More delayed major oil and gas upstream projects have been sanctioned so far this year than during the whole of 2016, but the list of delayed projects since the 2014 oil price slump continues to grow, Norwegian oil consultancy Rystad Energy said Friday.

Noting Eni’s final investment decision Thursday on its Coral LNG project in Mozambique, Rystad estimates that 17 delayed upstream projects have been launched since the second half of 2014, accounting for an estimated $78 billion of development spending.

Notable project FIDs since 2014 include Tengizchevroil’s Tengiz oil field expansion in Kazakhstan last year, and more recently, BP’s Mad Dog 2 deepwater development in the Gulf of Mexico and Noble Energy’s Leviathan gas project off Israel.

But despite the positive momentum on project FIDs, Rystad said the total list of delayed projects has continued to grow, with 105 currently delayed FIDs compared with 39 in mid 2015 and 62 in early 2016.

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“The ongoing results of the oil price pain is clear to see. Still over 100 projects delayed, accounting for nearly 35 billion barrels of oil equivalent and $300 billion spend estimate delayed,” Rystad research analyst Readul Islam said in a note.

The list of delayed FIDs has grown across the board, Rystad estimates, bar Canadian oil sands projects which are “confined to one province in Canada.”

The highest number of delayed projects are currently in the deepwater and onshore sectors, it said.

Rystad is among a number of oil analysts which have warned of a severe impact on future production volumes from the huge industry spending cuts in the wake of the oil price collapse.

In December 2015, the consultancy warned of a global shortage of crude “a few years down the road” after investment decisions to develop just 8 billion barrels of oil were taken by oil companies in 2015, less than a quarter of the oil output that needs to be replaced every year from new projects.

More recently, Rystad has predicted that a modest oil price recovery will benefit tight oil developments quicker than most, with as much as $15 billion in increased spending expected to flow into the shale market in 2017.

–Robert Perkins, robert.perkins@spglobal.com
–Edited by James Leech, james.leech@spglobal.com

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