Strong growth forecast for offshore E&P

World deepwater production will grow from 2007's 6 MMboe to 11 MMboe in 2011, predicted John Westwood of Douglas-Westwood.

Gene Kliewer,
Technical Editor, Subsea & Seismic

HOUSTON –World deepwater production will grow from 2007's 6 MMboe to 11 MMboe in 2011, predicted John Westwood of Douglas-Westwood. Speaking to the Society of Underwater Technology, Westwood said suppliers are "virtually beating off the customers, but demand continues to grow."

Deepwater oil and gas exploration was a highlight of the presentation.

"Virtually the only place were giant oilfields will be found in future years is in deepwater," Westwood said, citing the recent Tupi discovery in Brazil and an example.

"Big oil needs big fields," he said. "The remaining 'easy oil' and indeed gas is in hard places and is being strongly competed for."

As a result, capital spending will reach $25 billion annually in deepwater by 2012, a 30% growth for the 2008-2012 time span. "This will drive demand for deepwater drilling rigs, floating production systems, subsea production hardware, and more," Westwood said.

He also noted a change in the playing field since the early 1970s, with national oil companies now holding 80% of the world's oil reserves. International oil companies held that amount in the early '70s.

Another result of current market dynamics is that oilfield service companies have become a favorite of investors. The Douglas-Westwood index of 10 leading deepwater service companies has risen 69% since November 2006.

01/10/2008

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