Infield: Deepwater and ultra deepwater overview

The outlook for the deepwater and ultra deepwater market is positive, with a forecast capital growth rate of around 8% between 2014 and 2018, according to Infield Systems Ltd.’s deepwater and ultra deepwater report.

Infield Systems anticipates Petrobras' developments offshore Brazil to remain a key driver of global demand comprising 32% of total deepwater Capex over the five-year period, with an expected number of other driving factors to emerge over the timeframe.

Those driving factors include the emergence of FLNG technology, with Capex demand expected from FLNG FPSO projects within the Middle East, Australasia and Southeast Asia. In addition, the possible South Stream pipeline development and Norway's Aasta Hansteen, are expected to significantly boost deepwater demand offshore Europe.

According Infield Systems, the next five years are likely to be characterized by a growth in deepwater and ultra deepwater development outside of the traditional ‘deepwater triangle’ of West Africa, Latin America and the Gulf of Mexico, with significant increases in deepwater activity also expected offshore India relating to developments such as the Krishna-Godavari UD project and the continued development of Reliance’s Dhirubhai fields. Offshore Malaysia, the giant Rotan development is anticipated to require substantial investment, with the PFLNG-2 facility expected to be installed in 2018.

Infield says that from an operator perspective, the next five years is expected to see Petrobras' dominant market share decrease as a result of the increase in activity by independent operators such as Anadarko and Noble.

Altogether, Infield Systems expects a total of 81 operators to direct capital expenditure towards the deepwater and ultra deepwater sector over the 2014-2018 timeframe; an increase from 55 operators over the previous 2009-2013 period.

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