Offshore Industry 'Has Turned A Corner' 

Approvals in 2019 Surpass US$50 Billion

Approvals for offshore projects have surpassed US$50 billion so far this year, setting the scene for a record activity in 2019, according to the latest figures from research consultancy Rystad Energy.

The firm predits that the larger scale fo new projects and returning optimism in th sector is set to drive revived investment, boosting prospects for breakbulk operators around the globe.

“With offshore free cash flows at nearly record highs, E&P’s are betting big on new projects. Offshore project sanctioning in 2019 looks ready to reach heights not seen since the $100 barrel of oil,” said Matthew Fitzsimmons, vice president of oilfield service research at Rystad Energy.

Potential of US$123 Billion         
Investment from Saudi Arabia’s national oil firm Aramco has driven a significant proportion of investment so far this year, with Rystad noting that some US$18 billion had been committed via the firm’s Marjan and Berri expansion projects.

 “This is yet another signal that the offshore industry has turned a corner and can reach a potential project commitment total of US$123 billion in 2019, surpassing commitments in 2014 of US$78 billion,” Fitzsimmons adds.

By far one of the largest and most ambitious oil and gas developments in the world, Aramco’s Marjan and Berri projects are expected to pave the way for the region to become a new breakbulk hub for the Middle East as the government plans to construt a “world class” fabrication facilities and infrastructure.

Record Forecast for Offshore
Currently the Marjan Expansion is the largest field to be sanctioned since 2014, but proposals for the Hail and Ghasha Sour Gas projects in the UAE, a giant FSPO development in Brazil and the Atum /Golfinho project in Mozambique are all expected to swell the investment outlook moving into the fourth quarter.

“Once that happens, four of the top 10 offshore projects since 2014 will have been sanctioned during this calendar year. Previously, the US$4.7 billion Liza Phase 2 project was the largest offshore field to be sanctioned this year,” Fitzsimmons said.

Headquartered in Oslo, Norway, Rystad Energy is an independent energy research and business intelligence company focused on energy fundamentals in the global and regional upstream, oilfield services and renewable energy industries.