Sunday, September 24, 2017

EIA Overestimating US Crude Oil Production Growth -- Harold Hamm -- Bloomberg Reports -- September 24, 2017

I think this is most fascinating, Harold Hamm's thoughts on EIA projections. See this post for background. Today, Bloomberg posted a longer article following Hamm's comments.

Hamm is arguing that the EIA is overestimating US oil production growth this year. And that once the market recognizes the US forecasting error, Hamm says, crude prices could rise to $60 a barrel from $50 now.

According to Bloomberg that is good news for OPEC: that group is targeting a figure close to $60.

Again, no one is providing any real time frame: $60 by December, 2017? By March, 2018? By December, 2018?

From the article:
OPEC cuts are doing the job intended, shale isn't responding, and OPEC and friends may finally be reaping the rewards from nine months of impressive compliance with the output deals they agreed late last year.
"Nine months of impressive compliance." LOL. 

And OPEC is hoping for $60.

Back to the article:
How did U.S. government forecasters get it so wrong? They failed to recognize that U.S. shale producers were finally starting to focus on return on investment, rather than growth at any cost, Hamm said. When oil prices fell with the recovery in Nigerian and Libyan production during the second quarter, shale operators cut capital expenditure and output started to fall.
Bakken production:
  • July, 2017: 1,047,526 bopd
  • June, 2017: 1,032,873 bopd (second quarter)
  • May, 2017: 1,040,131 bopd  (second quarter)
  • April, 2017: 1,050,630 bopd (second quarter)
  • March, 2017: 1,025,638 bopd
  • February, 2017: 1,034,248 bopd
  • January, 2017: 981,380 bopd
  • December, 2016: 942,322 bopd
  • November, 2016: 1,034,484
I don't have Permian, Eagle Ford, or SCOOP/STACK production, but it's my understanding that the Permian has actually done better than the Bakken during this past year. I don't know about the Eagle Ford or SCOOP/STACK.

But there certainly is no indication that Bakken production "fell when oil prices fell with the recovery in Nigerian and Libyan production during the second quarter."

Production in the Bakken:
  • 1st quarter Bakken production: a low of 981,380 bopd
  • 2nd quarter Bakken production: a high of 1,050,630 bopd; fell to 1,032,873 by the end of the 2nd quarter but then back up to 1,047,526 bopd by the beginning of the 3rd quarter.
Disclaimer: in a long note like this there will be factual and typographical errors. Some Bakken production numbers could be off slightly; some production data may be preliminary figures that were subsequently revised, but the delta will be minimal.

One more thing: the most interesting item came at the end of the article:
But perhaps a study published earlier in the week by analysts at Wood Mackenzie is what OPEC really wants to hear -- without technological innovation to overcome dwindling reservoir pressure, production from the Permian Basin could peak as soon as 2021. The shale boom flash in the pan will flare out and the world will return to "normal," with incremental demand to be met from the core OPEC countries and Russia once more. If the 158-year history of the oil industry has taught us anything, though, it is surely that innovation is one thing it is very good at.

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