Published On: Tue, Dec 16th, 2014

Goldman Sachs: Lower oil prices to cause loss of $1 trillion, many projects ‘unprofitable’

The global oil industry will face a loss of $1 trillion as producers will be forced to cancel a number of key projects if oil prices stay below $60, says Goldman Sachs. Tuesday’s Brent crude trading at $59.9 will result in the end of “unprofitable” projects as Arctic and Gulf of Mexico deep exploration will be at risk, says the Financial Times.

The research based on a $70 oil price was carried out looking at 400 oil and gas fields around the world, many of which are still waiting for a final investment decisions. The analysis, which excludes US shale, shows the fields with the equivalent of 2.3 million barrels a day output by 2020 have now become uneconomic. That figure rises to 7.5 million barrels a day by 2025.

photo: TaxRebate.org.uk

photo: TaxRebate.org.uk

If a drop in oil prices leads to projects being scrapped, oil output will decrease by 7.5 million barrels per day over the next decade, which is about 8 percent of today’s global demand.

Goldman Sachs says that this suggests that there will be a correction in oversupply. Goldman Sachs says oil companies will need to cut expenses by up to 30 percent to make their projects economically viable at a price of $70. The total amount of investments at risk is $930 billion.

The heads of US and European oil and gas groups are revising their budgets, saying there might be billions of dollars of spending cuts in 2015 alone.

It says some firms are considering reviewing capital expenditure budgets which could lead to huge assets sales and delays in high-cost projects such as oil sands exploration in Canada or projects in areas of less economic interest such as the North Sea.

“This environment of project deferral and cost deflation will be extremely challenging for oil service providers, especially capital-intensive companies such as drillers, subsea construction and seismic survey groups,” said Michele della Vigna, head of European energy research at Goldman Sachs.

Figures given by energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie also point to a sharp decline in spending which could result in a $250 billion cut in annual capital expenditure by 2018.

“They are all going to have to reduce their budgets because projects that worked at $80 to $90 planning prices are hard to justify at current levels,” said Simon Flowers, head of the company’s corporate research.

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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