Turning a Corner
The 2-year downturn in oil prices has been a challenge for operators and service companies alike, but operators appear to have turned a corner, going by the most recent fourth-quarter earnings.
Numerous reports suggest that the worst of the oil industry downturn is decidedly over, and that the outlook for renewed capital spending this year is positive. Some firms are even hiring again.
How Big a Threat?
As the oil industry begins to emerge from one of the worst downturns in decades, some see a new threat on the horizon: the growing use of electrically powered vehicles, which could cut seriously into future oil consumption.
The Supply/Demand Balance
Layoffs have slowed, some companies posted profits in the third quarter, and there is even talk of a coming oil shortage that would cause oil prices to spike.
Facing the Future
Many of the top-level executives attending the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition (ATCE) in Dubai see the oil and gas industry rising from a market that has bottomed out and is on the rebound.
Although global crude oil production has declined in some regions since the collapse in oil prices began, and there have been massive cuts in company spending, world output has remained stubbornly resilient
Dubai Hosts Annual Meeting
SPE's growth in the Middle East and a preview of the Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition in Dubai in late September.
Gas Producers Look for Opening
While OPEC has lost some its influence over prices, major natural gas producers are working to create their own cartel that they hope could bring some stability to international gas prices.
Growth in Renewables
The renewable energy sector is showing strong global growth, especially wind and solar power, but oil shows no sign of losing market share in the global energy mix.
The Toll on Future Supply
Low oil prices have taken a huge toll on exploration and production (E&P) activity, and the decline could lead to production shortfalls in the future.
Technologies of the Future
The future of technology in the global energy industry will be driven by cost pressures, the scope of government regulation, and increased digitization
Surviving the Downturn
The recent IHS CERAWeek conference in Houston brought together high-level executives. Over 5 days of discussions and panel sessions, several key themes emerged about the current state of the global oil and gas industry.
Long vs. Short Term
ExxonMobil’s latest long-term energy outlook paints a generally robust picture for oil and natural gas despite the steep fall in hydrocarbon prices and cuts in capital spending.
Ending the US Export Ban
US companies began selling crude oil on the international market last month shortly after the US Congress ended the country’s 40-year-old ban on oil exports.
Trying to Get in Balance
All signs point to another bleak year for the oil and gas industry. Major operators have begun announcing significant capital spending cuts, and analysts see no quick fix to the current global supply/demand imbalance.
The IEA’s Prediction
The IEA's new energy outlook paints a generally optimistic view of the supply/demand balance and oil price picture to 2020.
The Story of Innovation
In times of high and low oil prices, the oil and gas industry has pursued innovation and steady technological advancement. As international oil companies cut or outsourced research and development. This ushered in a wave of innovation and growth in the service sector.
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