Total world oil output fell 14 percent in December

A couple of weeks ago wikileaks docs showed how Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter had overstated their reserves by 40%, so their production numbers are of great interest. The repercussions of not only a peaking SA but the speed in which their internal demand is growing and choking off exports are somewhat alarming. It is telling that countries are keeping more oil for themselves despite brent crude now being at a high of $102 a barrel.

“OPEC’s oil exports fell 2 percent in December from a month earlier as Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest exporter, reported a decrease of 4.9 percent. Total world output fell 14 percent in December from a month earlier to 55.5 million barrels a day, the lowest since 2002, mainly due to a drop in non-OPEC production, particularly in Latin America.”

From Bloomberg.

We can’t all be net importers.  Amongst other things, the chart below gives you an idea of why Egypt ran into financial problems and the government decided to cut fuel and food subsidies, resulting in a revolution.



  1. Nikita 5 years ago

    Hello admin,

    You seem to have an obsession in relation to crude oil prices and its relationship to economies, fair enough ….. whatever turns your crank.

    However, …….. your data source & implied linkages to economies, is miles wide of reality.

    for example Saudi Arabia is no longer the worlds largest producer of oil, ……… determining probable reserves by oil companies, and stating reserves by countries has for over 30 years been fraught by manipulation / bending of rules, its nothing new. 14% change in crude production worldwide in one month is nothing alarming, need to look at trend by year…. there are inventories in tank farms worldwide

    Chart with % changes by countries is quite meaningless …………… without showing barrells produced per year, mkt price, & royalties from oil companys as a % of total GDP for that country ………..

    Our largest consumption of energy is through producing electricity,………… and this week BHP Billiton the worlds largest mining company committed to investing USD4.5billion in shale gas development, …………. and China state oil company also invested billions recently in a Canadian shale gas development, ………. recent news in NYT showed green energy companies are concerned this will cause their products to be less viable in future ………. why ………. because it could reduce our energy costs further.

    Likewise this week Aud$34billion project was given the go ahead in Queensland in Australia for a new Coal seam gas project that will export out of Gladstone to asian market for LNG ……. another low cost source of energy for electricity production ………. also China has recently developed ability to reprocess nuclear fuel for elec prodution …….

    Lets take an overall perspective….there is a lot of good going on out there ………….. last week the Americans finally got Merkel and Sarkozy on board at G20 in paris to push China …….. and they succeeded to make first step in relation to measuring more accurately movements in global economy / trade ……. which hopefully will steadily lead to China unpegging their currency from USD…………. then world trade will become more balanced, and fairer for all, …… and we can keep conserving our limited reserves of crude for KTM fuel tanks ……….. and ride elec cars and trains to work power generated courtesy of Nuclear, shale & seam gas …….. and make this world a better and safer place for all.

    Cheers, Nikita

  2. Author
    admin 5 years ago

    yes, I have an ugly obsession for sure, no denying it. I have serious and I believe well founded fears that we are heading full speed towards a brick wall, the hirsch report, colin campbell and the hundreds of articles I have read on the oil drum have convinced me of this.

    I absolutely do not think there will be a smooth transition to any alternatives, but hope to be proved wrong. I see a long slow decline ahead with moments of absolute chaos as prices go exponential and millions are priced out of the market, and eventually as supply gets so tight anyway despite the price. Of course the explosive situation in the middle east could also cause this chaos far sooner too. We are completely and utterly dependent on oil still to maintain business as somewhat usual.

    It doesnt matter that Saudi arabia is not the biggest producer, what matters is who is the biggest exporter, and as of now, they still are. This is one of the huge parts of the overall problem, in that the oil producers are becoming more wealthy, their populations are booming and they are using more oil for themselves meaning there is therefore less available for the importing countries, which are increasing all the time. Since the SA are the biggest oil exporter the implications of them having overstated their reserves by 40% is some serious shit.

    On present trends, just to replace the oil reserves that will be exhausted and to meet the growth in demand, between now and 2030 we will need 64 mb/d of new oil-production capacity, six times the size of Saudi Arabia’s capacity today.

    yes the overall trend is of course important, not any particular month. But what is important is also not the production numbers, but the net amount available for export, hence the interest of that chart which shows quite clearly how bleak the situation is.

    As im sure you know, oil is in over 6000 products, not just for transportation.

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