By Euan Mearns
28 November 2012
OPEC is currently pumping at close to near term and historic highs of 31.2 mmbpd of crude oil. Outside of Saudi Arabia, the majority of spare capacity is deemed to lie in Iran and Nigeria. Iran could certainly pump more if permitted to do so by the international community. It is doubtful that Nigeria could. The UAE Kuwait, Qatar, Libya, Algeria and Venezuela are all pumping at close to capacity levels. Saudi Arabia alone has meaningful spare capacity of 2.1 mmbpd.
Embedded in the production stack (Figure 1) is an intriguing tale of general strike, international conflict, civil war, and sanctions combined with masterly control of oil supply that has kept global markets in balance. […]