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World Drilling & Production Market Forecast 2018-2024 Q2


Based on detailed models, the report examines each country in turn and includes a summary of hydrocarbon potential and sensitised production outlook, with associated development drilling requirements segmented into oil & gas for the onshore sector and shallow vs. deep water depths for the offshore sector. Country-by-country exploration and appraisal (E&A) drilling forecasts for both the onshore and offshore sectors are also detailed.

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World Drilling and Production Market Forecast – Strong OPEC compliance and Venezuelan Outages Offsetting Resurgent US Production

OPECs output reduction plan, extended to the end of 2018, has had the desired effect on the market, with oil prices rising strongly from 2016 lows. However, two key supply side questions remain: what happens when the OPEC cuts end, and how will a sharp uptick in US production impact the market? The latest edition of Westwood’s World Drilling & Production Market Forecast, built by Westwood’s OFS analysts based on detailed project data and proprietary models, seeks to answer these questions, among others.

Oil Supply Changes 2017-2019
Oil Supply Changes 2017-2019

Key Conclusions Include:

  • Westwood expects global development drilling activity to increase 6% in 2018 and continue growing at a 3% CAGR to 2024. Higher levels of activity this year will be driven by US onshore recovery whilst weaker drilling activity in Russia and China towards the end of the forecast period drives the lower global growth rate overall.
  • OPEC compliance is expected to remain high through 2018 – leading to a global net undersupply of 1.3 mmbbl/d.
  • The economic and political crisis in Venezuela has led to a drastic reduction in oil production, which fell 26% (519 kbbl/d) in 15 months. Decline is expected to continue without a significant shift in political and economic conditions.
  • Onshore production in the USA has ramped up with rising oil prices, increasing by 430 kbbl/d in 2017. Based on current visibility of activity levels and initial production (‘IP’) data from new well completion activity, further growth of circa 950kbbl/d is expected in 2018. This is a conservative outlook when compared to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) outlook, however, we recognise that there is potential for upside on these volumes if IP rates improve further.
  • Gas production will grow at a rate of 10% over the forecast, compared to 6% growth for oil, as E&P companies continue to develop major conventional and unconventional resources worldwide. Substantial volumes of associated gas production is expected in North America which will support world-class LNG export projects.
  • Over the forecast, oil production in Brazil is expected to increase 18% (0.5 mmbbl/d) as pre-salt developments, such as Libra, continue to come onstream.
  • Deepwater oil & gas will grow and diversify, with production from outside the traditional ‘Golden Triangle’ increasing from 19% of deepwater production in 2018 to 36% by 2024.


This quarter’s edition of the World Drilling & Production Market Forecast has found that almost half of the impacts of a co-ordinated OPEC and Non-OPEC production cut will be negated by sharp increases in US onshore production this year – the result of rising IP rates and continued high levels of completion activity across key basins. A key driver in lower OPEC oil production – far beyond the mandated amount –  is the collapse in production from OPEC member Venezuela which since the beginning of 2017 has helped reduce oil supply beyond what was expected. Longer-term, however, the return of uncapped OPEC production, as well as continued growth in the US onshore sector, could see oversupply return in the early 2020s, with a possible 0.3 mmbbl/d net additions to global storage in 2020 and 2021 (based on current visible development plans).

This report, includes data and analysis for 70 of the most important energy producing countries, including detailed drilling and production data for each country covering the period 2008-2024.

For more information on the latest World Drilling & Production Market Forecast please contact Gareth Hector or, or request a live demonstration of the Sectors platform here.


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