One of the oil industry’s most influential consultancies, Wood Mackenzie, has published its outlook report that has found that mature areas, including the North Sea, will maintain production levels until the mid-2020s.
Oil demand is expected to peak in the mid-2030s, which means the North Sea will have to heighten exploration for increasingly expensive oil to offset maturing assets, according to the analyst firm.
Wood Mackenzie also stated that in the years to come there will be increasing levels of reliance on OPEC as a result of forecasts that suggest US production will peak in the mid-2020s.
The report said: “As non-OPEC production growth slows and the importance of OPEC’s output increases from 2023, OPEC’s role in managing prices becomes more focused on ensuring upstream investment keeps up with replacing lost barrels from onstream declines, and the growth in oil demand over the next decade or so.”
Oil investments plummeted following the industry crash, which will also have a negative impact on supply in the years leading to 2020, although the emergence of new producers, such as Guyana, Kenya and Uganda, and the resilience of non-OPEC regions including the North Sea will help offset the declines in other regions of the world.