Global oil and gas exploration projects worth more than $150 billion are likely to be put on hold next year as plunging oil prices render them uneconomic, datashows, potentially curbing supplies by the end of the decade.As big oil fields that were discovered decades ago begin to deplete, oil companies are trying to access more complex and hard to reach fields located in some cases deep under sea level. But at the same time, the cost of production has risen sharply given the rising cost of raw materials and the need for expensive new technology to reach the oil.Now the outlook for onshore and offshore developments – from the Barents Sea to the Gulf or Mexico – looks as uncertain as the price of oil, which has plunged by 40 percent in the last five months to around $70 a barrel.
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