Global oil exploration spending has increased dramatically

Abstract For a long time, as the second largest oil producer in the Middle East, the Iranian nuclear issue has been shaking the fragile nerves of the international crude oil market from time to time. At present, facing the Western blockade of the iron wall, Iran’s importance in the global crude oil supply chain is declining, the global...

For a long time, as the second largest oil producer in the Middle East, the Iranian nuclear issue has been shaking the fragile nerves of the international crude oil market from time to time. At present, facing the Western blockade of the iron wall, Iran's importance in the global crude oil supply chain is declining, and its influence on global crude oil prices is weakening. At the same time, there are data showing that the focus of global oil exploration investment is turning to Argentina, Angola and other regions.

Iranian crude oil production hits 10 years minimum

Global oil and gas exploration speed

According to the latest report released by the International Energy Agency (IEA) on March 14, Iran’s crude oil output fell by 50,000 barrels in February this year, reaching only 3.38 million barrels per day, and the average daily export volume was only 2.2 million barrels. This is the lowest level since 2002 and may even fall further to the level of the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s. When the EU’s sanctions against Iran came into effect on July 1, Iran’s crude oil exports are likely to fall by 50%. For the Iranian oil industry, which has been plagued by underinvestment for many years, the step-by-step pressure from the current US-led sanctions coalition is tantamount to taking the bottom line and preventing foreign oil companies from investing in Iran. Iran, which has no foreign support, is extremely lacking in the technology necessary to boost production slump, and Iranian oil production will continue to decline for a long time.

With this change, the investment focus of global oil exploration is turning to Argentina, Angola and other regions. Barclays Capital's report shows that in 2012, global oil and gas companies are expected to set new records in exploration and mining projects. Under the leadership of Exxon Mobil and the Royal Dutch Shell oil giants, global oil exploration spending will jump 20%, reaching at least $90 billion this year.

According to the data of the Global Energy Research Center, opening up new areas will effectively alleviate the pressure brought by oil prices. By 2015, Brent crude oil futures prices are expected to drop from the current $125 to less than $100 a barrel. Affected by the situation in Iran, the world oil pattern is undergoing new changes: some energy-consuming countries have begun to invest heavily in the development of unconventional oil and gas resources such as shale gas and oil sands, and hope to reduce the risk of energy supply.

Morgan Stanley said that this year global offshore drilling will develop about 25 billion barrels of oil, which is more than four times that of Norway's proven reserves. In addition, US oil production from the shale formations of North Dakota increased by 75% last year, and Repsol Oil Company has a proven oil reserve of approximately 23 billion barrels in Argentina.

New oil and gas discoveries or help oil prices fall

In view of the increase in oil and gas investment and production in other regions, many industry insiders believe that this will offset the adverse effects of continued fermentation of Iran, and crude oil prices will remain at an acceptable level.

According to Manucheher Takin, an analyst at the Global Energy Research Center, “In view of the positive performance of the oil supply prospects, oil prices will fall back. At the same time, as energy use is more effective, the growth rate of energy demand will not be like In the past, it was as fierce as ever.” Aldo Flores Quiroga, Secretary-General of the International Energy Forum, also said: “The current market supply is sufficient. With the continuous discovery and development of new fields and the continuous expansion of supply sources, international oil politics will Change has taken place."

However, there are also people who hold different views on this. Colin Lothian, a corporate strategist from Wood Mackenzie, believes that the stimulus to Iran may trigger a Middle East war, which will lead to high oil prices, while exploration and development elsewhere cannot be effective in the short term. make up. “It takes 4-8 years from exploration to oil production, and the new discovery will not have a substantial impact on the supply market in a short period of time,” he said.

Global oil and gas exploration is in full swing

According to Barclays Capital's survey of 350 oil and gas companies around the world, ExxonMobil's capital expenditure on oil and gas projects this year is expected to remain at $35 billion, and nine major projects will be launched this year and next. The company's 2012 exploration projects are mainly concentrated in Tanzania, Guyana, and Ireland, and it is expected that the production will increase by 1 million barrels per day by 2016. Royal Dutch Shell will increase its exploration spending by 35% this year, about $5 billion. British BP's exploration drilling spending will double this year and is in the process of developing projects in Angola, the North Sea and Mexico.

In addition to the above-mentioned oil and gas giants, smaller oil and gas developers have also found new discoveries. Tullow Oil Company of the United Kingdom discovered oil in French Guiana last year with an output value of $4.4 billion. Cobalt International Energy also confirmed last month that it found a 1,180-foot oil layer in the waters of Angola.

The investigation report also shows that PetroChina's spending this year is expected to reach 30 billion US dollars, and Chevron and Petrobras will increase exploration spending in the next few years. Capital expenditures in the US and Canada are expected to increase by 8%, while spending in other regions like Latin America, Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Russia is expected to climb 11%.

Mark Kessel of Pacific Investment Management said that the US's production of natural gas and crude oil from the shale formation is rising, and it is expected to surpass Russia in the next 10 years to become the world's largest energy producer. As the world's largest energy consumer, China's shale gas reserves may be far more than the United States. In order to achieve the goal of 10% natural gas consumption by 2020, accelerated shale gas development has been put on the agenda, and China plans to hold a second shale gas block sale. The chairman of GAIL, India's largest natural gas company, said with optimism: "The world's energy is everywhere, and our choice of oil and gas is spread all over the world."

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