PIRA: Shale production growth makes US largest liquids producer

US total oil supply is expected to average 12.1 million b/d this year, making it the world’s largest oil producer, PIRA Energy Group, an energy markets consulting firm in New York, reported. PIRA counts oil supply as all liquids, including condensates.

PIRA statistics show the US overtook Russia to become the second-largest supplier of oil in 2012 and the US was just behind Saudi Arabia. Both the US and Saudi Arabia increased oil supply in 2013 with the US reporting the fastest production growth.

The US position as the world’s largest oil supplier looks to be secure for many years, PIRA told its clients during a seminar in New York Oct. 10-11. Although growth rates of US shale liquids are expected to become smaller in the future, PIRA’s forecast sees the US increasing the lead over the next two largest countries until after 2020 and retaining the lead to at least through 2030.

PIRA said 2013 US total supply is larger than that of Saudi Arabia by 300,000 b/d and ahead of Russia by 1.6 million b/d.

The fourth through 10th largest suppliers are: China, Canada, UAE, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, and Mexico.

PIRA said US crude production is expected to produce 7.4 million b/d, which is less than that produced in Saudi Arabia and Russia by roughly 3 million b/d each.

The US also has substantial other forms of supply, including natural gas liquids at 2.5 million b/d, biofuels at 1 million b/d, and refinery gain at almost 1.3 million b/d. Refinery gain measures the ability of a refinery to optimize its output through sophisticated high conversion capabilities.

Growth in shale oil has boosted US production. Shale crude and condensate production for 2013 is estimated at 2.5 million b/d, which would be slightly over one third of total US crude production, and shale NGL at 1.2 million b/d, which would be almost half of total NGLs.

Shale crude is seen growing by 800,000 b/d this year, PIRA said, adding that it expects shale NGL will grow by 300,000 compared with 2012.

US total supply growth in 2013 is seen at 1 million b/d and about the same as last year's growth. Its growth rate is greater than the sum of the growth of the next nine fastest growing countries combined and has covered most of the world’s net demand growth over the past 2 years, PIRA said.

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