Industry challenged to find and develop oil and gas supplies

Even with increasing access to potentially large international reserves, the oil and gas industry faces challenges in balancing new supplies against growing demand, analysts said Tuesday at a Houston conference sponsored by IHS Energy Group of Denver.


Sam Fletcher
OGJ Online


HOUSTON, Mar. 13�Even with increasing access to potentially large international reserves, the oil and gas industry faces difficult challenges in balancing new supplies against growing demand, Philip �Pete� Stark, vice-president of industry relations for IHS Energy Group, Denver, said here Tuesday.

The Middle East, the Caspian Sea region, and North Africa are the primary areas with large potential resources where opportunities for exploration and development are emerging, Stark said at the annual conference on global exploration and production perspectives, sponsored in Houston by IHS Energy.

But US government sanctions bar US oil and gas companies from participation in Iraq, Iran, and Libya. And Canada was �the only country� in the world to experience �a rather robust increase in drilling activity� through most of the 1990s, Stark said.

Based on reserve additions since 1992, he said, the oil and gas producing countries are finding new supplies at a far lower rate than global demand for oil and gas is increasing.

World oil consumption is projected to increase to 84.6 million b/d in 2005 and 117.4 million b/d by 2020 from 75.8 million b/d in 2000. US oil consumption is expected to grow to 21.2 million b/d in 2005 and 25.8 million b/d in 2020 from 19.5 million b/d last year.

In Russia and other former states of the Soviet Union, oil demand is expected to jump to 7.7 million b/d in 2020 from 3.9 million b/d at the end of 2000.

Global demand for natural gas should surge to 161 tcf in 2020 from 91 tcf last year. US gas consumption should grow to 34.7 tcf from 22.6 tcf during the same period, Stark said.

Meanwhile, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries has reasserted its control over world oil supplies and prices. OPEC members� decision on future production during their meeting in Vienna this week will certainly be reflected in stock markets worldwide, said Stark.

Contact Sam Fletcher at Samf@OGJonline.com

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