Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

A Focus on Oil, May, 2021

Oil exports drop by the most on record to least since October 2018; global oil shortage at 1.73 million barrels per day, Focus on Fracking, RJS

The “global oil shortage” is from my coverage of the May OPEC report, which i’ll paste below; I also revise global oil shortage/surplus estimates for prior months. I don’t know of anyone else who digs this stuff out of this report (a 100 page report is more than most journos can handle)…

OPEC’s Monthly Oil Market Report

Tuesday of this past week saw the release of OPEC’s May Oil Market Report, which covers OPEC & global oil data for April, and hence it gives us a picture of the global oil supply & demand situation for the 4th month after OPEC, the Russians, and other oil producers agreed to increase their oil production by 500,000 barrels per day starting January, from their prior 2020 commitment to cut production by 7.7 million barrels a day from an October 2018 peak, which had been earlier reduced from the 9.7 million barrels a day cuts they had imposed on themselves during May, June and July of 2020, and after the Saudis unilaterally committed to further cut their own production by a million barrels per day during February, Marchand then later during April of this year…before we start, we want to again caution that the oil demand estimates made herein, while the course of the Covid-19 pandemic still remains uncertain, should be considered as having a much larger margin of error than we’d expect from this report during stable and hence more predictable periods.. 

The first table from this monthly report that we’ll check is from the page numbered 50 of this month’s report (pdf page 60), and it shows oil production in thousands of barrels per day for each of the current OPEC members over the recent years, quarters and months, as the column headings below indicate…for all their official production measurements, OPEC uses an average of estimates from six “secondary sources”, namely the International Energy Agency (IEA), the oil-pricing agencies Platts and Argus, ‎the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the oil consultancy Cambridge Energy Research Associates (CERA) and the industry newsletter Petroleum Intelligence Weekly, as a means of impartially adjudicating whether their output quotas and production cuts are being met, to thereby avert any potential disputes that could arise if each member reported their own figures…

April 2021 OPEC crude output via secondary sources