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Global Oil Discoveries See Remarkable Recovery In 2018

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Global discoveries of conventional oil and natural gas are seeing an exciting recovery with discovered resources already surpassing 4.5 billion boe in H1 2018, Rystad Energy analysis shows.

The average monthly discovered volumes YTD are estimated at 826 million boe, up approximately 30% compared to 625 million boe in 2017.

(Click to enlarge)

During H1 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% owned by oil majors, indicating indicates that oil majors have started to re-focus on deepwater 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.

United States

The United States reported oil discoveries at Ballymore and Dover prospects in the Norphlet play in deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The Norphlet play, which is characterized by high-pressure, high-temperature (HPHT) conditions accompanied with complicated and elusive structures revealed 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.

The discovery trend is expected to continue in H2 2018 backed by ongoing exploration in emerging offshore provinces and many promising high-impact wells targeting potential resources in the millions.

“An uptick of 30% from the abnormally low levels in 2017 might seem encouraging, but E&P players are currently facing a low reserve replacement ratio, on average of less than 10%. This is worrisome considering the impact on global oil supply in long term,” says Espen Erlingsen, Head of Upstream Research at Rystad Energy.

17 Comments on "Global Oil Discoveries See Remarkable Recovery In 2018"

  1. twocats on Fri, 27th Jul 2018 1:45 pm 

    the number is a monthly average. if the rest of the year goes well, it might only be the third or fourth worst year in a decade of bad years. if it goes poorly it will be first or second worst year. totally depressing news spun as great news. does anyone buy this?

  2. print baby print on Fri, 27th Jul 2018 2:52 pm 

    not even closely

  3. onlooker on Fri, 27th Jul 2018 4:27 pm 

    Oh dazzling. NOT. The world uses 1 billion barrels every 11.5 days.

  4. GregT on Fri, 27th Jul 2018 4:40 pm 

    “”Global Oil Discoveries See Remarkable Recovery In 2018”

    In the mean time, the world burns.

    Climate change is here, and the world is burning

    “Here are some places that have experienced unprecedented wildfires in the last half-decade or so: Western Canada including, currently, the Okanagan. Ontario, Quebec and, almost continuously, the Western United States. Chile, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, China and Russia.”

    “European countries that have been hit include Portugal, France, Italy and, right now, Greece, where dozens have died and heat levels have been high enough to melt cars. Particularly worrying at the moment are wildfires in Sweden, which has been dealing with temperatures of more than 30 C above the Arctic Circle.


  5. peakyeast on Fri, 27th Jul 2018 5:15 pm 

    The numbers they normally spew out is the total amount in place. Not the actually recoverable oil you can put into a barrel.

  6. MASTERMIND on Fri, 27th Jul 2018 7:42 pm 

    The easy oil is gone

    Oil discoveries peaked in the 1960’s.

    Every year since 1984 oil consumption has exceeded oil discovery.

    In 2017 oil discoveries were about 7 billion barrels; consumption was about 35 billion barrels

    Of the world’s 20 largest oil fields, 18 were discovered 1917-1968; 2 in the 1970’s; 0 since.

  7. Bloomer on Fri, 27th Jul 2018 9:32 pm 

    Greg T…I live in British Columbia and between the fires here, Oregon and Washington State it’s a smog bowl. The mountain glaciers are receding and the Lakes and Rivers are drying up. But I don’t wanna mention the C word and be accused of being a Liberal Enviromental Commie.

  8. MASTERMIND on Fri, 27th Jul 2018 10:00 pm 

    Check this out..This is what a police state looks like

  9. Makati1 on Fri, 27th Jul 2018 10:46 pm 

    MM, you live in a police state. Look out your door…

  10. dave thompson on Sat, 28th Jul 2018 2:06 am 

    Interesting how this article can twist reality.

  11. Kat C on Sat, 28th Jul 2018 4:27 am 

    So 9 billion discovered, vs 34 billion used per year. As you say Dave, a huge twisting of reality.

  12. The Newfie on Sat, 28th Jul 2018 5:50 am 

    In other news… heat waves, record temperatures, raging wildfires. Drill baby drill, burn baby burn.

  13. deadly on Sat, 28th Jul 2018 7:12 am 

    Well, there are approximately 1.25 trillion barrels stlll in the ground, so now it is 1.29 trillion. Nothing to worry about at this time, relax, settle down. Cool your jets.

    What causes forest fires to burn? Trees.

    Eliminate the trees and you can eliminate forest fires.

    Clearcut the world’s forests, who needs them?

    That way, it will be easier to prospect for more oil.

    A win win. lol

    Didn’t some stupid American write a song about summer and what happens during that time?

    The Lovin’ Spoonful sung it like it is.

    Just so you know.

  14. Pat on Sat, 28th Jul 2018 8:22 am 

    The end of bau, collapse is very near as the oil capacity to propel global economy is over and with oil shortages soon there will be food lines, rationing and scarcity. prepare….

  15. Permavillage on Sat, 28th Jul 2018 9:33 pm 

    Global peakoil still 2020-2025…

  16. MacTie on Mon, 30th Jul 2018 6:12 pm 

    Global warming global cooling peak oil to infinity, like the infinity mirrors. People got to talk like they’s impotent. Little varmints.

  17. on Tue, 4th Sep 2018 7:45 am 

    That is a really good tip especially to those fresh
    to the blogosphere. Simple but very precise information… Many thanks for sharing this one.
    A must read post!

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