Major Threat For Opec With Offshore Exploration Boom

Oil majors are highlighting continued frugality in their 2018 exploration plans. But they all plan to increase output over the coming years with a return to deepwater exploration and development the key driver.

Senior Gulf Opec ministers Khalid al-Falih of Saudi Arabia and Suhail al-Mazrouei of the UAE have repeatedly warned over the past year that they see global upstream investment as dangerously low. Their stated aim is to hasten a drawdown of global inventories, with the resultant price gains spurring the requisite investment surge to avoid a global oil shortage and price spike in the years to come.

This the same message that the IEA has been seeking to drive home since late 2015, as it warns that “the recent spectacular decline in upstream oil and gas investment” presages “major concerns about the prospects for the adequacy of supply” ( MEES, 21 July 2017 ). Based on expectations of a shortfall, the IEA, in its November 2017 World Energy Outlook forecasts that crude prices will be $83/B in 2025 (in 2016 dollars – account for inflation in the intervening years and this likely equates to $100/B-plus in dollars of the day). Who knows, the IEA may be proved right, but their $83/B figure is some $30/B higher than that currently indicated by futures markets. (CONTINUED - 2085 WORDS)

DATA INSIDE THIS ARTICLE

chart Top 5 Majors Plan Tentative 1% 2018 Capex Increase, First Hike Since 2013 ($Bn)