Report predicts surge in world subsea expenditure

Offshore staff

CANTERBURY, UK – Global subsea hardware capex could total $117 billion between 2014 and 2018, according to Douglas-Westwood’s (DW’s) latest market forecast.

This represents growth of more than 80% compared with the preceding five-year period, DW says, although the global financial crisis in 2009 and the Gulf of Mexico oil spill in 2010-2011 both limited growth in subsea hardware spend during 2009-2013. Also, subsea tree installations last year were lower than expected mainly due to delays in big projects offshore Brazil and West Africa.

The strong growth to come is down to a combination of a favorable outlook in the established deepwater provinces and the start of field development in new frontier areas such as the Eastern Mediterranean and East Africa.

Subsea hardware spend is expected to be highest in Africa, Latin America and North America, with these regions providing almost half of the total expenditure.

Over the next five years, DW also foresees around 44% of total spend committed to projects in water depths greater than 1,000 m (3,281 ft).

Subsea production equipment will account for almost half of all expenditure by component. The SURF (subsea umbilicals, risers, and flowlines) market makes up over a third of expenditure, driven by the development of remote fields, new project phases, and the tieback of satellite fields into subsea hubs.

Pipelines incur the remaining spend, driven by a few large offshore pipeline projects and smaller tieback pipelines.


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