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I took a look at the summary of the CERA report, and I analyzed each of their main points to see how they compare with current reality.

OPEC Outlook - CERA says "Total OPEC liquids capacity will expand significantly to 45.6 mbd in 2010 from 36.8 in 2004, with the proportion of condensates and NGLs rising to almost 18% of total capacity. "  

This is an increase of 8.8 mbd in the next six years - that's nearly as much as all of Saudi Arabia's current production.  Where can this production come from?  Well, let's be generous: 1.5 mbd from Saudi Arabia, 2 mbd from Qatari NGLs, 1 mbd from Libya.  That comes to 4.5 mbd, which leaves us more than 4 mbd short.  We could get to 4 mbd by doubling production in both Kuwait and Abu Dhabi, or by bringing another Iran online, but neither of those possibilities seems likely in the next six years.

Take a closer look at Natural Gas Liquid (NGL) production.  CERA claims it will be 18% of 45.6 mbd, or 8.2 mbd.  I can see 2 mbd from Qatar, and Algeria and Indonesia are both big NGL producers, but will it add up to 8.2 mbd?  I don't have access to good NGL statistics, maybe someone else can help me out on this.

Non-OPEC Outlook - CERA says "Non-OPEC capacity will expand rapidly for the balance of the decade, adding 7.5 mbd to reach 55.8 mbd by 2010, with the increase dominated by contributions from Russia, the Caspian, Brazil, Angola and Canada."  

Again, let's be generous in our estimates: 1 mbd each from Angola and the Caspian, 1 mbd from Canadian tar sands, and .5 mbd each from Russia and Brazil.  The total is 4 mbd, which is still 3.5 mbd short of CERA's estimate, and that's not even allowing for depletion.

It has been 30 years since the last oil crisis, and depletion has taken its toll on most of the big non-OPEC producers.  Over the next six years, crude oil production will decline in the USA (with current production of 5.4 mbd), Mexico (3.4 mbd), UK (1.8 mbd) and Norway (2.9 mbd).  Even though its in OPEC, production in Indonesia (1 mbd) is also declining.  These countires have a current production of 14.5 mbd, so a conservative depletion rate of 4% would yield a drop of more than 3 mbd after six years.  

Summary -

Adding it all up, we have a total gap of more than 10 mbd in 2010, even after very generous assumptions for new production and depletion.  That would decrease CERA's estimate for 2010 production from 101.5 mbd to 91 mbd.  Now look at demand for a moment - currently it is 84 mbd.  Lets assume a slow growth scenario of 2% per year.  That means that demand in 2010 will be 94.6 mbd, which is considerably less than our supply estimate of 91 mbd.  

Predicting the future is an inexact science, and its entirely possible that I could be wrong with these numbers.  But it seems likely that oil supply will be very tight over the next six years.  After that, even CERA isn't optimistic.

by corncam on Fri Jun 24th, 2005 at 09:22:46 AM EST

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