It is widely agreed that the age of so-called ‘easy oil’ is over as onshore and shallow-water fields deplete – indeed it seems that the production of the international oil majors such as BP, Exxon, Shell, Statoil, Total and others has already peaked. However, some Middle Eastern national oil companies (NOCs) may also be running out of ‘easy oil’. Our data for Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and UAE shows that between 2000-2013 their production grew by 33%, but well numbers by 109% – they are drilling more and more wells for less and less oil!
Furthermore, results from our new Global Drilling & Production Forecast model indicates that in order to meet their target production, these countries will need to increase wells drilled from 1,156 in 2013 to 1,558 in 2020, a rise of 35%. Saudi Arabia for one needs to access its onshore gas reserves in order to meet growth in its own growing energy consumption that threatens to overwhelm its oil export capability – yet more wells!
If this is indeed the shape of things to come, it bodes well for drillers and oilfield service companies at a time when the IOCs are seeking to limit their spend on high-Capex projects.
Matt Cook, Douglas-Westwood London
+44 1795 594735 or Matt.Cook@douglaswestwood.com