Westwood’s World Deepwater Market Forecast 2017-2021 Q4 data update expects expenditure to total $126.9bn over the forecast period, with activities concentrated in Africa and the Americas. Whilst project sanctioning has improved over the past 12 months, operators remain cautious of uncontrolled project spending, and are increasingly opting for phased development concepts as a means of reducing the risk and financial exposure normally associated with bringing onstream additional production from deepwater.

This update highlights 114 potential projects that are expected to drive drilling and installation activities over the forecast period. This represents an 11% increase to the number of forecast projects driving activity compared to Westwood’s Q3 data update.

Global Deepwater Subsea Tree Installation by Field Status, 2012-2021
Global Deepwater Subsea Tree Installation by Field Status, 2012-2021

 Key Conclusions

  • Africa and the Americas will remain key regions, accounting for over 78% of forecast expenditure.
  • Asia will experience an increased level of investment in deepwater projects post-2017.
  • Despite the low dayrates for MODUs, subsea drilling and completion expenditure will grow at an 8% CAGR, accounting for 32% of forecast expenditure.
  • Subsea production equipment, SURF, and pipelines will represent a combined 39% of forecast expenditure.
  • Floating production units will account for 29% of forecast expenditure, driven by units such as Total’s Egina and Kaombo, sanctioned prior to the downturn.

This update highlights the impact of significant supply-chain evolution, with integrated contracting systems expected to support project economics. With oil prices remaining relatively stable above $50 per barrel, low drilling and equipment costs present an upside to project sanctioning over the next 18 months.

Analysis is based on Westwood’s SECTORS database, which details over 900 deepwater projects that are updated and tracked daily.

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