Global Deepwater Production to Increase 60% by 2030: WoodMac

(WoodMac, 29.Nov.2022) — Global deepwater production will increase 60% by 2030, reaching 17 million barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d), according to a new report from Wood Mackenzie, a Verisk business.

Wood Mackenzie’s report ‘Global deepwater 2022 state of the industry’, highlights the sector’s expansion from 6% of upstream oil and gas supply today to 8% by the end of the decade.

“Deepwater is the fastest growing oil and gas resource theme,” said Marcelo de Assis, director of upstream research for Wood Mackenzie. “Brazil, Guyana and Mozambique are the main growth drivers. Developments are also getting deeper; production from water depths of over 1,500 metres will surpass that from 400 to 1,500 metres by 2024.”

Deepwater oil and gas production growth by water depth

Source: WoodMac

Wood Mackenzie’s analysis shows that traditional growth regions, such as the US Gulf of Mexico and Angola, have lacked in major new commercial discoveries.

de Assis added, “The forecast for mature deepwater basins remains uncertain. We could see production performance to begin to peak and then plateau after 2030 without an exploration and investment renaissance.”

“However, the characteristics of deepwater makes it an attractive hunting ground for those seeking advantaged resources. Deepwater economics and emissions intensity metrics are among the best in the industry. Companies focused on the most resilient projects and decarbonisation will continue to consider the sector as core to their upstream business models,” said de Assis.

The industry faces other challenges as it matures. Cost inflation has hit global hotspots first, but constraints in the global deepwater supply chain will increase lead times and unit costs across the board. The hard-fought efficiency gains made during previous downturns will start to reverse.

Maintaining the growth, economic and emissions headroom is a challenge being taken on by an increasing number of countries and operators. There are five times more operators and countries with active deepwater sectors than in the 2020s.

But relative to conventional oil and gas, deepwater remains niche. Reflecting on the changes of the last decades and the challenges of the years ahead, de Assis concluded, “the future of the deepwater sector remains in their hands of the Majors and Brazil’s Petrobras for the foreseeable future.”

Emissions intensity by resource theme 2022-2032