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Tsvetana Paraskova

Tsvetana Paraskova

Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews. 

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Big Oil To See Production Peak In 2028

Offshore rig

The pandemic shock to demand and the energy transition strategies are set to bring peak crude and natural gas production for Big Oil in 2028, at a lower volume and earlier than previously expected, Rystad Energy said in an analysis this week.

The five integrated supermajors – ExxonMobil, Chevron, BP, Shell, and Total – will see their combined crude oil and natural gas production peak at 18 million barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) in 2028, compared to projections from before COVID-19 that had expected the combined production to continue rising until 2030 at over 20 million bpd.

Last year, Big Oil’s combined oil and gas production declined by close to 5 percent, or by 900,000 boepd, compared to 2019, according to Rystad Energy. In 2020, the five supermajors also incurred a record combined $76 billion loss due to the crash in oil prices and oil demand, the analysts said.

Over the past year, emission reduction targets and strategies have altered the long-term outlook for the supermajors’ production.  

Rystad Energy now sees the majors’ net production at around 17.5 million boepd in 2025 and peaking at around 18 million boepd in 2028. Just before the pandemic, Rystad Energy had expected 2025 production to be at 19 million boepd and 20 million boepd in 2028.

Some of the European supermajors that have committed to becoming net-zero emission businesses by 2050 have already said that their oil production would gradually drop over the years.

BP, for example, said it would boost its investment in low-carbon energy ten times to US$5 billion a year and reduce oil and gas production by 40 percent by 2030. Earlier this month, Shell said its oil production peaked in 2019 and is set for a continual decline over the next three decades.

“The key to success for the five majors over the next decade will be to strengthen their business in more resilient regions, restructure and resize to match the market needs, and pay back their high debt levels,” said Rahul Choudhary, upstream analyst at Rystad Energy.  

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com


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  • Mamdouh Salameh on February 19 2021 said:
    Even without the COVID-19 pandemic, a peak in Big Oil’s production of oil and gas is inevitable if not in 2028 it will be slightly later. Big Oil was finding it difficult to replace the crude oil and gas it has been producing. There are at least three reasons to explain this development.

    The first is the declining importance of Big Oil versus National Oil Companies (NOCs) in the global oil market.

    The second is the scarcity of new major oil and gas reserves being discovered with virtually 97% of the global already explored and the fact that the peak in major oil discoveries was reached in the 1960s. Most of the additions to global reserves no matter how small they are now due not to discovery but to improvements in the oil recovery factor (R/F) as a result of advances in technology.

    The third reason is that whatever new reserves being discovered (even the small ones) are either being kept by NOCs or are too small or too expensive for Big Oil to make a reasonable profit from developing them.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Visiting Professor of Energy Economics at ESCP Europe Business School, London

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