The offshore drilling market is expected to grow at a CAGR of more than 5% during the forecast period. Further, global demand for oil is expected to witness an annual growth rate of 1.2 million barrels per day (mbd) till 2023. Similarly, the global demand for natural gas is expected to increase by 1.6% a year for the next five years, with consumption reaching almost 4,000 billion cubic meters (bcm) by 2022. Factors such as improved viability of deepwater and ultra-deepwater projects, is likely to drive the offshore drilling market during the forecast period. However, the crude oil prices have been highly volatile in 2018, fluctuating between USD 85 per barrel and USD 50 per barrel by the end of 2018. This volatility of oil prices remains a growing concern for the upstream industry. Hence, this is likely to restrain the growth of the offshore drilling market in the coming years.
- Jackups segment is likely to dominate the market during the forecast period.
- Factors, such as technological improvements and increasing viability of offshore oil & gas projects, several new markets, such as Gabon, Senegal, Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, Egypt, and the Mexican side of the Gulf of Mexico are actively promoting the development of offshore reserves, especially the deepwater and ultra-deepwater reserves. This, in turn, is expected to create significant opportunities to the operating companies in the near future.
- Middle-East and Africa is expected to be one of the potential markets with the majority of the demand coming from Nigeria, Angola, and Egypt.
Key Market Trends
Deep-Water and Ultra-Deep Water Segment to Dominate the Market
- The constant and ever-increasing demand for fossil fuels and in particular oil and gas has pushed exploration and production industry to drill in deep waters with depths more than 1000 feet.
- Owing to the oil price volatility starting mid-2014, the oil and gas operators across the world undertook several cost-cutting and efficiency gains measures, which resulted in the cost-reduction of deepwater projects by approximately 30-40% from 2014-2017. Furthermore, with the improvement in oil prices, several deepwater projects have become viable to operate and has resulted in an increased investment for exploration and production activities. Moreover, the breakeven for the deepwater exploration and production has fallen since 2014 and is expected to follow the same trend during the forecast period.
- From 2014 to 2018, global deepwater expenditure has increased and regions, such as Brazil, the United States Gulf of Mexico (GoM), Norway, Angola, and Nigeria constitute for a large amount of this capital expenditure, respectively, with West Africa anticipated to have the greatest regional growth.
- Moreover, the recent waves of cost reductions and critical technological breakthroughs have enabled many oil and gas exploration and production companies to expand their portfolio of sustainable deepwater developments.
- Therefore, with the increase in the deep-water activites and the technology breakthrough, the deepwater segment is expected to grow during the forecast period.
Middle-East and Africa to Witness a Significant Growth
- Middle-East and Africa is expected to witness a significant growth in the market in the coming years due to the recent discoveries in the offshore region.
- The Angolan offshore is among the most prospective plays in Africa and continues to draw high levels of investment. Drilling results are broadly positive, with exploration yielding a number of high-impact discoveries in recent years. A heavy focus on the Kwanza Basin pre-salt has returned five major discoveries since 2011: Bicuar, Cameia, Lontra, Mavinga, and Orca, in blocks 20 and 21.
- On the flipside, with Angola's most prospective acreage in the deepwater, ultra-deepwater, and pre-salt areas, exploration can be characterized as high- risk, high-reward. The bulk of drilling is expected to continue to target deepwater and pre-salt prospects, spearheaded by industry giants, such as Chevron, BP, Eni, Exxon Mobil, Statoil, and Total, along with national oil company Sonangol.
- Nigeria holds the top position among the ten countries, with the largest remaining crude oil and condensate deepwater reserves. The majority of reserves are along the country's Niger River Delta and offshore in the Bight of Benin, the Gulf of Guinea, and the Bight of Bonny. As of now, exploration activities are mostly focused in the deep and ultra-deep offshore, although some onshore exploration is also taking place.
- The first Nigerian commercial deepwater discovery, the Bonga oil field, was awarded to Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCO) in 1993. However, production did not start until 2005. After Bonga's success, several other deepwater oil explorations followed in quick succession, including Agbami (Chevron), Erha (ExxonMobil), and Akpo, Egina, and Usan (Total) among others.
- Therefore, factors such as upcoming offshore E&P activities especially from the West Africa region is expected to boost the number of offshore drilling in the region in the coming years.
The offshore drilling market is fragmented. Some of the key players in the market include Baker Hughes Company, Haliburton Company, Schlumberger Limited, Transocean Limited, and Saipem SpA.
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