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    Offshore oil and gas industry "to spend US$1.4 trillion over next decade"

    News // December 10, 2004
    Offshore oil & gas production is forecast to grow from 39 million barrels oil equivalent (boe) per day in 2004 to 55 million boe by 2015. From providing around 34 per cent of global oil production and 28 per cent of global gas production in 2004, offshore oil and gas are forecast to reach 39 per cent and 34 per cent respectively by 2015.

    The full costs to explore for, develop and operate offshore oil and gas fields, presently some US$111 billion per year, are forecast to total US$1,440 billion over the next decade. During this time it is estimated that 200 billion boe will be produced.

    These are amongst the results presented in 'The World Offshore Oil & Gas Forecast', an important new study of the long-term prospects for the offshore oil & gas industry published by industry analysts Douglas-Westwood and using information from the 'Energyfiles' database.

    According to study author and Energyfiles Technical Director Dr Michael R Smith, "in recent years offshore oil and gas production growth has been constant and rapid. Offshore output is expected to be some 27 million barrels per day (bopd) of oil and 750billion cubic metres (Bcm) of gas in 2004. It is forecast to grow to 33 million bopd and nearly 1,300 Bcm per year by 2015. It is interesting to see how expenditures are being rapidly re-directed from mature to immature countries to permit this growth. Ithink the extent of the shift will have a massive effect on where and what type of equipment and services will be required."

    "A most important trend is the move to deep waters. For example, nearly 25 per cent of offshore oil will come from deep waters in 2015 compared to just 10 per cent in 2004. Most significantly, after 2010 all global offshore oil production growth will befrom deep waters, compensating for declining output from shallow waters.

    Referring to the shift in regional activity Dr Smith points out that "true offshore oil production began in North America in 1938 and since then all regions have seen some expansion but most rapidly from Western Europe, mainly the North Sea. In 2004 Western Europe was providing 21 per cent of all offshore oil but is forecast to be providing just 11 per cent by 2015. The Middle East, due to its large reserves, and Africa and Latin America, due to their deepwaters, are forecast to be contributing the largest shares by 2015, with 21, 19 and 18 per cent, respectively.

    "Unlike oil, offshore gas output will continue to rise from both shallow and deep waters and in terms of oil equivalent by 2015 gas is expected to be providing 40 per cent of offshore volumes. A large increase in supply is forecast from the Middle East,almost entirely attributable to the giant South Pars/North field straddling the Iranian/Qatari border. In addition around 12 per cent of global offshore gas will be coming from deep waters, compared to 7 per cent in 2004.

    "The growth in importance of gas, and offshore gas in particular, will drive an unprecedented increase in expenditure on gas infrastructure, including pipelines, LNG plants, gas-to-liquid processing plants, tanker transport, and loading and unloading terminals."

    The expenditure forecasts in the report are given in 2004 money assuming continued low inflation. It is also assumed that upward cost pressures from inflation and a higher oil price environment will, as in the past, be roughly counter-balanced by downwards cost pressures through improved technology and better cost cutting strategies.

    Nevertheless, according to report series editor John Westwood, "over the longer term a sustained increase in oil prices is likely as a global energy supply gap develops and real cost increases materialise which could lead to additional expenditure growth."

    "Although this may in part result from the service industry achieving higher priced contracts, we think there will also be two other effects. Firstly, governments owning the remaining high potential producing areas will expect higher takes and secondly the increase in the number of marginal developments brought onstream and efforts to increase recovery factors will inevitably lead to a greater number of lower production rate wells than have traditionally been required offshore." 'The World Offshore Oil& Gas Forecast' discusses these issues.

    'The World Offshore Oil & Gas Forecast' is published by Douglas-Westwood Limited. It contains over 200 pages, 100 figures and 21 tables. It is part of 'The World' series of business studies used by companies in 32 countries.

    ISBN: 1-905183-03-8

    The 'Energyfiles' database now under development holds over a thousand oil and gas charts portraying historic and forecast oil and gas production, consumption, and reserves data for every producing country in the world.

    For further information contact:
    Lesley Lindsay-Watson
    tel: +44 1227 780999
    fax: +44 1227 780880
    web site:

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