With more than $200 billion of greenfield investments expected by 2025, the offshore oil and gas sector is expected to get back in the spotlight, according to Rystad Energy. Middle East investment continues to be strong. Mammoth projects in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and UAE to drive offshore upstream investments. Middle East’s offshore oil and gas spend to hit $41bln in 2025. 

Even though the Middle East is leading the way, Rystad explains that South America, the UK and Brazil are just slightly behind, as investments in the North Sea from the UK and Norway are also expected to rise in the next two years. Strong forecast for Norway and the UK boosts Europe. As a result, the UK’s offshore spending is set to jump 30 per cent this year to $7 billion, while Norwegian investments will hit $21.4 billion, an increase of 22 per cent over 2022. On the other hand, Brazilian upstream spending is projected to approach $23 billion this year, with Guyana investments totalling $7 billion. In North America, spending on offshore in the U.S. will top $17.5 billion and $7.3 billion in Mexico.

Offshore drilling is dirty, dangerous, and drives climate change. Oil spills are disastrous to coastal economies. In countries such as Norway, oil, and gas industries are the main source of greenhouse gas emissions.  

Take Deepwater Horizon, for example. When BP’s oil drilling platform exploded in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, killing 11 workers and unleashing the worst oil spill in U.S. history, it disrupted marine ecosystems and devastated the coastal economies of five Gulf Coast states. Oil washed up on 1,300 miles of shoreline between Texas and Florida and killed tens of thousands of birds, sea turtles, dolphins, and fish. Restoration projects have been underway for the last decade and will continue for at least another decade. Oil and gas industry never forget lessons from BP’s Deepwater Horizon tragedy.