The oil and gas industry needs a significant increase in investment over the coming years, according to a senior BP official.
"Oil supply, as opposed to oil demand, will be the big game changer in the future as the world shifts away from the resource scarcity view," said Spencer Dale, BP’s Group Chief Economist.
Saying that there will be substantial consumption of oil for decades to come, he added, "If you look forward for the next 20-30 years, the combination of improving energy efficiency and technological progress means that supply will significantly outstrip demand as a result of increasing energy abundance." "As new discoveries are made, perceptions have moved from one of energy scarcity to one of energy abundance," he added, noting that this is having a significant impact on resource owners, many of whom are in the Middle East.
"A considerable amount of investment is likely to be needed for decades to come," Dale predicted, adding, "However, previously driven by the sense of resource scarcity, (this) meant that investment went into any type of oil resource. If you look at (it) now, investors are becoming increasingly choosy about which type of oil in which to invest. BP’s view is to carry on investing in oil as long as there is an advantage to it. The market is increasingly competitive," he said.
Investment now, he suggested, would be committed either because of the intrinsic low-cost of development or because costs could be driven down because of factors such as existing infrastructure and supply flow.