“Private oil sector pushes US past Saudi Arabia in output”. That was the title of a post that caught my eye a Questions and Observations (Q&O)yesterday. My first reaction was : Wow! Something very big must have happened because everything I had read recently said the US would probably catch or pass Saudi Arabia’s oil production rate by the year 2020. Q&O used this quote from their source:
In spite of the Obama Administration’s hostility to carbon-rich energy, private actors with private capital deployed on private (and state) land have launched a game-changing revolution in domestic oil and natural gas production.
A scarcely reported milestone conveys the magnitude of this turnaround in the global energy landscape.
The U.S. passed Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest petroleum producer in November 2012, according to recently released data of the federal Energy Information Administration.
The source is an article at Investors.Com. I went there immediately looking for their source of the “scarcely reported milestone”. Although the article reported their source as the Energy Information Administration (EIA), there was no link to the specific EIA report. BUMMERS!!!
So, I scoured the pages of EIA but found no reference to US oil production exceeding that of Saudi Arabia. I did, however, find this interesting chart published on March 5, 2013.
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, International Energy Statistics and Short-Term Energy Outlook.
Note: Total petroleum production includes crude oil, natural gas liquids, condensates, refinery processing gain, and other liquids including biofuels.
As the note above says, total liquids is not the same as barrels of oil. It includes condensates and biofuels. It does not include oil-barrel equivalents of natural gas. But, even with these extras, the US is still a little behind Saudi Arabia.
I do not doubt for a moment that the author of the Investors.Com article, Kathleen Harnett White, has a source to back up her claim that the US is now out producing Saudi Arabia. But, the above chart would indicate that we are missing some data. Because Ms. White did not provide a link to her source, we do not know what it is we are missing. I suspect the article she was referencing included barrel equivalents of natural gas. In that case, the US would probably exceed Saudi Arabia’s production.
It makes it hard to navigate around this asylum when people do not link their sources.
Well, that’s what I’m thinking. What are your thoughts?