ward balance right will be a critical factor in attracting scarce investment capture in 2017, even
for resource-rich hotspots such as Iran and
2016 OFFSHORE-DISCOVERED LIQUIDS
90% LOWER THAN IN 2010
Rystad Energy concludes that the 2016 total offshore-discovered liquids resources reached only
slightly below 2. 3 billion bbl, 90% lower than in
2010. This drop is most significant to the overall
decline in discovered volumes; in fact, total global
discovered volumes (oil & gas combined) are at
an all-time low since the 1940s.
In 2016, the average liquid content in the discovered resources was merely ~40%. Even more
tellingly, the replacement ratio* for liquids in 2016
was below 10%. For comparison, the replacement
ratio for liquids in 2013 was as high as ~30%.
There are a few key countries that influenced
offshore discovered liquids development:
• Brazil – The country experienced a new ‘golden
age’ thanks to multi-billion bbl discoveries
made in the beginning of this decade. Among
the largest discoveries Lula (formerly known
as Tupi), Libra and Buzios stand out. Combined,
these discoveries hold 20 billion barrels of
liquids. All of the large discoveries made in
Brazil in the past decade are located in the
large pre-salt basins, especially Santos and
Campos. However, the success story from 2010
did not repeat itself as 2016 approached. This
is due to a combination of factors such as
limited capital to develop projects that were
previously discovered or local content regula-
tions, among others.
• Norway – The offshore exploration on the NCS
showed disappointing results in 2015 and 2016,
with no discovery surpassing 100 million bbl
of discovered resources. In fact, since the discovery of Johan Sverdrup in 2011, there has
not been another sizeable discovery made on
the NCS. Exploration results were particularly
discouraging given the number of exploration
wells in the region, which remained relatively
stable within the range of 45 to 65 exploration
wells per year, since 2010.
• US – In GoM, the discovered volumes have
remained relatively stable compared to the
development in other offshore regions.
• Russia – In Russia, the largest discovery in the
past years was Universitetskaya, discovered in
2014. This discovery could potentially hold
over 2. 3 billion barrels of resources, of which
1 billion bbl are liquids alone. Russia contin-
ues to be dependent on foreign technologies
to be able to develop its offshore discoveries,
especially in the arctic areas. At the same time,
exploration activities in offshore arctic regions
are currently on hold due to sanctions and
generally less interest in the investment-heavy
exploration due to low oil price.
• Angola – The past five years have been positive
for Angola in terms of exploration results. In
2016, there were three significant discoveries
made: Golfinho (operated by Sonangol), being
the only large oil discovery; and Katambi and
Zalophus (operated by BP and Sonangol, respectively), being the largest gas
• Guyana – Exploration results in Guyana were
particularly encouraging in 2015, with the 1
billion bbl discovery – Liza. Liza was the largest
oil offshore discovery made in that year, representing ~30% of the total offshore discovered
liquids in 2015.
Rystad Energy expects the exploration activity
to slowly pick up from 2018, allowing for more
discoveries towards the end of this decade and
beyond. At the same time, some of the recent
license awards could open new prospective exploration regions, e.g. the deepwater license
award in Mexico.
*The replacement ratio measures the amount
of discovered resources during the year relative
to the amount of liquids product in the same year
globally. It disregards the production start-up
date for the discoveries.
COBALT NOTES PRELIMINARY APPRAISAL
WELL RESULTS AT NORTH PLATTE
Cobalt International Energy Inc. has completed
drilling operations on the North Platte #4 appraisal well. Preliminary results indicate that the well
encountered approximately 650 feet of net oil
pay, which is greater than the approximately 550
feet of net pay found in the North Platte #3 appraisal well. The North Platte #4 initial appraisal
results also indicate high quality Inboard Lower
Tertiary Wilcox reservoirs on the eastern flank of
the North Platte field.
Cobalt is currently evaluating log data, fluid
samples and pressure information and is preparing for a geologic sidetrack to further analyze the
extent of the eastern flank. Cobalt, as operator,
owns a 60% working interest in North Platte.
TOTAL E&P USA Inc. owns the remaining 40%.
ExxonMobil has encountered positive results
from its Payara- 1 well
offshore Guyana. Payara
is ExxonMobil’s second
oil discovery on the
Stabroek Block and was
drilled in a new reservoir.
The well was drilled by
Esso Exploration and
Ltd., and encountered
more than 95 feet of
reservoirs. It was drilled
to 18,080 feet in 6,660
feet of water. The Payara
field discovery is about
10 miles northwest of the
2015 Liza discovery.
In addition to the Payara
drilling at Liza- 3 has
identified an additional,
deeper reservoir directly
below the Liza field,
which is estimated to
contain between 100-150
million oil equivalent
barrels. The Stabroek
Block is 6. 6 million acres.
Esso Exploration and
Production Guyana Ltd.
is operator and holds
45% interest in the
Stabroek Block. Hess
Guyana Exploration Ltd.
holds 30% interest and
CNOOC Nexen Petroleum Guyana Ltd. holds