"Lost" barrels: where is unaccounted oil pouring from?

If half a billion barrels, which has reported the International Energy Agency, has never existed, we can expect a sharp rise in oil prices.

What would happen to the oil market if all commercial stocks of oil in the US is about 500 million barrels, suddenly disappeared? This is not an idle question. Statistics of the world oil balance, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), suggests that oil production in the past year and a half exceeded demand (including inventories and oil in transit) is just 500 million barrels. These barrels were allegedly made, but does not record statistics on the demand side. The problem has been widely discussed in the last week after the publication of The Wall Street Journal. Explanations for the disappearance of the public has not yet received. Perhaps it is a statistical error.

Obviously, the oil market, faced with a surplus of proposals, going through a painful period of rebalancing. Earlier this year, prices have fallen to levels that markets have not seen since the early 2000s and which do not provide normal reproduction in the industry. To restore the prices necessary to supply and demand back in balance. This process has already begun. Mining producers with high costs is slowing; World demand for oil is growing cheapened. Most forecasters believe, however, that the surplus offer is so great that rebalancing may take many months, perhaps until mid-2017 and even longer before that oil prices will remain low. But how high the size of the surplus?

Obviously, the statistical estimates of surplus in the oil market play an important role in the current price forecasts. In late February, the IEA released a report on the medium-term (until 2021) the state of the oil market, according to which the average annual excess of production over consumption of oil has increased from 1 million barrels per day in 2014 to 2 million barrels per day in 2015. This has allowed the IEA said it expects the oil price rise is not necessary in the short term. In this case of 2 million "extra" barrels per day last year, only half received precise classification in the statistics: 0.77 million barrels per day came in the growth of oil reserves in storage, 0.3 million barrels per day of oil was in transit. But nearly a million barrels of oil per day from the total surplus of assessment in 2015, the IEA has not been able to be attributed to any commodity stocks or in transit and placed it in the category of «miscellaneous to balance», also known as the "lost barrel» ( «the missing barrels» ). If we add the "extra" quantities produced each day for the past year and a half, we get 500 mln. Barrels of "missing" oil, with reference to which the article begins.
This volume is so great that it caused in the analytical community a lot of questions. It is hard to convince the world that in the era of satellite photos can be somewhere unnoticed by anyone to build storage tanks, which contain half barrels of oil. There were even "conspiracy theory", accusing the IEA in the conscious manipulation of data for the drop in oil prices (after all, the IEA represents the interests of OECD countries, most of which are net importers of oil).
But it is worth noting that the statistical error, and constant revision of world oil balance data are an integral part of the oil business.
For all the criticism regarding the IEA data, alternative estimates the world balance, which is the secretariat of OPEC or the US Department of Energy, not to mention the estimates of private consulting firms, suffer from the same problems with the reliability and verification of statistical data. What is the "lost barrel"? This category, in fact, is a balancing line in the world oil balance, which allows IEA to harmonize numerous statistical assumptions and inaccuracies on the side of supply and demand.

Importantly, the IEA has, regarding the statistics for the OECD countries, but rather to rely on rough estimates for other countries. Statistics on the supply side is usually much more correct than the statistics on the demand side. Also, statistics of volume of stocks in the OECD countries is quite accurate, but other stocks are estimated very roughly. First, the technology is recording flows in the extraction and export of oil makes it relatively accurately and quickly obtain the necessary information, but the demand data come with a considerable time lag, and by the vast number of consumers. Second, OECD countries have a well-organized collection and analysis of statistical data system, but in countries that are not members of the organization, the statistics of the oil industry often fails to keep track of not only consumption but also the state of inventories, and even mining. As a result, to estimate the current state of the market and short-term predictions of MEA does not use the actual data and its own estimates based on modeling and extrapolation historical statistics for the previous two to three years (in this time range, usually occurs main audit statistics for example, in 2016 the IEA report corrects the historical balance sheets for 2012-2014).

I can suggest you most relevant news about oil, you can find a lot of interesting things here http://www.cityfalcon.com/watchlists?assets=oil