Colombia’s oil output (the blue line on the chart above) was rising steadily for years. Maybe too steadily. There were rumours that the pressure was on to make the mark of 1 million barrels a day, and that some companies were extracting oil too quickly, reducing the overall recoverability of oil in some fields. I don’t know if those rumours were true. I know what this chart shows. One is a very smooth, exponential rise in output that suddenly stopped last June. Did something happen last June?
There is also a strange lack of synchrony between oil & gas. The most obvious thing is that gas sales have been volatile, while oil output has risen steadily. Gas sales peaked at the beginning of 2010, while oil production kept rising. And in the past year, gas sales rose for several months without any corresponding increase in oil.
And then there’s the really obvious point: The blue line has yet to broach that million-barrels-a-day mark. I suppose this should have been predictable when Jim Cramer and everyone else started talking up Colombia a little over a year ago.
UPDATE: I knew I had seen someone else comment on Colombia’s failure to make 1 million barrels a day, and it turns out it was regular reader, commenter, linker, and all-around site pal Otto. A month ago. And my memory is failing me in my old age. Actually I can’t blame age. His page had a handy chart of the derivative, too, which is pretty cool, so go check it out.