Oil and gas industry outlook: 2019
In consideration of industry low’s, such as the price collapse in 2013 and major environmental disasters such as the Deepwater Horizon Gulf Of Mexico Oil Spill in 2014, the oil & gas sector has now recovered.
The world’s dependence on oil and gas is increasing as global economies and infrastructure continue to rely heavily on petroleum-based products. Discussions of when world oil and gas production will peak seem to be on the periphery, even amid a weakened global economy and the shrinking availability of oil. The oil and gas industry continues to wield incredible influence in international economics and politics – especially in consideration of employment levels in the sector, with the U.S. oil and gas industry supporting at least 10 million jobs.
The recovery occurred for several reasons, but the chief among them is the success of the production restraint agreement between OPEC and non-OPEC nations. In addition, developing nations such as China, Brazil and Russia are increasing exploration and production efforts. However, geopolitical considerations such as the ongoing troubles in Venezuela, Iran, and Qatar’s exit from OPEC will influence oil and gas supply.
The trend towards renewable and alternative energy is another threat to traditional oil and gas companies. Coupled with the rise in pro-eco legislation and governmental pressure has meant the industry is under more scrutiny than ever.
Generating electricity from solar power systems and offshore wind is becoming increasingly cheaper and cost-effective. According to IRENA, over 80 percent of newly commissioned renewable energy will be cheaper than new oil & natural gas sources.
More recently, there has been a resurgence of confidence in the industry as it enters its third year of recovery. Growth is increasing at a remarkable rate, as increased upstream production continues to have a positive knock-on effect for midstream businesses. The price of crude has also stabilised – steadying at around $50 per barrel. In addition, 100,000 jobs are expected to be created in 2019 and the number of active drilling rigs in the U.S. has increased to 780+ compared to 591 from a year ago.
The UK continental shelf also appears to be back, with the potential to unlock dozens of undeveloped discoveries with drilling prospects on the horizon. Additionally, we can expect an improved outlook for UK upstream production. The UK offshore sector is expected to improve after historical lows in the past few years as there are 16 planned greenfield projects with identified development plans and 29 announced greenfield projects forecast to start production between 2019 and 2025.
It is estimated that 30 billion barrels are consumed globally each year, primarily by developed nations. Oil also accounts for a significant percentage of energy consumption regionally from 32% for Europe and Asia, 40% for North America, 41% for Africa, 44% for South and 53% for the Middle East.
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