The International Petroelum Monthly has posted statistics for crude oil production in 2004. The reports lists indiviudal production statistics for 30 countries, plus a catch-all "other." It also lists combined totals for the North Sea, OPEC and the World.
Total world production grew by 3.3 million barrels a day--a fairly sizeable increase. But a closer look at the numbers raises doubts about whether oil producers can repeat that performace in 2005.
Twenty countries increased their proudction in 2004, racking up gains of some 4 mbd, while 11 countries saw production declines totaling 850 thousand barrels a day.
But many of the countries that posted gains are probably unlikely to be able to repeat their performace. Iraq gained just under 700 thousand barrels a day, but continues to face problems with sabotage. Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emerates increasd their production by a combined total of 650 thousand bpd, but this was primarily by bringing reserves online and not from new discoveries. Few experts believe that these countries have any significant reserves left. Venezuela increases production by 222 thousand bpd, but this reflected the political turmoil in 2003. Venzuela's production was still below its 2002 level. Russia capped six years of spectacular growth by increasing production by 673 thousand bpd, but production declined by 120 thousand bpd the last three months of the year. Norway posted its first increase in four years--127 thousand bpd, but remained well below its 2000 peak. And Norway, too, showed a significant decline in the last half of the year.
These eight countries combined for an icnrease of 2.4 million barrels a day, more than half of all the increase. These countries are very unlikely to be able to repeat this performance in 2005.
There were some significant changes among the decliners as well. U.S. production declined by 250 thousand baarrels, more than it had declined in the previous four years combined. Deep water wells in the Gulf of Mexico were keeping U.S. production relatively flat, but that may have run its course now. Brazil posted its first decline after twelve straight years of increases, a signal that Brazil may be near or at peak. Mexico had a modest 12 million bpd increase, but Mexican production declined by over 200 thousand bpd in the last two months. Combined with the announcement by the Mexican governement that Cantarell is in decline, this could mean that Mexico has now passed peak.
The overall picture for 2004 is one of an increasing number of countries rolling over into decline, while production barely kept up with demand through a number of one time increases that probably can't be matched.
2005 could be the year that demand finally overwhelms supply. If so, it could get interesting.