No frontier drilling hits in 2017, analyst finds

Westwood Global Energy Group says that 10 of last year’s potentially commercial discoveries could hold more than 100 MMboe.

Offshore staff

ABERDEEN, UK– Westwood Global Energy Group says that 10 of last year’s potentially commercial discoveries could hold more than 100 MMboe.

This result was comparable to the figure for 2016, but lower than in 2015 and 2014, when respectively 21 and 32 discoveries were made in this category.

Last year’s intake included Yakaar in the MSGBC basin offshore Senegal; Payara, Turbot, and Snoek in theSuriname-Guyana basin off Guyana; Zama in the Salina basin offshore Mexico; and Whale in the US Gulf of Mexico.

In addition, Eni’s exploration/appraisal campaign in the Salinas basin delivered strong results from dual-objective appraisal wells on the Amoca, Mizton and Tecoalli fields, leading to significant resource upgrades.

Westwood’s report also highlights 12 high profile wells that did not deliver, with wider significance for the industry. Some were in frontier plays, such as Providence Resources’ Druid in the Porcupine basin offshore southwest Ireland; others, such as Statoil’s Korpfjell in the southeastern Norwegian Barents Sea, were attempting to open new plays in proven basins.

On the bright side, drilling finding costs were much better last year, averaging around $0.5/boe, compared with $1.1/boe in 2016.

Dr Keith Myers, President, Westwood Research, said: “The lack of any clearly commercial frontier discoveries in 2017 is disappointing. This is the second year without significant frontier success.

“2018 has started better, however, with Exxon’s frontierRanger discovery offshore Guyana potentially opening a new carbonate play in the increasingly prolific Suriname-Guyana basin.

“Chevron has recently announced a substantial discovery atBallymore in the Norphlet play in the Gulf of Mexico, where appraisal is already under way.”

02/26/2018

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