Steve Robertson, director, commented “We expect African and Latin American developments to drive the forecast growth. African developments are largely concentrated on Angola and Nigeria. Latin America is likely to experience substantial growth, exceeding Africa’s deepwater expenditure towards the end of the forecast period, driven by Petrobras’ development of its Campos and Santos (pre-salt) fields off Brazil. There are some interesting prospects in North Africa but these may be hampered in the short-term by the present political uncertainties.
A large cloud of political uncertainty also continues to sit stubbornly over the US Gulf of Mexico following the Macondo spill in 2010. Recovery is expected in the US Gulf over the next five years but at present activity levels are depressed and contractors continue to report that the region is difficult. The outlook for 2012 is poor with recovery expected from 2013 onwards. There is a risk that the present administration could limit deepwater activity in favour of development of unconventional onshore reserves instead.”
Steve Kopits, MD of Douglas-Westwood LLC in New York commented in a presentation to the US House of Representatives Energy Subcommittee that “US GoM oil production has fallen significantly since Macondo and within two years of the accident it will be 35% lower – that represents a fall in overall US production of 11%. Meanwhile, unconventional plays such as those in the Bakken area have potential to add up to 1 million bpd or more.”
The Douglas-Westwood analysis highlights that drilling and completion expenditure is expected to be more than double the previous five year period, with subsea equipment expected to see 70% rises over the same period. SURF and Floating Production sectors are also expected to see increased levels of expenditure as operators require complex and highly-engineered production solutions to tap their deepwater prospects. Floating production is the principal form of development of deepwater reserves. Eighty units are forecast to be installed over the 2011-2015 period, the majority of which will be FPSO vessels.
Overall, the outlook for the business is clearly one of significant long-term opportunity. Political intervention and uncertainty is not a new challenge for the oil industry but it does threaten to over-shadow the great technical progress in recent years that has resulted in remarkable feats of engineering and the ability to explore for oil in water depths of up to 3,000m. As deepwater projects becoming increasingly capital-intensive there is an economic challenge for E&P companies and a significant potential prize for international oilfield service and equipment vendors.
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About The Deepwater Service
The Deepwater Service presents country-by-country and component-led analysis based on unique and proprietary data. Douglas-Westwood is now offering a more dynamic service, with the option of quarterly updates of our leading forecasts and dedicated real time support for stakeholders in the deepwater market. The service includes historic and forecast deepwater expenditure for previous and next five years, discussion of development prospects and projects within each region, review of market drivers and an explanation of trends and themes in the market. The service is aimed at strategy departments, senior management, M&A teams and business acquisition executives within the sector to support decision making and strategic direction, marketing and sales activities.
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The Deepwater Service is the first of the markets that Douglas-Westwood tracks, to offer a quarterly update service. Douglas-Westwood’
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