India Offshore Drilling Market, Opportunities and Forecast, FY2017-FY2031F

India offshore drilling market is projected to witness robust growth with double-digit CAGR during the forecast period FY2024-FY2031. The market size of India offshore drilling was 319.79 million in 2023 which is expected to grow to 850.14 million by 2031. Offshore drilling is the process of drilling holes in the seafloor of the continental shelf, including lakes and inland seas. The offshore drilling market includes services related to the drilling of wells. India is one of the world’s top importers of petroleum and natural gas, owing to its growing oil consumption. The administration is working on increasing domestic oil and gas production to reduce the country’s reliance on fossil fuel imports. Companies in both the public and private sectors have received licenses and contracts to expand exploration and production activities in the oil and gas sector. Since the government is currently focusing on natural gas and oil resources in India, the industry is likely to expand further.

Nowadays, the oil and gas industry use the Internet of Things (IoT) to improve output, optimize machinery, ensure worker safety, and monitor remote access points. Sensors embedded in blowout preventers (BOP), choke valves, and wells provide real-time data collection. Startups in the oil and gas industry use the data to quickly identify damaged equipment, enabling field engineers to anticipate and respond to problems. Adoption of IoT sensors is projected to boost India’s offshore drilling services market in the future.

As a result, the offshore drilling services market in India is expected to witness significant growth during the forecast period. Factors such as increasing consumption of oil and gas in India, redevelopment of mature oil fields, and technological advancements like artificial intelligence, machine learning, internet of things (IoT) sensors, robotics, and automation, etc. will drive the market growth.

For instance, in May 2023, Rockwell Automation collaborated with Total Energies to build a robot fleet management system to drive operations on its offshore facilities. It enables operators to remotely supervise and coordinate robots using IoT technology, autonomously performing the various activities that field operators are executing on conventional facilities, including emergency responses and periodic maintenance tasks.

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Increasing Oil & Gas Investments in India

Currently, most petroleum products are produced by public-sector refineries marketed domestically, whilst private businesses mostly serve export markets. India’s oil and natural gas sector is primarily reliant on its national oil companies (NOCs), such as the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), which holds the largest share of crude oil and natural gas production facilities. Most Indian operators have significant investment plans to enhance their oil and gas production, which is expected to drive the country’s drilling services market. New generation rigs developed in India and overseas offer greater technical capabilities that can assist Indian markets. Modern cyber rigs are controlled by joysticks, resulting in faster drilling and less downtime.

For instance, in February 2024, Oil India Limited (OIL) announced plans to invest USD 312.5 million in Andaman Islands for offshore drilling which is expected to start in September 2024. The Andaman basin, spanning an area of 225.9 thousand square kilometers, has significant hydrocarbon reserves in shallow water and deep-water areas.

Increasing Exploration and Production Activities

The expansion in oil and gas exploration and production operations has resulted in significant growth in India’s offshore drilling services market. As the demand for energy rises, firms are increasingly looking to offshore reserves to tap into new oil and natural gas sources. The government intends to extend India’s exploration acreage to 0.5 million square kilometers by 2025 and one million square kilometers by 2030.

Exploration over a larger area will provide more discoveries, increasing domestic oil and gas production and reducing dependency on imports. The increased exploration has created a strong demand for specialist drilling services, boosting the offshore drilling industry. India’s unique geographical location, surrounded by immense offshore potential, has propelled the country to the forefront of the rapidly expanding offshore drilling businesses. Furthermore, the government’s measures to promote foreign investment in the oil and gas sector have boosted exploration activity, increasing the demand for offshore drilling services.

For instance, in December 2023, State-run ONGC and Oil India Ltd. (OIL) were in talks with Japan Petroleum Exploration (Japex), Mitsui and Bahrain Petroleum Company (Bapco) to collaborate on increasing domestic exploration and production activities. The total operational area under various licensing schemes is 3,27,456 square kilometers, which includes exploration and exploitation of unconventional hydrocarbons like coal bed methane.

Government Initiatives

The Indian government has implemented several steps and initiatives to increase the oil and gas sector’s investment. As part of its efforts to reduce import dependency in the petroleum and hydrocarbon sectors, India has implemented policies such as easier licensing requirements, revenue-sharing models, FDI policy that allows for 100% automatic investment, and National Data Repository that provides seamless access to data for interpretation and analysis. It creates a wonderful opportunity for major businesses to participate in the oil and gas sector, with business-friendly rules and significant room for expansion.

For example, the planned Hydrocarbon Vision 2025 calls for a 100% evaluation of the country’s sedimentary basin areas, up from less than 50% today. The Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy (HELP) establishes a single license for the production and exploration of all types of hydrocarbons, including conventional oil and gas, coal bed methane, and shale oil. Furthermore, to improve the ease of doing business, the government has permitted 100% foreign direct investment (FDI) in exploration and infrastructure development, as well as a 49% FDI cap in petroleum refining by PSUs.

Rise in Deep Water Segment to Propel Growth

Shallow-water applications account for nearly half of the offshore drilling market. However, with the development of improved technology, operators are venturing into deep and ultra-deep-water areas. Furthermore, due to declining output in shallow water basins, the vast potential of unexplored undersea hydrocarbon deposits is pushing increased focus on deep water drilling. A growing number of deep-water and ultra-deepwater drilling projects will provide profitable prospects in India’s offshore drilling services market. More initiatives have been launched due to the stabilization of crude oil prices, which has strengthened drilling and production businesses’ profit margins. Even though global oil and gas prices have plateaued and fallen by 50% in recent years, deepwater applications investment growth has surpassed it for the past three to four years. Many deepwater projects reach capital expenditures (CAPEX) of USD 5 billion or more, making them classified as “mega projects.”

For instance, in January 2024, Oil & Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) received the first oil from a deepwater block off the coast of Bay of Bengal. ONGC’s flagship east coast asset, KG-DWN-98/2 consists of three large schemes, with executed Phase 1 in March 2020 and currently advancing on the USD 5 billion cluster-2 project.

Future Market Scenario (2024 – 2031F)

  • The offshore drilling market is growing due to a rise in deep water projects, increased exploration, and production activities as well as higher investments by major players in the oil and gas industry.
  • Technological advancements and the optimization of available resources are expected to create further possibilities for India offshore drilling services market in the future.
  • India is witnessing an increase in government initiatives as well as exploration and production activities, which is expected to boost the demand for offshore drilling services.

Report Scope

“India Offshore Drilling Services Market Assessment, Opportunities, and Forecast, FY2017-FY2031F”, is a comprehensive report by Markets and Data, providing in-depth analysis and qualitative and quantitative assessment of the current state of India offshore drilling services market, industry dynamics, and challenges. The report includes market size, segmental shares, growth trends, opportunities, and forecast between FY2024 and FY2031. Additionally, the report profiles the leading players in the industry mentioning their respective market share, business model, competitive intelligence, etc.

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