Frontier plays to lead deepwater production growth

Production from the “Golden Triangle” plays offshore Brazil, the US Gulf of Mexico, and West Africa will peak in 2019 at around 7.1 MMboe/d, according to analyst Douglas-Westwood.

Offshore staff

FAVERSHAM, UK – Production from the “Golden Triangle” plays offshore Brazil, the US Gulf of Mexico, and West Africa will peak in 2019 at around 7.1 MMboe/d, according to analyst Douglas-Westwood (DW).

However, decline will then set in during the 2020s due to a lack of recent investments. Mainly this is because of Petrobras’ continuing financial and tendering problems, DW says, in addition to delays to large developments off West Africa such asShell’s Bonga South-West and Eni’s Zabazaba.

Elsewhere, deepwater production could triple over the next seven years from 1.3 MMboe/d in 2017 to 3.9 MMboe/d, the analyst forecasts, with natural gas, particularly infrontier plays, accounting for 80% of the growth.

In the Gulf of Mexico, larger discoveries in recent years have been in technically-challenging oil reservoirs with higher costs, such as the Palaeogene.

Operators have therefore focussed more on emerging gas provinces driven by LNG schemes in East Africa and the eastern Mediterranean, where pipeline exports to local markets are possible.

Asia too, historically a shallow water-producing region, is experiencing an increase in deepwater projects, DW points out, with CNOOC exploiting fields in the South China Sea andONGC and Reliance Industries investing in deepwater gas fields in the Krishna-Godavari basin offshore eastern India.

From the mid-2020s DW expects further production growth from the emergingdeepwater regions. However, countries within the “Golden Triangle” will need to take sanction to maintain long-term production by making investment more attractive.

02/06/2017

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