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US liquid fuels production growth offsets unplanned supply disruptions

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), record setting liquid fuels production growth in the US has more than offset the rise in unplanned global supply disruptions over the past few years, although differences in quality and location suggest that the substitution may not be exactly one for one.

US liquid fuels production, which includes crude oil, hydrocarbon gas liquids, biofuels, and refinery processing gain, grew by more than 4.0 million bpd from January 2011 to July 2014, of which 3.0 million bpd was crude oil production growth. During that same period, global unplanned supply disruptions grew by 2.8 million bpd.

US production growth, the main factor counterbalancing the supply disruptions on the global oil market, has contributed to a decrease in crude oil price volatility since 2011. Over the past 13 months, the monthly average Brent price has moved within a narrow US$ 5/bbl range, between US$ 107/bbl and US$ 112/bbl. In contrast, the range of monthly average Brent prices over the prior 13 month period (June 2012 – June 2013) was US$ 21/bbl.

Global unplanned supply disruptions averaged 3.2 million bpd during the first seven months of 2014 and peaked at 3.5 million bpd in May 2014. The current level of supply disruptions is the highest since the Iraq-Kuwait war (1990 – 1991), when supply disruptions peaked at 4.3 million bpd, based on data from the IEA.

Adapted from a press release by Emma McAleavey.

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