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Page added on July 27, 2012

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6 Of The Biggest Untapped Oil Fields In The World

6 Of The Biggest Untapped Oil Fields In The World thumbnail

Whether or not you ascribe to theories of peak oil, there is no doubt that there are some massive untapped oil fields around the world.

Some aren’t reaching their potential in terms of oil extraction for political reasons.

Others present difficult technological challenges that haven’t quite been figured out yet.

These oil fields have the potential to seriously increase the world’s supply of oil if these political and technological issues can eventually be overcome, and the promise of the oil they contain is causing the industry to rise to the challenge.

 

Jubilee Field

Location:GhanaEstimated barrels of crude: 1.8 billion

The deal: Tullow Oil is currently developing the field, which produced an average of 66,000 barrels per day in 2011.

Source: Tradequip, Tullow Oil

Chicontepec Basin

Location: MexicoEstimated barrels of crude: 10 billion

The deal: Most of the oil discovered in the Chicontepec Formation is extra-heavy crude, which is currently too expensive to produce for anyone to extract it.

Source: Tradequip, OilVoice

Kashagan Field

Location: KazakhstanEstimated barrels of crude: 11 billion

The deal: The Kashagan Field is located in the northern Caspian Sea, where it freezes over in the winter. The ice makes extraction of oil very difficult.

Source: Tradequip, Yenikeyeff (2008)

Supergiant fields in Iraq’s southwest desert

Location: IraqEstimated barrels of crude: 45-100 billion

The deal: Western oil companies are flocking back to Iraq after the devastation to the country’s infrastructure caused by the US-led 2003 invasion. The major bottleneck continues to be a lack of refining infrastructure to process all of the oil in the supergiant fields.

Source: Tradequip, International Business Times

Santos and Campos Basins

Location: BrazilEstimated barrels of crude: 123 billion

The deal: Brazil’s offshore oil basins are a major focus in the industry right now given the volume of oil estimated to be there. However, the location of the oil – tens of thousands of feet below the surface and trapped beneath layers of salt, does not make it the easiest to extract.

Source: Tradequip, WSJ

Orinoco Belt

Location: VenezuelaEstimated barrels of crude: 513 billion

The deal: Venezuela is notorious for its investment climate, with many western oil companies pulling out in recent years. However, Asian oil companies are lining up to get in on the game in Venezuela.

Source: Tradequip, RigZone

Business Insider


5 Comments on "6 Of The Biggest Untapped Oil Fields In The World"

  1. DC on Fri, 27th Jul 2012 8:22 pm 

    First 3 are not giants by any measure. Large, yes, but the first 3 combined would power the world for about 8 months@ 100% extraction rate.

    The Iraqi one is not ‘new’, its always been part of Iraqs reserves.

    Brazil will never recover a fraction of that 123(alleged) billions down there.

    Yes, blame the US hated Chazev for the belt. Fact is, strip-mining for that heavy toxic sorta oil would effectively destroy a huge swath of the country. Its that fact, and not the ‘investment’ climae thats keeping that crud where it is. Canada didnt give a damn about writing off a huge area to its tar-sands. Well see if Venuzuela makes the same mistake. If they do, the oil will be slow, heavy, expensive and naturally, will cause immense damage and hardship. 513billion? I dont think so….

  2. MrColdWaterOfRealityMan on Fri, 27th Jul 2012 8:39 pm 

    The world uses about 30 billion barrels of oil a year.

    513/30 = 17.1 years supply
    123/30 = 4.1
    100/30 = 3.33
    11/30 = .36
    10/30 = .33
    1.8/30= .026
    Total = 25.25 years

    Average recovery rate? 35% at best (http://www.eni.com/en_IT/innovation-technology/technological-answers/maximize-recovery/maximize-recovery.shtml)

    Final total? 8.84 years of supply.

    Energy return? Not discussed, but the deepwater fields won’t yield a high energy return and will be expensive.

  3. Anvil on Sat, 28th Jul 2012 12:52 am 

    Looks like this article is a phoney half done attempt at covering large new oil fields.
    No mentions of the large qualities of oil in somalia and the South China sea.

  4. BillT on Sat, 28th Jul 2012 1:43 am 

    More propaganda from the pimps at Big Petro. I’m surprised that they did not mention that all of the gold that has been ever mined is LESS than the gold to be found in the ocean waters of the world. Yes, those trillions of ounces are just floating around waiting to be claimed. And, as most of the oil that is left, never will be. Why? EROEI.

    And if that is not enough, the financial system that supports oil exploration and recovery is in the ICU with the prognosis of death in the near future. The World economy is shrinking. There will not be the money to drill those wells, develop those fields, or even to buy what oil is ever recovered.

    As I have said before, most of the oil that is left along with natural gas, will never be recovered. The financial system will never be able to support the investment/market.

  5. Hugh Culliton on Sun, 29th Jul 2012 6:25 am 

    BillT nailed it: almost all of those fields are very difficult (read: expensive) to extract from. As well, given the fact that global crude consumption is about 86,952 barrels/day, we are still going to have to face the fact that, as REM said, “it’s the end of the world as we know it” – no matter the spin the oil industry puts on it. EROEI is still king and no amount of wishful thinking will make it otherwise. The cheap oil age is done so we’d better get our shit together and look to the future.