Upstream oil & gas investment needs to rise by 22% to meet growing demand (Report)

06 June, 2024

Annual upstream oil and gas capital expenditures will need to rise by 22% by 2030 to ensure adequate supplies due to growing demand and cost inflation, according to a new report by the International Energy Forum (IEF) and S&P Global Commodity Insights.

A cumulative $4.3 trillion in new investments will be needed between 2025 and 2030, according to the "Upstream Oil and Gas Investment Outlook" report published yesterday. The growing capital expenditure (capex) needs are based on an outlook that sees demand for oil rising from 103 Mln bpd in 2023 to nearly 110 Mln bpd by 2030.

"More investment in new oil and gas supply is needed to meet growing demand and maintain energy market stability, which is the foundation of global economic and social wellbeing," said Joseph McMonigle, Secretary General of the IEF. “Well-supplied and stable energy markets are critical to making progress on climate, because the alternative is high prices and volatility, which undermines public support for the transition as we have seen in the past two years.”

The report found that global upstream oil and gas capex is expected to grow by $24 billion this year, surpassing $600 billion for the first time in a decade. Annual investment will need to grow by another $135 billion, or 22%, to $738 billion by 2030 to ensure adequate supply, the report says.

Roger Diwan, Vice-President at S&P Global Commodity Insights, said that "expected production declines and future demand growth will require re-investing existing cash flows even as the transition proceeds."

More than 60% of the projected increase in upstream capex between now and 2030 would be focused in the Americas, according to the report, co-authored by Allyson Cutright, Senior Energy Market Analyst at the IEF, Roger Diwan, and Karim Fawaz, Director of the Energy Advisory Service at S&P Global Commodity Insights.

While the United States and Canada are expected to be the largest drivers of capex growth to 2030, Latin America plays an increasingly significant role in non-OPEC supply growth, particularly for conventional crude, with large expansions in Brazil and Guyana.

The report noted significant uncertainty around the trajectory for global oil and gas demand and the pace of the energy transition to net-zero CO2 emissions.

"Base-case forecasts from consensus-leading organizations diverge by as much as 7 Mln bpd for 2030 and this gap widens to 27 Mln bpd when more ambitious climate scenarios are included," the report says.

However, increased capital expenditure in upstream oil and gas supports energy security and the energy transition, the report says.

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