The leaves and data are changing . . . .

The next few weeks will begin to spell out the situation in regard to the production of gas and distillate fuels as we prepare for the winter.  Looking at distillate first.

It begins to appear that the refineries are switching around and that the EIA are now showing not only a swing upward in production but an increase in imports as well - perhaps not before time.  But then all the folk who will need fuel in the North East have already stocked up ! Right ?

On the other hand, with gasoline imports, it looks as though we have come to the end of the lollipop.  While the curve so far from the EIA shows only a slight kick over, but, remember that these are four week averages.

When one goes to the actual numbers the drop was from 1.54 mbd to 1.027 mbd. This could signify that we are at the end of the loan volume, which, since the refineries aren't up to full production yet, is a concern.  Certainly there are enough stocks at present, and with the inability to refine beyond a certain point there is more than enough crude to meet the refinery demand, if not the demand beyond it.

This, I suspect, may be where the juggling begins.

many interesting things to look at here...great graphs..distillate production 500kbd below same time last year, but imports only making up 110kbd...hmmm..does this have anything to do with the differential price of diesel compared to gasolino?...the last that why i pay only $2.34 , when i was paying $2.98 in september?..and yet in the gulf of mexico, 1 million barrels of production remain idle... politics? nah. economically.. no body is thinking about what this is doing and will continue to do to the already dismal balence of payments....we look like a third world country about to happen.
If refinery capacity is struggling to return to normal as we enter the winter, and imports are rapidly declining, we will have problems with our gasoline inventory.  However, I can envision a scenario where basically all of the refinery capacity affected by Katrina and Rita is running at full capacity by Thanksgiving.  We could see crude stockpiles plummet as it becomes clear that production data has been manipulated.  Before the hurricanes, the world was likely producing closer to 82.5 mb/d than 84 mb/d, and we have now had lengthy periods where at least several hundred kb/d in the Gulf of Mexico was affected by the hurricanes, not to mention that over 1 mb/d  was out for most of this time.  

In my opinion, by the end of the winter we could have a situation where crude stockpiles are far from zero, but low enough that refineries are having trouble getting all the crude they need to run at close to full capacity.  Of course, we have the SPR, but it would make more sense to tap it for short-term disruptions rather than drain it all winter long.  It may be that upcoming times are far worse than any individual disruption could ever be, but in that case it doesn't make much sense to drain the SPR immediately.

If we have consistent crude drawdowns of more than 5 million b/d, the price of crude would likely soar.  Therefore, inventories might not get dangerously low, but only because prices went up dramatically.  That is the job of the free market.  On the other hand, if the price of refined products were to soar in lockstep, the refineries would have no incentive to slow their runs until they absolutely have to.  

It should say "5 million barrels per week", not "5 million b/d".  Sorry for any other mistakes I might have made in my post.  
I think we may get within  500k of pre-Katrina refinery production by Thanksgiving, but I don't think it will be all restored before the end of the year at the earliest.  This is an improvement on the end of 1st Q 2006 I was hearing 2 weeks ago, but is still not good news.
I am curious as to why you believe that? The MMS report has not shown significant improvements in a few weeks now. It appears that we're slowing down, not speeding up. What other data leads you to your conclusion, because it's not obvious to me why we should go from 67% shut in oil on Friday, October 28th to 33% shut in oil by December 31st. Is there word somewhere on work crews or some other factor changing?

Thanks in advance.

I think you may have misunderstood, I was talking about refinery capabilities not the production of crude from the Gulf.  It is likely to be refinery production that poses the limits on what is going to be available, at least in the short term.  I do not believe that we have tapped all the crude that could be released from the SPR and this could help, if we could get it refined.
Ah, thank you. I did misunderstand having mentally focused on the shut in for so long.
I'm not sure where the best place to post this is. To help with scenario visualization I made a simple application to view future depletion graphs based on slider based inputs. This application runs on Windows platform.

To use - just download the zip file, unzip in a directory, then run the PeakProj.exe file. Nothing is installed on the PC. To remove, just delete the files. (this file is about 1.2MB)


This is a project in progress, I would welcome any suggestions, email is on the about dialog.

Have fun plotting the future.

The screenshot did not load properly, here is the correct image:
Typhoon, what makes you think that the world was producing closer to 82.5 million rather than 84. That would mean mean world oil invesntories would be drawn down a good deal in the third quarter wouldnt it? I know the US oil inventories were drawn down in the third quarter but not if you take into account what happened to SPR which went up.
But I think you are right about the fourth quarter and 1st quarter 06 probably should follow in a similiar vein.  MMS reports more than 71 million barrels lost till now in gom Estimates of total production loss range from 125 -200 million barrels total. Then there is also the number not reported. BP's flagship thunderhorse now comes on about 6 months later. Assuming 10000bl per day thats 18 million barrels lost in 2006. Damaged rigs are using shipyard time which could otherwise be used to build more rigs. Doesnt look good. Doesnt look good at all.
Re:  Oil Production/Supply Numbers

I was wondering if someone could comment on the pros and cons of the two oil numbers.   In my opinion, the best oil number is crude oil + condensate, 73.6 mbd in July according to the EIA.  

If we include NGL's, the number increases to 84 mbd in July.   The latter number is the most frequently used number.    

The EIA refers to the smaller number as "oil production."  The larger number is "oil supply."  

By the way, both numbers are basically flat, from 7/04 to 7/05, i.e., according to the EIA, we were showing zero growth in oil production/supply year over year (just before the hurricanes).

Thanks for that Westexas. I really did not know EIA had different jargon for those two things. I think it is interesting that we are flat year over year. Pickens and Groppe both have been saying that this is the max we will  get out. Simmons thinks even this is not sustainable.

I was wondering with suhc high Natural gas prices can companies choose to directly sell NG rather than make NGL with it? Of course in North america only.

Note that there are drawdowns are still occurring out of the SPR.

October looks like it has been a busy month moving oil out of the SPR.

Note there are even November numbers. Can anyone explain that one to me?

Is this why crude stocks built over the last few weeks?

The November number are obviously scheduled movements judging by the notes at the bottom of the table.

Do you know what they mean by 'Exchange'?  The 'Drawdown' is an obvious figure, but why is the 'Exchange' figure sometimes negative?  What is the difference between a negative Exchange and a Drawdown?

Also, look at the Exchange figures for March to May next year! How on earth can they know what is going into the SPR so far out?

I believe that one major way to fill the SPR in the past was to exercise a clause in every mineral rights contract that involved federal lands which basically gave the SPR first rights to a specific percentage of each such well's production. Thus if production from those wells holds steady for 6 more months (a fairly reasonable short term assumption) then they can project that amount coming in. I think of it as a direct tax on the production of oil from federal lands. It doesn't "cost" the government anything but it is production "lost" to the producer as a concession to government.

This may be how they know what to expect incoming.

I think an exchange is where you swap seet for sour etc.

Coul be wrong.

An exchange is a loan. usually to an integrated having troubling running refineries at full capacity. Has to be paid bakc when production comes online.