Offshore future bright over time

Prospects for the global offshore E&P business over time are sound because of its fundamental conditions, John Westwood and Steven Kopits of Douglas-Westwood told the Society of Underwater Technology today in Houston.

Gene Kliewer
Technology Editor, Subsea & Seismic

HOUSTON -- Prospects for the global offshore E&P business over time are sound because of its fundamental conditions, John Westwood and Steven Kopits of Douglas-Westwood told the Society of Underwater Technology today in Houston.

Those fundamental conditions include the facts that the demand for energy is up more than 30% since 1990 and in 2007 35% of that demand was met by oil. Worldwide, long-term demand growth will continue to rise faster than new discoveries are made. Offshore, the biggest opportunity over the next decade will be in deepwater, said Kopits.

Even though the Douglas-Westwood forecast for exploration and production in 2009 is down 12%, the $400 million predicted is not far off the 2007 total, so spending remains at historically high levels.

Despite a 3% dip in 2009 capex spending, Westwood expects total spend to grow from $260 billion in 2008 to $360 billion in 2013. He sees the same for opex spending, going from $68 billion in 2007 to $82 billion in 2012.

In the short-term, two to three years, the company predicts that many of the projects currently under way will go forward. In the long-term, four to 10 years, a drop in non-OPEC production will coincide with a rise in the per barrel price of oil.

01/08/2009

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