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Spill may cut world oil supply 500,000 bpd-report
HOUSTON May 28 (Reuters) - A one-year delay on new deepwater projects stemming from the Gulf of Mexico well rupture could cut world oil supply by 500,000 barrels per day between 2013 to 2017, Bernstein Research said in a note to clients on Friday.
"Although this may seem small in a global context, such a situation would decrease OPEC spare capacity, especially in the second half of the decade, which would lead to an increase in the oil price," the firm wrote.
Still, it is unclear if this is a likely scenario, Bernstein wrote.
The world consumes more than 80 million barrels per day of crude oil.
On Thursday, the U.S. government extended a moratorium on new deepwater drilling permits to six months and announced a safety crackdown that includes the temporary suspension of exploratory drilling on 33 rigs in the Gulf of Mexico. [ID:nLDE64R00P]
Bernstein said delays and new regulatory costs could boost the marginal costs of new deepwater production by about 10 percent.
The moratorium extension will have "a huge near term negative impact to the Gulf Coast deepwater oil service industry," Bernstein said.
The drilling ban was put in place after a BP Plc (BP.L) (BP.N) well ruptured in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20. The accident sank the Deepwater Horizon rig, killed 11 workers and is estimated to be the largest oil spill in U.S. history.
New deepwater regulations are likely and the hit from the U.S. drilling moratorium will affect drilling worldwide, Bernstein said.
It is "highly likely" that deepwater rigs will have to adopt global standards to work in basins around the world, the firm said. (Reporting by Anna Driver in Houston; editing by Jim Marshall)
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