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IEA Keeps Oil Demand Forecast Unchanged, Warns on Stocks and Supply Risks

13 March 2007

In its current Oil Market Report, the International Energy Agency (IEA) kept its 2007 world oil demand forecast virtually unchanged, with a 1.8% increase in demand in 2007 to 86 million barrels per day (mbpd), up from 84.5 mbpd in 2006.

Weather-related adjustments to OECD data in Europe and the Pacific were largely offset by US demand strength and upward changes to China, the Former Soviet Union (FSU) and India, acording to the agency.

Falling US product stocks were offset partially by unusually warm weather in Europe and Northeast Asia, but further OPEC cuts in February prevented the normal seasonal crude stock build in the OECD.

Total OECD inventories fell 8.6 mb in January as a crude draw in Europe outweighed a weather-induced product build, leaving forward demand cover broadly flat at 54 days. Preliminary data show the US driving a 65.7 mb fall in February stocks in key OECD countries—or an average 1.2 mbpd decline in the first two months of 2007.

World oil output fell by 65 kbpd in February to 85.5 mbpd amid OPEC supply cuts. Non-OPEC supply additions for 2007 remain at 1.1 mbpd, extending the growth evident since mid-2006. OPEC gas liquids add a further 0.2 mb/d this year.

Sizeable supply risks remain, the IEA cautioned, not least those from underinvestment caused by intensifying resource nationalism.

OPEC February crude supply averaged 30.2 mbpd, down 125 kbpd from January as a 365 kbpd cut from OPEC-10 was partly offset by increases from Iraq and Angola, and leaves OPEC supply within the possible 2Q-range for the call.

OPEC cuts since September amount to 1.0 mbpd, leaving effective spare capacity at 2.8 mbpd. In addition, outages in early March brought the offline total in Nigeria to 0.8 mbpd.

March 13, 2007 in Oil | Permalink | Comments (15) | TrackBack (0)

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Gas prices have already hit well over $3 a gallon here in California. Our peak last year was $3.43 in May. The way things are going we'll easily surpass that this year. Now that I'm comfortable riding my scooter to work on the freeway I can use it more often over spring and summer.

Don't forget your surveyors' vest Cervus. Sometimes I think I'm invisible on my scooter. I may not look "cool" but I hope to remain three dimensional.

A gallon of gasoline (about 3.8 liters) contains about 31,000 calories. If a person could drink gasoline (Note: olive oil might be easier to digest), then a person could ride about 912 miles on a gallon of gas (about 360 km per liter)!!

One vital bit many scooter and vike ownerds never learn is that about 8 in 19 drivers are on autopilot. Its a normal human function but its deadly to the abnormal wich is YOU. If however you rie thinking that everythone around you is asleep at the wheel then your in the right frame of mind.

And olive oil's got a higher octane to, so you should be able to achieve a higher compression ratio than if you were drinking gasoline ;p

So are the OPEC nations cutting back supply to keep the price of oil higher?

Tripp:

corn ethanol is even better.

A gallon of gasoline (about 3.8 liters) contains about 31,000 calories. If a person could drink gasoline (Note: olive oil might be easier to digest), then a person could ride about 912 miles on a gallon of gas (about 360 km per liter)!!

Assuming of course, a person is thermodynamically perfect. ;)

Eh, that came out wrong. All food requires some sort of fossil fuel input. Here's a nice article summing up the equivalent mileage of cyclists with different eating habits.
http://constructal.blogspot.com/2006/03/whats-mileage-on-that-bicycle.html

Looks like the typical SVO/WVO car driver is more efficient than any of the bikers. From what I've read and what my friend gets, seems a typical car with a typical conversion kit gets 150 mpg at the worst and sky's the limit based on length of trips and outside temperature. Longer trips and higher outside temps result in less diesel being used to warm up to switchover temps. Just saying. ;)

tripp -

Saudi Arabia is the only OPEC country that used to have any significant spare production capacity at all. Note that Saudi crudes tend to be sour, i.e. they contain a lot of sulfur. After recent regulatory changes to remove sulfur from on-road fuels in OECD countries, the benchmark sweet crudes WTI and Brent have become a lot more expensive while sour crudes have appreciated less.

I can only speculate, but there could be several reasons why Saudi Arabia might want to curb production:

(a) a desire to raise the price of sour crudes in the short term. This would help secure sufficient revenue to continue placating the long-oppressed Saudi people with lavish public services. Demographics are not on the ruling family's side: the population is doubling every 23 years, average fertility is four children per female. The median age is around 20, there are few jobs and even fewer opportunities for entertainment in this ultra-orthodox Sunni Islamic nation.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Saudi-Arabia-demography.png
https://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/sa.html

(b) production from old fields is declining and Saudi Arabia is either not able or - more likely - not willing to compensate by deploying more advanced recovery techniques and/or tapping into fresh reservoirs. The country nationalized its oil industry decades ago and outsiders can now only guesstimate what reserves the country really has left, but there are generally acknowledged to still be the largest in the world.

Like everyone else, Saudi Arabia suffered badly when the last bout of over-investment triggered an oil glut. It takes months to years to install the infrastructure required for increased production, so the whole industry has invested very conservatively in recent years. After all, global demand is at record levels only because none of the major economies is in recession at the moment - it won't stay that way forever.

(c) ironically, it could also be that Saudi Arabia is deliberately building up artificial spare capacity so it can revert to its traditional role of dampening price volatility. This would reduce the supply risk premium traders had attached to oil for a while and make alternatives like biofuels less attractive.

Spare capacity would also come in handy if supplies from Iraq (yes, some oil is still flowing) - or Nigeria, or even Iran (Saudi Arabia's main rival in the region) - were to suddenly fall due to armed conflict.

One good thing about all the ethanol being made from corn is that FINALY that blasted high fructose corn seeetener is becomming to spendy and the food makers are looking to switch.

I buy the sugar frosted flakes with a third less sugar.Im kind of hoping that the use of sugars for fuel will lead more products to push lower sugar content. We could actually see health improvement because of the ability of producers to get money without injecting ever higher amounts of sugar into foodstuffs.

Earl, try corn flakes.

El Nino is turning into La Nina, and it may last through the rest of 2007. This could spell for an Atlantic Hurricane Season akin to 2005. The supposed late spring peak (of $3.00-3.50, depending where you are) may foreshadow a higher mid-late summer spike, due to hurricane damage/disruption (real or possible) driven speculation. Worst case scenareo (worse than Katrina+Rita), we could have Gulf (American and Mexican) crude/gas, and refining output reduced or shutdown for months. That would push oil beyond $80/bbl, and refined products beyond $4.00/ga.

Rafael:

Iraq peak oil production just before first gulf war was about 3.5 mbd, and between 1999-2001 it was on average 2.5 mbd. Current production in 2005-2006 is about 1.8-2.4 mbd, and most of it is exported. No less than 1/3 of it is bought by US. In comparison Saudi Arabia production is about 9 mbd, so Iraq remains major oil producer/exporter:

http://www.export.gov/iraq/pdf/iraq_oil_0406.pdf

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