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Deepwater and Ultra-Deepwater Exploration and Production Market - Growth, Trends, and Forecast (2020 - 2025)

  • ID: 4520270
  • Report
  • March 2020
  • Region: Global
  • 160 pages
  • Mordor Intelligence


  • BP PLC
  • Chevron Corporation
  • Eni SpA
  • Equinor ASA (Statoil)
  • Exxon Mobil Corporation
  • Petroleo Brasileiro SA
The market for deepwater and ultra-deepwater exploration and production is expected to grow at a CAGR of approximately 10.70% during the forecast period of 2020 – 2025. Factors such as rising deepwater oil and gas activity especially in Gulf of Mexico and North Sea, improved viability of deepwater and ultra-deepwater projects, and tightening supply-demand gap are expected to drive the market during the forecast period. However, development of deepwater projects present a series of challenges, even for the most experienced players. While the industry has gone through a long learning curve and technology advancements, which have helped drive down the costs of deepwater production. Players still face a myriad of challenges resulting in lengthy development times of up to twelve years for deepwater projects. Therefore, the associated offshore project risks are expected to hinder the growth of the market studied.
  • The deepwater oil and gas projects are expected to witness a significant growth rate over the forecast period owing to the upcoming deepwater exploration and production projects in the countries such as Brazil, Guyana, Nigeria, and others.
  • Factors, such as technological improvements and increasing viability of deepwater and ultra-deepwater projects, several new markets, such as Gabon, Senegal, Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, Egypt, and the Mexican side of the Gulf of Mexico are actively promoting the development of deepwater and ultra-deepwater reserves. This, in turn, is expected to create significant opportunities for the operating countries in the near future.
  • Middle-East and Africa dominated the market across the globe, with majority of demand coming from Nigeria, Angola, and Egypt.
Key Market Trends

Deepwater Exploration and Production to Witness a Significant Growth
  • The constant and ever increasing demand for fossil fuels and in particular oil and gas has pushed exploration and production industry to drill in deep waters with depths ranging from 1000 to 5000 feet.
  • Owing to the oil price volatility starting mid-2014, the oil and gas operators across the world undertook several cost cutting and efficiency gains measures, which resulted in the cost-reduction of deepwater projects by approximately 30-40% from 2014-2017. Furthermore, with the improvement in oil prices, several deepwater projects have become viable to operate and has resulted in an increased investments for deepwater exploration and production activities. Also, the breakeven for the deepwater exploration and production has fallen since 2014 and is expected to follow the same trend during forecast period.
  • From 2014 to 2018, global deepwater expenditure has increased and regions, such as Brazil, the United States Gulf of Mexico (GoM), Norway, Angola, and Nigeria constitute for a large amount of this capital expenditure, respectively, with West Africa anticipated to have the greatest regional growth.
  • Moreover, the recent waves of cost reductions and critical technological breakthroughs have enabled many oil and gas exploration and production companies to expand their portfolio of sustainable deepwater developments.
Middle - East and Africa to Dominate the Market
  • Middle-East and Africa is expected to account for the largest share in the market and is expected to continue its dominance during the forecast period.
  • The Angolan offshore is among the most prospective plays in Africa, and continues to draw high levels of investment. Drilling results are broadly positive, with exploration yielding a number of high-impact discoveries in recent years. A heavy focus on the Kwanza Basin pre-salt has returned five major discoveries since 2011: Bicuar, Cameia, Lontra, Mavinga, and Orca, in blocks 20 and 21.
  • On the flipside, with Angola’s most prospective acreage in the deepwater, ultra- deepwater, and pre-salt areas, exploration can be characterized as high- risk, high-reward. The bulk of drilling is expected to continue to target deepwater and pre-salt prospects, spearheaded by industry giants, such as Chevron, BP, Eni, Exxon Mobil, Statoil, and Total, along with national oil company Sonangol.
  • Nigeria holds the top position among the ten countries, with the largest remaining crude oil and condensate deepwater reserves. The majority of reserves are along the country's Niger River Delta and offshore in the Bight of Benin, the Gulf of Guinea, and the Bight of Bonny. As of now, exploration activities are mostly focused in the deep and ultra-deep offshore, although some onshore exploration is also taking place.
  • The first Nigerian commercial deepwater discovery, the Bonga oil field, was awarded to Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCO) in 1993. However, production did not start till 2005. After Bonga’s success, several other deepwater oil explorations followed in quick succession, including Agbami (Chevron), Erha (ExxonMobil), and Akpo, Egina, and Usan (Total) among others.
Competitive Landscape

The global deepwater and ultra-deepwater exploration and production market is moderately concentrated. Some of the major companies include BP PLC, Chevron Corporation, China National Offshore Oil Corporation, Exxon Mobil Corporation, and Royal Dutch Shell PLC.

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  • BP PLC
  • Chevron Corporation
  • Eni SpA
  • Equinor ASA (Statoil)
  • Exxon Mobil Corporation
  • Petroleo Brasileiro SA
1.1 Scope of the Study
1.2 Market Definition
1.3 Study Assumptions



4.1 Introduction
4.2 Market Size and Demand Forecast in USD billion, till 2025
4.3 Demand Forecast of Offshore Drilling Rig Count, till 2025
4.4 Forecast of Offshore CAPEX in USD billion, by Water Depth, 2015-2025
4.5 Forecast of Offshore CAPEX in USD billion, by Region, 2017-2025
4.6 Number of Floater Rigs and Contracted Rig Years, 2007-2018
4.7 Major Offshore Upstream Projects
4.8 Recent Trends and Developments
4.9 Government Policies and Regulations
4.10 Market Dynamics
4.10.1 Drivers
4.10.2 Restraints
4.11 Supply Chain Analysis
4.12 Porter's Five Forces Analysis
4.12.1 Bargaining Power of Suppliers
4.12.2 Bargaining Power of Consumers
4.12.3 Threat of New Entrants
4.12.4 Threat of Substitutes Products and Services
4.12.5 Intensity of Competitive Rivalry

5.1 Water Depth
5.1.1 Deepwater
5.1.2 Ultra-Deepwater
5.2 Geography
5.2.1 North America
5.2.2 Asia-Pacific
5.2.3 Europe
5.2.4 South America
5.2.5 Middle East & Africa

6.1 Mergers and Acquisitions, Joint Ventures, Collaborations, and Agreements
6.2 Strategies Adopted by Leading Players
6.3 Company Profiles
6.3.1 BP PLC
6.3.2 Chevron Corporation
6.3.3 China National Offshore Oil Corporation
6.3.4 Eni SpA
6.3.5 Equinor ASA (Statoil)
6.3.6 Exxon Mobil Corporation
6.3.7 Petroleo Brasileiro SA
6.3.8 Petroleos Mexicanos
6.3.9 Royal Dutch Shell PLC
6.3.10 Total SA

Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown

A selection of companies mentioned in this report includes:

  • BP PLC
  • Chevron Corporation
  • China National Offshore Oil Corporation
  • Eni SpA
  • Equinor ASA (Statoil)
  • Exxon Mobil Corporation
  • Petroleo Brasileiro SA
  • Petroleos Mexicanos
  • Royal Dutch Shell PLC
  • Total SA
Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown