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Analysis of crude types

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

US EIA data shows that US oil production has grown rapidly in recent years, which reflects combined production of crude oil and lease condensate and shows a rise from 5.7 million bpd in 2011 to 7.4 million bpd in 2013. The latest EIA short term energy outlook projects continuing rapid production in 2014 and 2015, with production in 2015 hitting 9.2 million bpd. Beyond 2015 the EIA projects further production growth, although the pace and duration are uncertain. Domestic production plateaus near 9.6 million bpd between 2017 and 2020, close to the historical high of 9.6 million bpd in 1970.

Forecast movements

Recent and forecast increases in domestic crude production have sparked discussion on the topic of how rising crude oil volumes will be absorbed. Early last year, several commentators had suggested that near term production growth would be threatened unless restrictions on US exports of crude oil were significantly relaxed. At the time the EIA’s perspective was more nuanced, recognising that relaxation of export restrictions was only one among several ways to absorb growing near term flows of domestic production.

Given the likelihood of continued growth in domestic crude production, and the recognition that some absorption options, such as like for like replacement of import streams, are inherently limited, the question of how a relaxation in current limitations on crude exports might affect domestic and international markets for both crude and products continues to hold great interest for policymakers, industry and the public.

New EIA paper

A new paper from the EIA provides a short term forecast of domestic production by crude type, supplementing the overall production forecast provided in the short term energy outlook. Forecasts of production by crude type matter for several reasons. First, US crude streams vary widely in quality. Second, the economics surrounding various options for the domestic use of additional domestic oil production are directly dependent on crude quality characteristics. Third, actual or potential export values also vary significantly with quality characteristics.

Adapted for website by Claira Lloyd

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