Significance of World Petroleum Production Trends
- Warren L. Baker (Member A.I.M.E) | L.J. Logan (Member A.I.M.E)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Transactions of the AIME
- Publication Date
- December 1948
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 315 - 324
- 1948. Original copyright American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, Inc. Copyright has expired.
- 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 4.6 Natural Gas
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By 1950 or soon thereafter facilities will be available in foreign countriesfor the production, transportation, and refining of about 4,305,000 bbl per dayof crude oil-a volume not far short of current United States output. This isindicated by announced plans for foreign expansion, some of the work beingalready under way. The projected potential production is about 1,500,000 bblper day or 50 pct above the record-setting foreign production of 2,810,000 bbldaily in 1946. The scheduled new foreign facilities are equivalent to almostone third of the present facilities of the United States.
Fears that so much additional foreign oil may flood world markets and disruptthe domestic industry of the United States are not justified. The projectedforeign expansion apparently has been planned on a sound business basis, withcareful consideration of the world's actual need for all the projectedadditional production. Materially increased world demand for petroleum promisesto absorb the increased supplies without ill effect upon the domestic industry.Even by applying conservative estimates of both foreign and domestic demand, itis indicated that world requirements can absorb the projected larger foreignoutput and still permit continued increase in United States production. Worlddemand would have to increase only 5.7 pct per year in the 1947 to 1950 periodto absorb the prospective supply. Such an increase may be conservativelyprojected, in view of past and current trends.
Recent announcements of plans for expanding petroleum facilities in the MiddleEast and Venezuela foreshadow an unusually sharp increase in foreign productionin the immediate future. Therefore, the next few years will bring far-reachingchanges in world petroleum affairs, with foreign petroleum production and otheractivities assuming much greater importance than formerly.
Tabulation of figures on development already under way or planned indicatesthat in the next several years facilities will be available for producing,transporting and refining twice the prewar production of foreign fields andabout 50 pct or nearly 1,500,000 bbl a day above their record-level output of1946.
To say that foreign fields may be producing such an enlarged quantity by 1950is, of course, a statement of great significance to everyone connected with theoil industry and especially to those of the American petroleum industry. Aproduction of 1,500,000 bbl daily is equal to the combined yield of the statesof Oklahoma, Kansas, Illinois, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi and New Mexico,This means that within the next several years foreign petroleum facilities willundergo a new expansion equivalent to one third of the present facilities ofthe United States.
To think of such an expansion in foreign production is to raise at this meetingthe question of what this prospective foreign development means for the UnitedStates, the American petroleum industry in general, and the American engineerand technologist in particular.
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