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IEA corrects oil statistics containing biofuels

In July 2010 the Monthly Oil Market Report of the IEA corrected years of including biofuels in oil statistics, mainly from the US and Brazil. This makes the oil peak (crude, condensate and natural gas liquids) more clearly visible, but also confirms the most reliable approach is to focus on crude oil which is followed on this web site. We are not interested in recycled cooking oil.

In the June 2010 report, “Other Biofuels” was around 460 kb/d, with a fine print footnote “Other biofuels are from sources outside Brazil and US. US and Brazil oil supply includes ethanol”


In July 2010, this changed to 1,800 Kb/d and the footnote was changed to “As of July 2010 OMR, Global Biofuels comprise all world biofuel production including fuel ethanol from the US and Brazil”


The following graph depicts all liquids from the IEA Monthly Oil Market report with biofuels shown separately


It can be clearly seen that growing bio fuels production (green) hides any peaking of oil based liquids (red). The widening gap between all liquids and crude oil (data from EIA) is also visible. Note that the crude oil curve has been shifted by 9 mb/d upwards (RHS scale) so that all liquids and crude start approximatley at the same level in year 2001.

As the biofuels data of the OMR are not complete, adjustments were made with actual production data from the IEA bio fuels report “Sustainable Production of 2nd Generation Biofuels”


available here:

For completeness, this is the  estimate of future biofuels production from the IEA Medium Term Oil Market Report 2010


I wonder whether the IEA has considered the impact of global warming on the production of biofuels. We remember, for example, that:

Russia extends ban on wheat exports

In any case, a 1 mb/d increase in bio fuels until 2015 is not a game changer. It will only lull motorists into thinking bio fuels can ultimately make their current driving habits sustainable.  Whatever is produced should actually be used in the agricultural sector itself (to make food production and transport less dependent on oil)  and not wasted on the urban motorist, by mandating E10, for example.

We already have toll-way planners counting on alternative fuels to justify new projects like the widening of the M2 in Sydney:

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