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North Sea opportunities in 2019

What does 2019 have in store for the North Sea Oil & Gas industry? Neivan Boroujerdi, Senior Analyst for North Sea Upstream, provided some insights by revealing 4 key talking points in, what looks to be, a year of increased exploration, big transactions and a wave of new projects in the North Sea.

Take a look at the 4 key discussion points below:

1.Increased exploration

2019 will see a return to North Sea exploration. In a 25% increase on 2018, we expect more than 60 wells to be drilled across the UK, Norway, Netherlands and Denmark. Prospects that were nurtured in the downturn are now ready to boom with investment. In the UK alone, we expect to see between 10 and 15 wells drilled, up nearly 100% on last year.

Norway will be at the centre of the increased activity, with drilling expected to return to pre-downturn levels. A forecasted figure of over 40 exploration wells are to be drilled, up from 27 in 2018.

2.Big transactions are likely

Whilst deal spending may slow, there will still be big transactions in motion. European majors will continue to optimise their portfolios. Two Private Equity backed peer groups have emerged; those with organic growth, and those who are willing to look at assets throughout the value chain. It is those that are looking to take on assets throughout the value chain that are expected to be the big buyers.

3.New projects on the horizon

An estimated US$25 billion will be spent on projects in 2019, coming from both existing players, and from new companies looking to get a foothold in the market.

Norway and the UK are expected to dominate, investing US£16 billion and US$7 billion, respectively. Denmark, however, are expected to be hot on their heels.A high number of Final Investment Decisions are expected, with 23 projected sanctions being on the table, 12 of which are in the UK, nine in Norway and one each in the Netherlands and Denmark.

4.Large project start-ups keep production stable

Whilst production remain steady operators are expected to produce 6.3 million BOE/D of Oil & Gas from the North Sea in 2019. Key start-ups will offset a decline from legacy producers. The Johan Sverdrup oil field will be the significant provider; at nearly 3 billion barrels of oil, it will be the region’s biggest start up in over 20 years.

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Source: https://www.woodmac.com/news/opinion/north-sea-exploration-is-making-a-comeback-in-2019/

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