Global discoveries of conventional oil and natural gas are seeing an exciting recovery with discovered resources already surpassing 4.5 billion barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) in the first half of 2018, Rystad Energy analysis shows.
The average monthly discovered volumes YTD (year to date) are estimated at 826 million BOE, up approximately 30 per cent compared to 625 million BOE in 2017.
During the first half of 2018, Guyana led the top five countries in terms of total discovered resources added followed by the United States, Cyprus, Oman and Norway. These five countries hold three-fourths of the total resources discovered this year.
The discoveries in Guyana, the United States and Cyprus are located in ultra-deepwater and are 100 per cent owned by oil majors, indicating that oil majors have started to re-focus on deep water exploration.
The biggest offshore discovery to date this year is believed to be the Eni-operated Calypso gas find offshore Cyprus, while the largest onshore discovery, a gas-condensate find, was reported on the Mabrouk North East prospect, operated by Petroleum Development Oman.
ExxonMobil’s spate of oil discoveries continue in Stabroek block with three major oil discoveries reported in 2018 – Ranger, Pacora and Longtail, which together could hold almost 1 billion barrels of oil or more. These finds followed previous major discoveries on the block at Liza, Payara, Snoek and Turbot.
The United States reported oil discoveries at Ballymore and Dover prospects in the Norphlet play in deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The Norphlet play, is said to be fortunate for Chevron and a prevailing success for Shell. Chevron discovered a significant oil play at the Ballymore prospect with its first exploration well in the subtle play whereas the Dover discovery located 13 miles from the Appomattox host was Shell’s sixth discovery in the play.
Cyprus marked its entry in the list owing to Eni’s promising gas discovery at Calypso 1 NFW ultra-deepwater well in Block 6. The discovery well encountered an extended gas column in rocks of Miocene and Cretaceous age, confirming the extension of “Zohr-like” play in the Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone.
Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) announced a giant gas-condensate discovery at Mabrouk North East prospect in the northern part of its concession area located west of Saih Rawl field.
In the Norwegian Sea, significant discoveries were reported by OMV and Wintershall in the Aasgard and Aasta Hansteen area respectively, with combined recoverable resources close to 240 million BOE. While in North Sea, Aker BP and Equinor made the other two discoveries which together added 75 million BOE.