And Petrobras will be on the investment top.

Infield Systems has released its latest edition of the Global Perspectives Subsea Market Report To 2016, and the future spells deeper and deeper waters:

-As operators face the dual challenge of sustaining their production levels in mature regions and effectively exploiting the uncapped reserves in growth areas, such as, West Africa, US Gulf of Mexico and Brazil, the potential for subsea capital expenditure throughout the forecast period has increased dramatically. To leverage against declining production, Operators are being forced to venture into remote and harsher locations. These projects require top tier equipment that can cost significantly more than the standard equivalent. Infield Systems estimate that ultra-deep installations will account for almost 25% of the annual tree market by 2016, according to Infield Systems.

Petrobras on top
The oil companies that lead the market are heavily involved in the booming Latin American and West African prospects. Petrobras is leading the board with an expected capital expenditure of US$18.9 billion over the 2012-2016 period.

-Important developments include the pilot projects in the Iara and Sapinhoa fields and a series of EWTs in Sapinhoa, Libra, Iara, Franco and Iguazu fields, according to Infield.

Latin America, particularly Brazil, has the potential to emerge as a major offshore energy frontier in the global oil market. Petrobras has begun to reveal reserve estimates for its pre-salt finds that stand to significantly increase Brazil’s total estimated level of reserves. 38% of the projected subsea Capex will be needed to develop the pre-salt projects, Infield predicts.

Mature fields

Other areas that could benefit from the use of advanced seabed technologies include: the mature fields of the North Sea and the US GoM, where a large number of small developments are expected to be tied back to existing platforms.

Infield Systems also expects that West Africa will be one of the key regions for implementing subsea processing because of its already extensive deepwater production, significant oil reserves and most importantly the geographical distribution of its fields that require multiple wells being tied-back to one central processing facility.

Total on top in Africa

In Africa, oil companies such as Total, BP, ExxonMobil, Chevron and Eni will try to take advantage of the area’s ample resources to leverage against the declining reserves from other mature areas. Total is leading the subsea bill with a projected US$8 billion of expenditure within the forecast period.

Expect boom in Australia
Australia is emerging as a major player in the global natural gas market due to the development of offshore natural gas and (onshore) coal bed methane (CBM) projects.

-Post 2013, a significant backlog of major projects is predicted to provide a boost to the market. More than 50% of the forecast subsea market is expected to relate to subsea tiebacks to a fixed, a floating or a terminal facility, Infield Systems write in the report.

Subsea Market Report To 2016
Prospects for manufacturers are also looking positive:

-Global subsea tree manufacturers’ utilisation rates are expected to increase to an average of 75% in the next 3 years, up from 49% in the 2009-2011 period, according to Infield Systems.