North America Now Leads in Oil Supply Growth

By Editors

All the recent development of new oil supplies has been in North America, according to TheOilDrum. Meanwhile, production is falling off slightly in most other parts of the world.

The graph represents the year-over-year supply growth for non-OPEC countries for 2010, 2011, and 2012. The horizontal axis separates the different regions of the world. The vertical axis represents the change in millions of barrels per day of production over the three-year period. 2010 is represented by the green bar, 2011 by the maroon bar and 2012 by the blue bar.

Production in North America increased by around 1/2 million bbd in year-over-year in 2010 and 2012 and by nearly a million barrels in 2011. This was due entirely to the production from tight oil in the Bakken Shale of North Dakota. All other sources are generally tapering off.

The same pattern of decline is visible throughout the rest of the non-OPEC world, where fracking for tight shale oil has not yet been introduce. Only in the past year has there been a slighty increases of about 100,000 barrels in Latin America, Africa and the former Soviet Union. All of this has been offshore development.  Meanwhile, production in Europe is falling off dramatically. As TheOilDrum reports: "UK oil production has fallen below 1 mbd for the first time since 1977, while Norway's production has fallen to levels not seen since 1990."

TheOilDrum is not enthusiastic about the recent International Energy Agency report that says shale deposits will make the United States the next Saudi Arabia. "(B)ack in DeSoto Parish in Louisiana, where the Haynesville Shale discovery in 2008 started the bonanza, revenues are now falling and school board budgets are strapped as the end of the glory days are beginning to appear. Just this week Aubrey McClendon said that Chesapeake's prospects for oil in Ohio, where Chesapeake had high hopes for the Utica Shale, are now dim."

TheOilDrum, of course, is a devotee of Peak Oil Theory.  It does not believe that the recent developments in shale and tight oil can repeal the overall premise that world oil production will eventually go into decline.

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