A Review of the Nigerian Energy Industry

Global fuel use to rise 38% by 2040

Fuel dispencer16 September 2014, Abuja – There are indications that world petroleum and other liquid fuels consumption may rise to 38 percent by 2040, spurred by increased demand in the developing Asia and Middle East, according to projections in International Energy Outlook 2014, IEO2014. 

The IEO2014, recently released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, EIA, however, stated that though Nigeria increased its output from deepwater fields in recent years, onshore production has declined.

It added that infrastructure constraints and incidents of oil theft and attacks on pipelines have curbed production growth and are expected to continue in the near-to mid-term. It also said that the West African OPEC crude and lease condensate production will increase to 5.3 million barrels daily (MMbbl/d) in 2040, from 4.4 MMbbl/d in 2010.

The report noted that Angola is expanding its offshore deepwater production, and as relative geopolitical stability improves, is likely to develop onshore exploration and production areas as well.

To meet the government’s goal of maintaining oil production at around 2 MMbbl/d, state-owned Sonangol plans to make substantial exploration and development investments in deepwater and ultra-deepwater areas of its Congo Fan region.

It will also develop pre-salt resources in the Kwanza and Benguela basins. It estimated that around $30 billion is expected to be invested in 12 deepwater developments between 2013 and 2020.

The report said that the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, will maintain a cohesive policy limiting supply growth, rather than maximising total annual revenues. It also said that no geopolitical events will cause prolonged supply shocks in the OPEC countries that could further limit production growth.

Accordingly, world oil prices will trend downward, from $113 per barrel in 2011 to about $92 in 2017, and then increase steadily to $141 per barrel in 2040.

It also said that OPEC producers will invest in incremental production capacity to enable them to increase crude and lease condensate production by 14.2 MMbbl/d from 2010 to 2040. This will account for between 41 and 47 percent of total crude and lease condensate production worldwide over the course of the projection.

The IEO2014 further said that crude and lease condensate production in OPEC’s North African member countries, Libya and Algeria is projected to decline from 3.2 MMbbl/d in 2010 to 3.0 MMbbl/d in 2040.

It noted that the potential for growth in Libya’s production is high, but the country has been unable to stabilize production amid social and political unrest.

After the 2011 overthrow of the Muammar al-Gaddafi regime, Libya’s crude and lease condensate production returned to pre-revolution levels of about 1.6 MMbbl/d in October 2012. But with ongoing political unrest and mechanical problems, production levels have continued to decline, to less than 0.5 MMbbl/d.

Until a permanent government is in place, it will be difficult to improve conditions sufficiently to attract the foreign investment needed to repair and improve Libya’s production infrastructure. As a result, the country’s prospects for increased production are unlikely to improve substantially for several years.

The report also said that North African OPEC member Algeria has also encountered difficulties in improving its petroleum production.

State-owned Sonatrach was forced to delay its target date to raise crude oil production to 2.0 MMbbl/d by 2010, with actual production at around 1.1 MMbbl/d in 2013.

Exploration investment in Algeria’s oil sector has declined since 2006, as a result of amendments to the country’s hydrocarbon law that were unfavorable to foreign investment. The law was amended again in 2013 in an attempt to attract more foreign investment, but positive results are not anticipated until well into the midterm, and perhaps later.

It however noted that the Middle East OPEC member countries, which accounted for 68 percent of its total crude and lease condensate production in 2010, are projected to increase their crude and lease condensate production by 12.8 MMbbl/d. this will account for 90 percent of the total growth in OPEC crude and lease condensate production from 2010 to 2040.

Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Iraq combined have a large share of the world’s oil reserves and resources that are relatively inexpensive to produce. Saudi Arabia has been the only holder of substantial spare oil production capacity, and played a critical role as the major swing supplier in response to disruptions in other supply sources and economic fluctuations that affect oil demand.

Both Iraq and Iran have the reserves needed to raise their capacity and production well above current levels. This is if they can successfully address some of the internal and external above-ground constraints that have kept their respective oil sectors from realising their potential for more than 30 years.

The report added that there is considerable uncertainty in projecting the extent to which these countries will be able to overcome the difficulties that impede supply growth.

It stated that regardless of the uncertainties in oil supply projections, producers in the OPEC Middle East region are likely to continue playing a key role in balancing global demand and supply. As a result, their output levels may be negatively correlated, with higher realisations of capacity and production in one country reducing the amounts of capacity and production in other countries that are needed to balance global markets.

The remaining Middle East OPEC producers are expected to make smaller, but important, contributions to supply in the future. For example, nearly all of Kuwait’s current reserves and production are in mature fields, but prospects could improve with the success of Project Kuwait.

This is a plan first proposed in 1998 to attract foreign participation and to increase oil production capacity from four northern oil fields: Raudhatain, Sabriya, al-Ratqa, and Abdali.

The four fields were said to contain a mix of heavy and light oil resources. Additionally, it may be possible for Kuwait to boost oil production from the partitioned neutral zone, PNZ that the country shares with Saudi Arabia, which could hold as much as 5 billion barrels of oil.

– Vanguard

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