Maturing conventional oil fields and a surging demand for crude are intensifying exploration efforts in the hope of boosting production. A substantial increase in investment within the exploration and production (E&P) industry means that global oil discoveries have grown exponentially in number. This is exemplified through the many deepwater discoveries made over the past year, particularly in the South American region.
The E&P industry was devastated by the global economic crisis, and a lack of funds, coupled with low crude oil prices, caused many major projects to be delayed or even cancelled. However, the elevated demand for crude oil and improved prices has encouraged a strong recovery within the industry.
Rapid increases in crude oil prices over the past year have seen $90 per barrel become the norm, thanks to increased global demand and supply disruptions in the Middle East due to continuing repercussions from the Arab Spring. Sustained high prices and high demand are attracting huge investments from oil giants.
There was a substantial increase in oil discoveries worldwide during 2011, when 183 oil discoveries were announced. Asia-Pacific led with a 29% share, followed by South and Central America with 23%, and Middle East and Africa with 22%. Brazil holds the highest number of discoveries for one country, with most of these finds being made in deepwater areas.
South and Central America will play an increasingly important role in meeting global oil demands, as enormous heavy oil reserves in Venezuela and discoveries in Brazil will help to meet global crude oil needs in future years. Over the past two years, Brazil has discovered the world's most promising fields since the discoveries made in Kashagan, Kazakhstan, in 2000. South and Central America is therefore anticipated to be one of the most sought-after locations for future E&P investments.
World crude oil reserves increased from 1,268.8 billion barrels in 2000 to 1,620.3 billion barrels in 2011, at an average annual growth rate (AAGR) of 2.5%. Crude oil production globally increased from 24,759.1 million barrels in 2000 to 27,156.6 million barrels in 2011, at an AAGR of 0.9%. The crude oil industry is expected to grow at a steady pace, increasing further to 28,925.4 million barrels in 2016.
This report, titled 'Crude Oil Industry to 2016 - Deepwater Discoveries Worldwide and Rising Industrial Demand in Emerging Economies Driving the Industry,' provides an in-depth analysis of the major factors affecting the crude oil industry worldwide. Its scope includes a global and regional industry overview, Key trends, drivers, and challenges for the global crude oil industry to 2016 across the entire value chain, Analysis of the historical data and forecasts to 2016 for the global crude oil industry and major planned projects to 2016 for the entire value chain of the global crude oil industry.
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