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Global Crude Oil Supply Outage Is near a 7-Month High


Dec. 4 2020, Updated 10:53 a.m. ET

Global crude oil supply outage

The EIA estimates that the global crude oil supply outage increased by 275,000 bpd (barrels per day) to 1,870,000 bpd in February 2018—compared to the previous month. However, supply outages dropped by 253,000 bpd or 12% from a year ago.

Global crude oil supply outages were near a seven-month high in February 2018. Brent and US oil prices have risen ~46% since June 21, 2017, partly due to supply cuts and a rise in the global crude oil production outage.

The United States Brent Oil ETF (BNO) tracks Brent crude oil futures. The United States Oil ETF (USO) follows US crude oil futures. BNO and USO have risen ~52% and ~44%, respectively, since June 21, 2017.

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Highs and lows

Global crude oil supply outages reached ~1,540,000 bpd in January 2012—the lowest level since 2011. In contrast, supply outages reached ~3,700,000 bpd in May 2016—the highest level since 2011. Brent oil prices increased 12.4% in May 2016 from April 2016 partly due to supply outages.

OPEC and non-OPEC and oil supply outages 

OPEC producers’ oil supply outages increased by 80,000 bpd to ~1,245,000 bpd in February 2018—compared to the previous month. Libya, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait had the most supply outages among OPEC producers in February 2018.

Non-OPEC oil producers’ supply outages increased by 195,000 bpd to 625,000 bpd in February 2018—compared to the previous month. Columbia, Yemen, and Sudan had the most supply outages among non-OPEC producers in February 2018.

Impact of global crude oil supply outages

Global supply outages averaged 2.7 MMbpd (million barrels per day) and 2 MMbpd in 2016 and 2017, respectively. Supply outages could increase in 2018 due to geopolitical tensions and the weather.

An unexpected supply outage from Libya, Venezuela, Iran, and Iraq could support oil prices in 2018. However, any decline in supply outages is bearish for oil prices.

Next, we’ll discuss OECD’s crude oil inventories.


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