This expert workshop organized by IDDRI will focus on the future of the offshore oil and gas sector and its development, particularly in the context of the international climate agenda.


Offshore oil and gas activities, which account for nearly a third of oil production and a quarter of natural gas production, are a key element in the extractive sector and contribute significantly to global energy supply. The ever-growing demand for energy and the rise of new technologies contribute to the development of these activities and lead to the opening up of new maritime areas for exploration and exploitation.

Nevertheless, a fall in oil prices and a decrease in investment have affected the offshore sector. Between 2014 and 2016, there was indeed a 50% decrease in expenditure on global deep-sea exploration. While only a modest revival of this activity is expected in the short term, several experts believe that in the medium term the offshore industry will play an essential role in meeting global oil and gas demand. In this regard, recent discoveries of major hydrocarbon reserves in East Africa, South America and West Africa are an indication that offshore activities are likely to increase in the very near future - the recent recovery in crude oil prices confirms this potential development. In parallel, during COP 21 the international community committed to limiting global warming to “well below 2°C compared to pre-industrial levels” and to “pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C”. In particular, this objective requires a redefinition of the global energy mix, a deep decarbonization of the economy and thus a reduction in the use of fossil fuels.

In this context, the oil and gas industry must address many challenges related to its adaptation to current developments, particularly how to meet the growing energy demand while also complying with the need for rapid and deep transition towards low-carbon energies.

Seminar objectives

This seminar aims to discuss new practices and strategies adopted by the offshore oil and gas industry to tackle these challenges. In particular, we will examine whether these practices can enable the offshore sector to be incorporated in a long-term development trajectory that is consistent with international climate commitments. It will also be necessary to question the emerging schism between the announced increase in offshore oil and gas production and the risk of the devaluation of offshore oil and/or gas assets due to the climate challenge. The discussions will thus help to identify to what extent certain investments will have an impact on anticipation and adaptation strategies for the extractive offshore sector to address the global energy market changes driven by the climate emergency.

Programme [in French]