30 minutes of reading


IFPEN analyses in this study the 2012 evolution of global investment in the field of exploration-production and refining. The word “contrast” also springs to mind when looking into how investment in hydrocarbons has changed, with an upstream sector that is flourishing and a downstream sector that is treading water. 
In spite of the uncertain economic context, investment in exploration-production is still increasing at a healthy rate, with activity reaching record levels in all areas. The decline in activity of 2009/2010 now seems a long way off. As far as refining is concerned, investment has only risen very modestly, despite a somewhat encouraging 2011. It has only been driven by Asia and the Middle East and —  to a lesser extent — South America. 


Oil and gas prices - exacerbated instability

  • Exploration production: continuation of the boom cycle  
  • A rise in investment  
  • In the news  

Main markets in the upstream oil equipment and services sector

  • Drilling
  • Geophysical market  
  • Offshore construction

Refining consolidating the imbalance between long-term demand and capacity  

  • Increase in world refining overcapacity and decrease in refinery utilization rates
  • Economic break on proposals for new capacity
  • Overall improvement in refining margins in 2012
  • New slowdown in refinery industry spending in 2012
  • Future investments, heightened competition on the export markets in the mid-term
  • Impact of the development of unconventional oil refining in the US and Europe

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Exploration-production - Geoffroy Hureau - geoffroy.hureau@ifpen.fr:
Upstream activities and markets - Sylvain Serbutoviez - sylvain.serbutoviez@ifpen.fr:
Investments in refining - Constancio Silva - constancio.silva@ifpen.fr
Price context, exacerbated instability
  - Guy Maisonnier - guy.maisonnier@ifpen.fr