2010 Crude Oil: 50 Billion Barrels Discovered, 30 Billion Barrels Used
With the price of oil hovering above $70 a barrel for over a year -- and around $90 a barrel for several weeks -- oil exploration companies can get to work discovering rich new oil fields. In 2010, more new oil was discovered than was consumed -- and we can expect that trend to continue as long as oil stays high -- above fundamentals. OPEC is sitting on considerable reserve production.
Iraq has barely begun to develop its huge fields using modern technology. Africa's rich fields are waiting for a political structure that is able to limit sabotage, theft and corruption. Mexico's leadership is finally admitting that its own graft and laziness has caused premature flagging of national oil production. Venezuela's production of its vast resources is artificially damped by an incompetent presidential boob. Russia's autocratic corruptocracy is reflected by incompetence at the oil field level -- Russian production could be much higher with competent oversight.
Bluntly put, the world is sitting on far more crude oil than it knows what to do with at this time. Human incompetence, corruption, and lack of skilled manpower and state-of-the-art equipment chokepoints contribute to the real disconnect and lag between moment-to-moment demand and instantaneous supplies.
Political peak oil: The only kind of peak oil you will ever see, except for peak demand, when oil is no longer needed.
Taken from Mark Perry's Carpe Diem blog:
Last year was a really good year for new oil discoveries, there were at least 14 major oil discoveries in Brazil alone totaling 13.5 to 26.7 billion barrels, here's a list below:
1. Well OGX-4-RUS:
100-200 million barrels
2. Well 1-OGX-3-RJS:
500-900 million barrels
3. Well 4-PM-53:
25 million barrels
4. Additions to Barracuda:
65 million barrels
5. Maastrichtian section of Well OGX-5:
30-90 million barrels
15 million barrels
300 million barrels
4.5 billion barrels
9. Pipeline and Etna:-
1.4-2.6 billion barrels
10. Waimea and Fuji:
600 million-1.1 billion barrels
105 million barrels
380 million barrels
3.7-15 billion barrels
14. Cernambi field at Iracema:
1.8 billion barrels
In addition, there were more than 30 billion barrels discovered in other parts of the world in 2010, including Iran, Russia, Norway(more), Mexico, Ghana, Iraq, U.S. (Texas, ND and Montana and Colorado), Falkland Islands, U.K., Angola(more) and Oman, bringing the total of new recoverable oil discoveries in 2010 to around 50 billion barrels. Brazil was the clear leader in 2010, with the oil found there representing up to half of all new global oil discoveries in 2010. With oil now selling now at close to $90 per barrel, we can expect even more discoveries in 2011.