Offshore drilling expenditure in MENA region set to surge in the coming years

rig jeremydeadesAn increase in offshore discoveries and exploration activity across the Middle East and Africa (MENA) region may result in a huge surge in the amount spent on drilling in the years to come, according to research carried out by GBI Research

The business intelligence firm claimed that drilling expenditure across the MENA region was expected to climb steadily from US$13.56bn in 2012 to US$17.03bn in 2016.

Cumulatively, the total expected spend for this five-year period will be US$77.3bn, representing an increase of approximately 22 per cent above the 2007-2011 total of US$63.5bn.

Drilling outlay will be expected to grow across all major nations in the region, with those in West Africa leading in terms of exploration activity.

GBI Research's report mentioned that increasing activity in countries relatively new to the offshore drilling industry, such as Sierra Leone and Liberia, may prove to be future competition for the more established nations of West Africa.

Ghana will be expected to emerge as one of the most prominent countries in West Africa for the exploration of oil and gas, with 16 offshore discoveries made between 2008 and 2012, second only to Angola, where 22 discoveries were made during the same period.

In terms of drilling expenditure, Angola will be expected to remain the biggest spender in the region by some margin, in the next few years at least.

The GBI Research has also forecast that drilling expenditure in the southern African countries shall continue to climb in the near future, hitting US$6.67bn in 2016.

Nigeria and Egypt have will be expected to take second and third place, with totals of US$2.26bn and US$1.52bn, respectively.

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