4 Oil&Gas companies going for growth in 2018

 By Amanda Saint

Despite recent hard times for the oil and gas industry, things are on the up with many companies reporting the best results seen for years in 2017. Growth is forecast across the entire sector for the next few years…

Forecasts predict that the subsea systems market will grow to a value of $17.4 billion by 2021, and within that the subsea well access system sector will expand to a value of $3.62 billion by 2022, growing at a CAGR of 4.79 percent. In the same period the global onshore oil and gas pipeline market is expected to grow at a CAGR of close to 7 percent.
The turnaround is driven by new offshore discoveries and expansion of existing drilling fields as demand for power continues to grow.

Expansion plans for 2018 and beyond

There are a lot of plans within the oil and gas sector for new well drilling and some of the most significant expansions are coming from the following companies.

  • Eni: the company’s supergiant Zohr gas field in the Egyptian sector of the Mediterranean Sea started production in December 2017 and will have 20 new wells drilled throughout 2018-19. Eni also signed an agreement with Sinopec, the world’s leading refining company, to use Eni Slurry Technology (EST) to build a refinery plant by 2020 with the design capacity of 46,000 barrels per day of heavy refining residue.
  • Sound Energy: this African-European company has plans to drill three new wells in Morocco this year starting in the summer. It announced late in 2017 that is it focusing all drilling in Morocco now where it has 17 trillion cubic feet of gas resources to tap into.
  • Amerisur Resources: the South American company will also be drilling three new wells. These will be in its Platanillo N Sand field – an 11,119 hectare block located in the Putumayo Basin, in the south of Colombia. Drilling of the new wells is expected to start in Q3 2018.
  • Royal Dutch Shell: In the face of impending shortages in the Australian market, Shell will drill 161 new gas wells at its Queensland, operations by the end of 2018. The company also recently won exploration rights for nine new blocks in the Gulf of Mexico.

While these expansions are good news for shareholders, and for energy consumers who want reliable supplies, what impact will more fossil fuel use have on environmental goals and how do these oil and gas companies plan to manage that?

Perforating offshore oil wells in the Mediterranean Sea had never produced good results in the past, but, in August 2015, Zohr turned out to be a sensational discovery for Eni

Carbon control

Eni had a hugely successful year in 2017 reaching an all-time production record and reporting a EUR 602 million increase in operating profit on the previous year. At the same time, it also improved its environmental performance. Greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) in E&P production decreased by 2.7 percent compared to 2016 and it saw a significant reduction in methane emissions (-39.4 percent), which it credits to better monitoring of fugitive emissions in the E&P and G&P segments. Its latest sustainability report has detailed information on its commitment to the Paris Agreement through a “Path to Decarbonisation”, which will be achieved through steady GHG emission reductions, development of a lower carbon portfolio, and investments in renewable energy.
Sound Energy is focusing all operations on gas, the fossil fuel with significantly lower carbon emissions than coal and oil. Environmental information from Amerisur Resources just states that it complies with the relevant ISO standards.
In its latest sustainability report, Shell said that it reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 2 million metric tons, partly by reducing flaring at its Quest project in Canada and by storing 1 million metric tons of carbon dioxide from its oil sands operations underground. But it also credits of part of the reduction to the sale of some of its businesses, which it can be presumed are still emitting greenhouse gases of their own.
An article from Bloomberg shows that the trend for really committing to better environmental management is now embedded across the industry, revealing that between them the five biggest oil companies — Exxon Mobil, Shell , Chevron, BP and Total SA — reduced their GHG emissions by an average of 13 percent between 2010 and 2015.
So while production is on the up, it seems that carbon control is now also playing a big role in the expansion plans that the oil and gas sector is making.

READ MORE: Energy shifts to a buyer’s market by Nicholas Newman

about the author
Amanda Saint
Journalist and content writer, specialised in engineering and technology with a focus on environmental sustainability, urbanisation and biotechnology.