Drilling In South America Set To Peak During 2022

Drilling In South America Set To Peak During 2022
Drilling in South America is expected to peak this year after a significant slowdown in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Drilling and completion activity in South America is expected to peak this year after a significant slowdown in 2020 due to the global demand destruction brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic, Rystad Energy claimed.

According to Rystad, the rebound is more pronounced for offshore wells, primarily driven by an uptick in activity in Brazil and Guyana. With the overall recovery in drilling, South America is also winning back a global market share of new wells drilled, with offshore proving the standout sector.

New wells drilled in South America in 2014 contributed to 8 percent of new wells globally in the offshore sector and 4 percent in the onshore.

Activity has been on a downward trend since then following the slump in oil prices in late 2014 and the following year. Onshore drilling activity had a steep drop in 2016 before stabilizing, while offshore drilling activity saw a relatively smoother decline.

The number of new wells drilled in the region was hit again in 2020 with a 50 percent decrease recorded compared to the previous year, as the outbreak of Covid early in the year wreaked havoc on global markets. Drilling activity in South America in 2020 represented only 2 percent of the global onshore activity and 3 percent of offshore.

The number of new wells has since increased due to the return of demand and the oil and gas price increase. Activity is expected to peak this year before going on another downward trend towards the end of the decade, partially due to Brazil having very low discovered onshore volumes in the last six years, making it difficult to support long-term growth.

Offshore drilling activity in the region will remain at around 6 percent of global activity over the coming years, while onshore drilling will remain at around 3 percent.

It should be noted that, while the offshore well count in the region is significantly lower than that of onshore, offshore production makes up nearly half of South America’s current output and is expected to exceed onshore production by 2024 due to increases in Brazil and Guyana.

Another region in South America that is seeing all-time high activity is Argentina’s Vaca Muerta. The country recorded further production growth records, as operators step up fracking in the prolific Vaca Muerta shale formation in Neuquén.

While activity is at an all-time high, persistent supply chain bottlenecks suggest there is not a lot of room for incremental put-on production activity in the next few quarters.

Yet, with base decline remaining low given the basin’s early phase of development and the improving type curves, oil output is still poised for significant growth in the coming years.

The region’s production could exceed 300,000 barrels per day early next year, expanding further to 400,000 bpd in 2024, helping the country’s total rebound to levels not seen in nearly 20 years, Rystad Energy research shows.

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About Stu Turley 2062 Articles
Stuart Turley is President and CEO of Sandstone Group, a top energy data, and finance consultancy working with companies all throughout the energy value chain. Sandstone helps both small and large-cap energy companies to develop customized applications and manage data workflows/integration throughout the entire business. With experience in implementing enterprise networks, supercomputers, and cellular tower solutions, Sandstone has become a trusted source and advisor in this space. Stuart has led the “Total Corporate Digital Integration” platform at Sandstone and works with Sandstone clients to help integrate all aspects of modern digital business. He is also the Executive Publisher of www.energynewsbeat.com, the best source for 24/7 energy news coverage and is the Co-Host of the energy news video and Podcast Energy News Beat. Stuart is on Board Member of ASN Productions, DI Communities Stuart is guided by over 30 years of business management experience, having successfully built and help sell multiple small and medium businesses while consulting for numerous Fortune 500 companies. He holds a B.A in Business Administration from Oklahoma State and an MBA from Oklahoma City University.