Skip to main content

Long-term growth in oil and gas drilling forecast

Oilfield Technology,

Douglas Westwood has released new information showing long-term growth in the global oil and gas drilling forecast.

Global demand

DW’s new Drilling & Production information service has revealed that meeting future global oil and gas demand will require massive numbers of new development wells to be drilled.

Development wells

In 2014, a total of 83 000 development wells will be required, of which 80 000 will be onshore and 3000 offshore. However, an expected 17% increase in oil and gas demand by 2020 means that annual well completions will need to increase 35%. In total, an additional 670 000 wells must be drilled by 2020.

Offshore sector

Offshore, the developing shallow water gas and highly productive deepwater sectors will offset the effects of an aging shallow water oil sector into the forecast, with total offshore oil and gas production set to rise 22% by 2020. Douglas Westwood expects to see a surge of deepwater well completions in the medium term, reaching 476 by 2018, up from 185 in 2013.


New annual onshore well numbers are set to increase 35% by 2020, as more completions are needed to offset ongoing production decline. Worldwide, more drilling for less oil and gas is become increasingly apparent. The Middle East will need to achieve more than 30% growth in drilling as the NOCs of KSA, Kuwait, Qatar and UAE start large redevelopments in the near-term. Nevertheless, production will increase just 10% due to the maturing of existing fields. Well numbers of the national oil companies will rise as the international oil majors attempt to control spending.

Russia and China

Greenfield projects in Russia could see production maintained at current levels into the 2020s, however recent diplomatic tensions could impact this considerably. China will invest significantly into output at home and abroad, notably Central Asia, in an attempt to satisfy rapidly rising domestic demand.

North American domination

On a global basis, much of the drilling is due to the continued resurgence of the dominant North American market, which accounted for 62% of worldwide development wells drilled in 2013.

Adapted from press release by Katie Woodward

Read the article online at:


Embed article link: (copy the HTML code below):