formations leads the growth in U.S. crude oil production across all AEO2015 cases. The path of projected crude oil production varies significantly across the cases, with total U.S. crude oil production reaching high points of 10.6 million barrels per day (bbl/d) in the Reference case (in 2020), 13.0 million bbl/d in the High Oil Price case (in 2026), 16.6 million bbl/d in the High Oil and Gas Resource case (in 2039), and 10.0 million bbl/d in the Low Oil Price case (in 2020).

Related: Has The Bakken Peaked?

What the EIA is saying in the above paragraph is that price and tight oil production is everything when it comes to US future oil production. On that point I would agree except that even if the price returns to $100 and higher, it will not produce tight oil production to anywhere near the EIA’s high price projections.

 

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

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