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Global and Regional Markets

Campos Basin sees diversification of operators, renewed commitment for investments to boost production

Trident Energy, Perenco and PetroRio among E&P companies joining Petrobras to revitalize the basin’s aging assets, drill new wells By Stephen Forrester, Contributor A lack of investments into Brazil’s Campos Basin in the past decade-plus has led to a clear production decline even while the country’s overall production has increased. However, the basin is nowhere near being put out to pasture. In fact, several independent E&Ps in Brazil, along with Petrobras, appear to have strong plans to lead a full Campos revitalization. Some of that work has already been carried out, achieving early successes in attracting new investment and expanding the labor market, according to panelists speaking at December’s virtual Rio Oil and Gas Conference. In particular, the acquisition of fields ...

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NOCs from Africa, South America seek to boost competitiveness by investing in gas, renewables

Ecopetrol, Sonangol and NNPC moving to embrace lower-carbon projects in bid to attract external funding, develop long-term path forward By Stephen Whitfield, Associate Editor Amid the decarbonization of the global economy, international oil companies (IOCs) aren’t the only ones facing rising ESG pressures. National oil companies (NOCs) from Africa to South America are also contending with calls – from both their citizens and investors – to adopt stronger protocols for reducing carbon emissions and to take a stronger stance on climate change. Some have also been urged to diversify into renewables; realigning portfolios to a low-carbon future is now seen as a key step to attracting external investments.  “Peak oil is around the corner, and NOCs must try to rapidly modernize as much as ...

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Permian sees the start of a cautious recovery

Rig count and wells drilled are expected to rise this year, but return to pre-downturn activity won’t happen at current operator spending levels By Stephen Whitfield, Associate Editor Like all other US shale basins, activity in the Permian Basin took a significant blow last year amid the oil price crash. But things appear to be looking up, with the International Energy Agency estimating a 5.5 million bbl/day rebound in global oil demand this year and WTI staying above $50/bbl since 7 January. The scene appears set for a recovery in the Permian.  However, the length of the road back to pre-pandemic activity levels is still uncertain. Permian rig count had peaked at 418 the week of 13 March last year, ...

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Exploration boom in Guyana-Suriname: high dollar, high stakes

Giant-sized discoveries and low breakevens continue to fan enthusiasm for this South American basin despite recent disappointments By Stephen Whitfield, Associate Editor Just offshore the countries of Guyana and Suriname is a basin that has become the focal point of a major South American oil boom. With ExxonMobil making 18 discoveries in the Stabroek Block offshore Guyana since 2015 and Total making four discoveries at Block 58 offshore Suriname since January 2020, the area continues to generate significant attention from all stakeholders. For offshore drilling contractors specifically, anticipation is high that this emerging region could help to boost both near-term and long-term rig demand.  The Guyana-Suriname Basin currently has eight active rigs, up from five in 2020. ExxonMobil, the only operator ...

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Industry investment and regulatory support needed to tap full potential of Vaca Muerta, Brazilian pre-salt gas

South America has huge potential associated with huge volumes of natural gas – particularly in Argentina’s Vaca Muerta shale and Brazil’s pre-salt offshore basins – but so far much of that potential remains untapped. Unlocking these resources fully will require improvements in regulations, market economics and infrastructure, according to panelists at a CERAWeek session on 3 March. 

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