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The Most Outrageous 2020 Oil Predictions

The Most Outrageous 2020 Oil Predictions

As we approach the close of 2020, we’re reminded of one statistical certainty when it comes to oil price predictions. If you set anything other than a range, you will be proven wrong. And even for the forecasters and predictors that do set a range, the likelihood that the actual price will fall within the chosen range is about as sure as a range of prices selected by throwing a dart at a number on the wall. That has never stopped oil price forecasters from giving it a go.

We’ve rounded up some of our favorite oil price predictions from this year. And while you’re thinking that this might not be a fair exercise given the black swan event such as the coronavirus pandemic, we will remind you that the predictions made even in the middle of the pandemic were quite suspect.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) has the unfortunate position on our list of going first. Its January prediction for 2020 oil prices for both WTI and Brent would later prove to be high–not unsurprisingly given the events that were about to unfold. While there were reports that an outbreak was brewing as early as the first few days of January 2020, it wouldn’t be until January 13 that the first Covid-19 case was known to have escaped China’s borders. But when the EIA published its STEO on January 14, cratering oil demand due to the future pandemic wasn’t even on its radar. What was on its radar? Tensions between the United States and Iran, and the corresponding fear that there would be some oil supply disruption in the Middle East.

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

U.S. crude output to decline more than previously forecast in 2020 -EIA

NEW YORK (Reuters) -U.S. crude oil production is expected to fall by 910,000 barrels per day (bpd) in 2020 to 11.34 million bpd, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Tuesday, a steeper decline than its previous forecast for a drop of 860,000 bpd.

Output next year is expected to slide by 240,000 bpd to 11.10 million bpd, a smaller decline compared to the previous forecast for a slide of 290,000 bpd.

U.S. shale production has languished as oil prices collapsed after the coronavirus pandemic eroded global demand. But as hopes for a widespread rollout of a vaccine rise, U.S. crude oil production has recovered from the two-and-a-half-year lows touched in May.

Producers have begun to add drilling rigs and brought wells back online in response to the rebound in prices. [RIG/U]

Still, the EIA said that U.S. crude oil production will decline to less than 11 million bpd in March 2021 mostly because of falling production in the lower 48 states, where declining production rates at existing wells is expected to outpace production from newly drilled wells in the coming months.

The agency also expects U.S. petroleum and other liquid fuel consumption to decline 2.38 million bpd to 18.16 million bpd in 2020, unchanged from its previous forecast.

In 2021, U.S. oil demand is expected to climb by 1.63 million bpd to 19.79 million bpd, a smaller increase than its previous estimate for a rise of 1.69 million bpd.

Global consumption of petroleum and liquid fuels is expected to average 92.4 million bpd for all of 2020, which is down by 8.8 million bpd from 2019, before increasing by 5.8 million bpd in 2021, the EIA said.

EIA tight oil estimates

EIA tight oil estimates

The US Energy Information Administration publishes Tight Oil Production Estimates by Play each month (can be found at link above.)  I noticed this month that the estimates seemed different than I remembered so I checked earlier estimates I had saved on my computer.  The chart below compares estimates from Dec 2018 to April 2019 (where the last month of data in the estimate is Dec 2018, Feb 2019, March 2019, and April 2019).

chart/

As is clear from the chart the February and March estimates have each been revised lower over the past two updates. If this should continue, we might see relatively flat tight oil output for all of 2019.

I have revised my estimate for future US tight oil output to a 400+/-100 kb/d increase in monthly average tight oil output from December 2018 to December 2019.

The EIA’s Optimistic Outlook

The EIA’s Optimistic Outlook

Most of the data below is taken from from the EIA’s Short-Term Energy Outlook. The data through February, 2019 is the EIA’s best estimate of past production and all data from March 2019 through December 2020 is the EIA’s best estimate of future production. However in most cases February production is highly speculative so I drew the “projection” line between January and February.

Understand the above chart is Total Liquids, not C+C as I usually post. As you can see the EIA expects world petroleum liquids to keep climbing ever upwards.

This is the EIA’s data for OPEC all liquids with Production data from April 2019 through December 2020.

Notice the EIA expects OPEC production to keep declining through December 2020. Also they expect total liquids to decline slightly faster than crude only. This is interesting since neither condensate nor other liquids are subject to OPEC quotas.

About two years ago I made note that the EIA expected Non-OPEC to plateau but they expected OPEC to keep increasing into the future. Now they have completely reversed themselves as they expect all future growth, at least for the next two years, to come from Non-OPEC countries.

The below  chart is from the EIA’a Monthly Energy review and is C+C through November 2018.

Virtually all crude oil increase since 2016 has come from three countries, USA, Russia and Canada. The spike upward (circled) in October and November 2018 was partially due to OPEC prepping for cuts. Every OPEC country made heroic efforts to increase productio during those two months in order to increase their quota. Quotas were set in December.

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U.S. ‘’Oil Weapon’’ Could Change Geopolitics Forever

U.S. ‘’Oil Weapon’’ Could Change Geopolitics Forever

Trump Senate

In a dynamic that shows just how far U.S. oil production has come in recent years, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Monday that in the last two months of 2018, the U.S. Gulf Coast exported more crude oil than it imported.

Monthly net trade of crude oil in the Gulf Coast region (the difference between gross exports and gross imports) fell from a high in early 2007 of 6.6 million b/d of net imports to 0.4 million b/d of net exports in December 2018. As gross exports of crude oil from the Gulf Coast hit a record 2.3 million b/d, gross imports of crude oil to the Gulf Coast in December—at slightly less than 2.0 million b/d—were the lowest level since March 1986.

