After a difficult few years. the oil and gas exploration sector is back in the black – and keen to stay there. according to new analysis from Wood Mackenzie.
Dr. Andrew Latham. vice president. Global exploration. said: “We are seeing a long-overdue recovery in the sector. Last year conventional exploration returns hit 13 percent – the highest calculated in more than a decade. As 2018’s discoveries are appraised and projects move through the development cycle. we expect these economics to improve further.“
In 2018. exploration added at least 10.5 billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe) in conventional new field volumes. This was split 40:60 oil to gas. Last year saw three play-opening discoveries – Ranger and Hammerhead on Guyana’s prolific Starbroek Block and the Dorado find. which confirms a new liquids play in the Roebuck sub-basin. offshore Australia.
Last year also saw three giant finds – Novatek’s 11.3 trillion cubic feet North Obskoye gas find offshore Russia. the Calypso gas discovery. offshore Cyprus. and Guyana’s Hammerhead. This trio. together with the 18 large discoveries made last year. account for 80 percent of the total discovered resources.
Latham says: “The Americas will receive a lot of attention this year. Latin American plays account for one third of global large and giant prospects scheduled for drilling in 2019. This region will also see one-third of the potential play-opening wells. Exceptional reservoirs in Brazil. Guyana and Mexico will attract the most investment. We expect billion-barrel scale volumes from these emerging and newly-proven plays. as has been the case in the last couple of years.“
Southern and western Africa will also see a resurgence in offshore exploration. and worldwide. 2019 discoveries are expected to add around 15 billion-20 billion boe of new resource. This could come from discoveries such as Peroba. a giant pre-salt prospect in Brazil’s Santos basin. est