Archive for June, 2012

OPEC Numbers: A Strange Dissonance

June 14, 2012

Going to repeat my habit of reposting what others have written in forums/comment pages:

The OPEC Monthly Oil Market Report came out yesterday with the production numbers for May. (Page 45 of the PDF) OPEC, in previous years has never reported what they themselves produced. They always posted production numbers and stated they were “According to Secondary Sources”. However three months ago they started reporting both data from their Secondary Sources and just below that data they say are from “direct communication”. In other words they get data from Platts or perhaps an average of the numbers from other sources, then they poll the OPEC producers themselves and asked them how much they produced last month.

The numbers for some countries are very similar but for they are quite different. For instance Venezuela has for years claimed they are producing almost half a million barrels per day more than OPEC’s Secondary Sources say they actually produced.

OPEC production according to Secondary Sources crude only in thousand barrels per day

	 2010	 2011  Change 10 to 11	April	May    Change from April to May
Algeria	1,250	1,240	   -10		1,217	1,197	-20
Angola	1,783	1,664	  -119		1,769	1,730	-39
Ecuador	  475	  490	    15		  489	  499	 10
Iran	3,706	3,621	   -85		3,210	3,138	-72
Iraq	2,401	2,666	   265		2,994	2,952	-42
Kuwait	2,297	2,538	   241		2,789	2,858	 69
Libya	1,559	  462	-1,097		1,394	1,452	 58
Nigeria	2,061	2,111	    50		2,175	2,126	-49
Qatar	  791	  794	     3		  778	  757	-21
Saudi	8,271	9,268	   997		9,877	9,917	 40
UAE	2,304	2,517	   213		2,587	2,578	 -9
Venez	2,338	2,380	    42		2,362	2,378	 16
Total  29,236  29,751	   515	       31,640  31,582	-58

OPEC production according to Direct Communication crude only in thousand barrels per day

	 2010	 2011  Change 10 to 11	April	May    Change April to May
Algeria	1,184	1,173	   -11		1,220	1,206	-14
Angola	1,691	1,618	   -73		1,769	1,762	 -7
Ecuador	  475	  500	    25		  500	  498	 -2
Iran	3,544	3,576	    32		3,758	3,760	  2
Iraq	2,358	2,653	   295		2,942	2,915	-27
Kuwait	2,312	2,660	   348		3,007	3,000	 -7
Libya	1,487	  462	-1,025		1,504	1,552	 48
Nigeria	1,968	1,896	   -72		1,882  *1,834	-48
Qatar	  733	  734	     1		  733	  732	 -1
Saudi	8,166	9,311	 1,145	       10,102	9,807  -295
UAE	2,324	2,565	   241		2,716	2,383  -333
Venez	2,779	2,795	    16		2,831	2,826	 -5
Total  29,020  29,942	   922	       32,964  32,275  -689

*Nigeria did not report for May so I estimated their data based on the 48.5 kb/d drop that the Secondary Sources reported.

Noticed that Secondary Sources says Iran is down, in May, about half a million barrels per day from their average of 2010 and 2011. However Iran says their production is up about 200 kb/d from their 2010 and 2011 production.

But the main thing I wanted to point out is what Saudi Arabia and the UAE reported in May. OPEC’s Secondary Sources says Saudi was up 40 kb/d from April to May but Saudi themselves reported they were down 295 kb/d. And OPEC’s Secondary Sources says the UAW was down 9 kb/d April to May but the UAE themselves say they were down a whopping 333 kb/d in May.

[…]

Oil Settles Lower Ahead of OPEC Meeting

OPEC’s output decisions are influential in setting global oil and fuel prices. The group produces around a third of the world’s oil supply and holds more than 80% of global proven oil reserves.

I find this very strange. OPEC says they have 80 percent of the world’s proven reserves and everyone believes them. OPEC says they reduced production by almost 700,000 barrels per day and no one seems to believe them. Not a ripple in the mainstream media about that dramatic one month decline. Everyone believes the word of others about OPEC production rather than “Direct Communication” with OPEC about their production. Why is their word taken as truth in one instance and as a blatant lie in another case?