On March 28th, the U.S. government agency The Energy Information Administration (EIA) announced provisional crude oil production figures for January 2013. Key points:
- January crude oil production 217.1 million barrels, equivalent to 7 million barrels per day
- Change over previous month, -1.3%; year-on-year change, +14.5%
- January total crude oil plus natural gas liquids 290.3 million barrels, equivalent to 9.4 million barrel per day
As can be seen from the chart below (click for larger image, link to original data here), the fracking of tight oil formations in the U.S. has made a significant impact on U.S. crude production. The critical question is whether the current large year-on-year percentage growth rates in oil production can be sustained.
In addition, crude oil is a globally traded commodity, and U.S. production numbers need to be placed in the context of world supply and demand. In its March 2013 Oil Market Report, the International Energy Agency (IEA) shows global ‘all liquids’ production averaging 91.4 million barrels per day in Q4 2002, up 2.2% year on year (click for larger image). February 2013 production was 90.8 million barrels per day (here).