The Millennium and Present Day Production

    'The beginning of the 21st century saw increased insecurities in oil supply, political pressures, monetary debasement and military interventions' (Rodrigue, 2009) Despite the early recession of the dot.com bubble, oil production has been expanding rapidly due to increases in technology and the increased availability of capital. 

    OPEC again struggled to control prices throughout this decade, cutting quota's here and there to increase and decrease production, in response to the world's rapid demand for more and more oil due to increased population increase and our demand for oil based products, hence the increased price rises. 

    The impact of non-OPEC countries such as Russia and Mexico increased their production tremendously throughout the early 2000's and throughout the decade, with Russia increasing production from 6.2 million barrels per day in 2000,  to just over 9.5 million barrels by the end of the decade. This created outcry from many of the OPEC producing nations, whose quota's were still way under what the other non members were producing, with many of them exceeding the quota with daily regularity, in order to increase their countries wealth. 

    The impact of the terrorists attacks on America, 9/11, resulted in a quick decrease in oil prices, decreasing from just below $30 in March 2011, to $20 by November of the same year as shown in figure 1. 

    In March 2003, problems in Venezuela occurred.  Hugo Chavez, president of Venezuela, elected in 1999 tried to re-build OPEC by reducing the nations oil production to the correct quota's. In Venezuela has changed policies against the PDVSA (Petroleos de Venezuela), the state owned oil production company so that the country could receive more in oil revenue. As imagined these policies did not win voters of the PDVSA who subsequently went on strike in December, 2002 which resulted in the near collapse of the Venezuelan oil production, from 3 million barrels per day in December 2002, to 500,000 barrels in February 2003 when the strike was finally ended. 

    In that same year, the Second Gulf War occurred. The US, followed on their heels by the UK, invaded Iraq under the illusion of possession of weapons of mass destruction as well as the aim of removing Saddam Hussein from power and reducing the influence of Al Qaeda. However, opinions were divided as to whether this was the main reason to invade, or just a pretense to secure oil supply and production in the region as Saddam Hussein was burning off oil fields  on a daily basis which for the West was catastrophic, as oil prices were rising rapidly. 

    Oil production continued to soar throughout the mid 2000's from the increased use of oil related products as well as the increased standards of living in the world. Demand has now been exceeding supply for many years and at the start of the 2007 recession, per dollar barrel prices reached nearly £150 a barrel as production was so scarce, and worries about the amount of reserves left as well as settlements in the Middle East. Economists such as a Goldman Sachs analyst predicted the price per barrel to hit $200, which it never did. 

    Currently, global oil production stands at around 89 million barrels per day, with an ever increasing demand for oil. The Cambridge Energy Research Association predicts that production will continue to grow 'from 87 million barrels per day (mbd) in 2005 to as much as 108 mbd by 2015' and still increases will occur' (Finfacts, 2005).

The current problem still remains, as shown in map 1 and 2, that the Middle East and Russia are still the main producers of oil for the west, meaning that their oil power and influence are increasing as a still increasing need for oil is exacerbated. 
Figure 1: A graph showing the crude oil price and OPEC's attempts yet again to control prices.  





Map 1: A map showing the influence of Oil Power throughout the world in proportion to their power.

Source: http://www.worldmapper.org/images/largepng/111.png







Map 2: A map showing the demand for oil per day by country in 2010

Current World Oil Production 2010

Source:  http://chartsbin.com/view/yp7