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2021 global oil, gas discoveries to sink to lowest in 75 years – report

Drilling contractors rethink survival strategy as oil prices fall

A Rystad Energy, an independent energy research and business intelligence company, has stated in a recently released report that if the rest of December fails to yield any significant finds, global oil and gas discoveries in 2021 will be at their lowest level in 75 years.

Data gleaned from Rystad report show the total global discovered volumes this year are estimated to be 4.7 billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe) as of the end of November, and with no major discoveries announced so far this month, the industry is on track for its worst discoveries toll since 1946.

“This would also be a significant decrease from the 12.5 billion boe discovered in 2020,” it added.

Palzor Shenga, vice president of upstream research, Rystad Energy, said, “Although some of the highly ranked prospects are scheduled to be drilled before the end of the year, even a substantial discovery may not be able to contribute towards 2021 discovered volumes as these wells may not be completed in this calendar year.

“Therefore, the cumulative discovered volume for 2021 is on course to be its lowest in decades.”

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The report notes that the largest discovery in November 2021 was made by Russian group Lukoil off the coast of Mexico, which is estimated to hold 75 million boe of recoverable resources. The discovery adds to Lukoil’s total discovered volumes in the North American country.

“These volumes, however, are insufficient for commercial development and would necessitate additional discoveries on a comparable scale before a development concept could be developed.

“These discoveries give Mexico hope that it can halt or slow its production decline. Several wells are planned to be drilled in blocs offered in various bid rounds, many of which will be won by major international oil companies,” the report added.

It was also stated in the recent report that, Nangka-1, drilled off the coast of Malaysia, is the second successive exploration well drilled within Block SK 417. Thai state operator PTTEP drilled the wildcat to a depth of 3,758 meters and discovered sweet gas in the Middle to Late Miocene Cycle VI clastic reservoirs.

It also added, “Norway continues to unearth small-to-medium-sized discoveries, presenting an opportunity to materialize these discoveries using existing infrastructure.”