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Oil & Gas Reality Check 2012

A look at 10 of the top issues facing the oil sector


2011 gave us all reasons to pause and think. From political uprising, unstable financial markets and the Japanese nuclear disaster, to the abundance of natural gas, rethinking of the nuclear emergence, and the rise of the consuming national oil companies (NOCs), 2011 was full of surprises. The speed of which the past year’s events unfolded and the impact they had could hardly be predicted nor mitigated. The uprising in Libya and the renewed production in Iraq did little to stabilize the world oil markets. The sudden loss of supply from North Africa may have caused Brent and West Texas Intermediate (WTI) prices to diverge even more than they would have based on North American inventories only. Despite economic uncertainty, global oil prices remained stubbornly buoyant and are expected to remain so in the upcoming year, according to both the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) and the International Energy Agency (IEA).

This report is not a predictive statement of the future of what the oil and gas sector will experience. It is, however, a story of the important and unfolding trends that may influence our way forward in the year ahead. As 2011 taught us, predictions are bound to be wrong unless luck is on our side. In this document we explore the trends created by the events of the passing year and the impact they may have in the upcoming year. Amongst these are the conventional and unconventional natural gas revolution, the ultra-deep exploration, the globalization of the consuming NOCs, and the economic realities that a growing array of energy independent countries will face.

The 2012 Oil & Gas Reality Check represents the views assembled from our partners, clients, and industry experts. It represents the combined views of practitioners that serve the industry, manage the companies, and study it along the various components including the largest oil and gas companies, oil field services, energy traders, and others involved in this sector. The report was released on December 6, 2011 at the 20th World Petroleum Congress in Doha, Qatar.

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