Energy 2023: The Future of Oil & Gas

October 2019

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In "2020: The Near Future of Oil & Gas", our Natural Resources practice leaders in the U.S., as well as Australia, Canada, the UK and Saudi Arabia, predicted how these two sides would shape the oil and gas industry globally and in their respective markets by 2020. We forecasted that by 2020, the industry would evolve into one more focused on LNG and solar power, greater diversification and better use of technology. That opportunity, however, would be tempered by increased cyber risk.

Since we released our predictions in December 2017, more affordable renewables and the uptick in electrification initiatives have continued to moderate global demand for oil. Ongoing technological innovation—including the use of artificial intelligence to better make decisions and predict asset performance—against a backdrop of proliferating cyber-attacks on industrial control systems has also taken hold.

Using a heatmap, our global leaders have codified how our 2020 predictions have fared so far around the world. Higher values indicate predictions that have progressed more quickly. As we sit back and take measure, we also offer new predictions for how the oil and gas industry will evolve by 2023.

By 2023, here’s our predictions for how innovation, paired with evolving oil and gas priorities, will change the industry:

1. U.S. shale prices will plateau over the next five years between $50- $60 dollars per barrel, as growing demand for U.S. product in Asia and Europe and increased geopolitical uncertainty balance out increasing U.S. shale exports.

2. The U.S. oil and gas industry will experience increased revenue streams from expanded domestic and international markets, delivering to more than 45 countries.

3. Deal value in the oil and gas industry will soar to new heights as bigger companies try to buy up mid-sized firms and smaller firms seek consolidation to stay competitive.

4. Natural gas will make up 50 percent of the power generated for electricity in the United States.

5. American LNG exports will grow as the country becomes the world’s largest LNG exporter. To do so, the U.S. will need to grow both midstream and downstream capacity. The speed with which the industry is able to do so will determine just how quickly the U.S. is able to top the charts in LNG exports.