LONDON – More than 89,000 km (55,300 mi) of pipelines and control lines will be installed from 2012-2016, according to Infield Systems. In its just-released “Global Perspectives Offshore Pipeline & Control Line Market Report To 2016,” Infield expects 42% of total investment to be directed toward projects in Europe and Asia.
In Europe, subsea and trunkline developments in Norway and the UK are forecast to drive investment levels. The UK increase primarily will be driven by independent operators developing marginal oil and gas fields via tiebacks to existing infrastructure. In Norway, Statoil is forecast to be the primary source of investment and is expected to invest four times more capex than it did from 2007-2011.
In Asia, the demand for hydrocarbons is forcing indigenous national oil companies to increase investment in pipelines in order to expand the network of connected shallow-water gas platforms. Petronas, Malaysia’s NOC, is expected to invest more than $2.9 billion in pipelines and control lines for shallow water projects such as the Kebabangan and Bergading area gas fields.
Australasia is expected to see the largest proportionate growth during the forecast period. More than 5,900 km (3,666 mi) of pipeline are expected to be installed during 2012-2016, compared to just more than 1,500 km (932 mi) from 2007-2011. Subsea developments such as Inpex’s Ichthys and Chevron’s Gorgon and Wheatstone projects are likely to dominate the future scene.
In the deepwater Atlantic triangle area of West Africa, Brazil, and the US Gulf of Mexico, operators are expected to drive an increase in pipeline capex of nearly 50% over the forecast period. In Brazil, Infield Systems expects the main impact of presalt pipelines investment to occur from 2012 onward with capital expenditure linked to projects related to the Lula, Sapinhoa, Franco, and Libra developments.
On a global level, Petrobras and Chevron are forecast to account for the largest share of capital investment because of the volume, complexity, and increased depth of the projects.
Overall, 2012 is expected to be a milestone year with unprecedented levels of activity expected in terms of the length of pipeline and control lines being installed.