U.S. oil production hit a staggering 12.1 million b/d in February, while that amount has been projected to stay around that production mark in the mid-term then increase in the coming years. The U.S. is the new global oil production leader, followed by Russia and Saudi Arabia, while Saudi Arabia is still the world’s largest oil exporter – a factor that still gives Riyadh considerable leverage, particularly as it works with Russia, and other partners as part of the so-called OPEC+ group of producers. However, Saudi Arabia’s decades-long role of market swing producers has now been replaced by this coalition of producers, reducing Riyadh’s power both geopolitically and in global oil markets. In short, what Saudi Arabia could once do on its own, it has to do with several partners.

Meanwhile, U.S. crude oil production, particularly in the Gulf Coast region, is still increasing. In November 2018, U.S. Gulf Coast crude oil production set a new record of 7.7 million b/d, the IEA report added.

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

The U.S. Is The World’s Top Oil Producer, But For How Long?

The U.S. Is The World’s Top Oil Producer, But For How Long?

oil storage

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Tuesday that the U.S. likely surpassed Saudi Arabia and Russia earlier this year to become the world’s top crude oil producer. The EIA based its disclosure on preliminary estimates in its Short-Term Energy Outlook which is released every month.

The U.S., in news that was widely covered by media at the time, bypassed Saudi Arabia in February to become the second largest global oil producer, the EIA says. It was the first time in more than 20 years that the U.S. out produced Saudi Arabia. Then in June and August, U.S. output bypassed Russia for the first time since February 1999.

The EIA expects that U.S. crude oil production, most of it light sweet crude, will continue to exceed Russian and Saudi Arabian crude oil production for the remaining months of 2018 and through 2019.

The EIA disclosure comes as oil markets are trying to make sense out of both supply and demand questions as well as geopolitical uncertainty. Since President Trump decided in May to reimpose sanctions against Iran over its nuclear development program, uncertainty has seized the market. The first row of new sanctions against Iran were put in place in August, while more hard-hitting sanctions against the country’s energy sector will take effect on November 4.

Trump’s quandary

With the prospect of as many as 1-2 million barrels per day (bpd) of Iranian barrels being removed from global markets, both Saudi Arabia, likely bowing to pressure from Trump, and also Russia, have already pledged to increase output to keep a ceiling on prices. This uncertainty comes as crucial mid-term congressional elections, slated for November, approach. The concern for Trump and Republican candidates has been higher global oil prices and higher gasoline prices hitting voters in the pocket book and possibly causing voter backlash at the polls.

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

Peak U.S. Shale Could Be 4 Years Away

Peak U.S. Shale Could Be 4 Years Away

Permian

U.S. shale production growth has outperformed even the most bullish forecasts, forcing OPEC and the International Energy Agency (IEA) to revise up American supply growth projections month after month.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) also expects shale/tight oil to continue to grow in all possible modeled scenarios for the next four years, according to its Annual Energy Outlook 2018 published this month.

While the EIA is not predicting what will happen, it is modeling possible production scenarios under certain assumptions. Under one of those modeled projections—the Low Oil and Gas Resource and Technology case—the assumptions applied are lower resources and higher costs. In this model, U.S. tight oil production—including the plays Bakken/Three Forks/Sanish, Eagle Ford, Woodford, Austin Chalk, Spraberry, Niobrara, Avalon/Bone Springs, and Monterey—is expected to rise from 4.96 million bpd in 2017 to 5.59 million bpd in 2022, and then to start declining on a steady downward trend by 2050, when tight oil production is expected to be at 4.42 million bpd.

This is one of the side cases in EIA’s models, and one of the most unlikely, because it assumes no technological breakthroughs, lower resources, and higher costs. Under this model, total U.S. crude oil production is pegged at 9.14 million bpd this year, while figures are currently available, showing that production is already above 10 million bpd and likely to average more than 10.5 million bpd this year.

The Reference case scenario shows tight oil production jumping to more than 7 million bpd by 2025 and surpassing 8 million bpd in 2036, before starting to level off some time in the early 2040s. Total U.S. crude oil production in the Reference case is between 11 million bpd and 12 million bpd by 2050, “as tight oil development moves into less productive areas and as well productivity declines,” the EIA says.

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

Oil Market Supply Imbalance Getting Worse, Not Better

Oil Market Supply Imbalance Getting Worse, Not Better

Oil futures prices (WTI) plunged 12.5 percent this week from $47.90 on Friday, November 3 to $41.96 yesterday morning, November 11. The main reason is that the global supply imbalance is getting worse.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) latest report indicates that the world supply surplus (production minus consumption) increased 590,000 barrels per day (bpd) compared to September to 1.58 million bpd (Figure 1).

Figure 1. World liquids production, consumption and relative surplus or deficit.

Source: EIA and Labyrinth Consulting Services, Inc.

(click image to enlarge)

Supply was flat but consumption decreased 520,000 bpd. Weaker consumption suggests weakening demand, a disturbing trend that is also evident in year-over-year consumption-change data (Figure 2).

Related: OPEC Hoping Chinese, Indian Demand Can Alleviate Glut

Figure 2. World year-over-year liquids consumption change.

Source: EIA and Labyrinth Consulting Services, Inc.

(click image to enlarge)

Only OPEC estimates global oil demand. Their Monthly Oil Market Reportreleased today shows world oil demand growth of 1.6 million bpd so far in 2015 (Figure 3) but decreasing to 1.5 million bpd overall for the year and only 1.25 million bpd for 2016. OPEC data indicates about 1 million barrels of surplus supply relative to demand.

Related: A Bit Of Good News For The Global Coal Industry At Last

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