Source: Houston Chronicle


Oil and gas discoveries offshore of Russia, Guyana and Cyprus have led the top new finds this year, keeping 2019 on track to match last year’s global discoveries.

However, much more oil and gas volumes are still being consumed than discovered, putting the world on pace for the lowest replacement rate for conventional oil and gas in decades, according to the Norwegian research firm Rystad Energy.

Oil and gas discoveries in Russia, Guyana and Cyprus lead top 2019 finds - oil and gas 360

Photo: Cristian Zerpa, SUB

But the lower replacement ratio doesn’t account for unconventional growth like U.S. shale production, as well as the rapid rise of renewable energy sources around the world. So the data doesn’t mean the world is anywhere close to running out of energy.

Oil and gas companies have discovered 7.7 billion barrels of oil equivalent this year, keeping the 2018 pace of 10 billion barrels for the full year, said Rystad senior analyst Pallor Shenga.

Russia’s Gazprom led the way with an estimated 1.5 billion barrels from two new natural gas fields, named Dinkov and Nyarmeyskoye, which are located in the Kara Sea near the Yamal Peninsula.

Exxon Mobil and New York’s Hess Corp. were next with additional finds accumulating offshore of the tiny South American nation Guyana, which is expected to start consistently churning out oil early next year.

Exxon Mobil also ranked third with its gas discovery offshore of the Middle Eastern island nation Cyprus.

The United States ranked 10th for new discoveries led by Royal Dutch Shell’s new Blacktip find in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico.

However, the so-called resource replacement ratio for conventional resources now stands 16 percent, which is the lowest in recent history, Rystad said.

“This means that only one barrel out of every six consumed is being replaced by new sources. This is the lowest replacement ratio we have witnessed in the last two decades,” Shenga said.

Still, Rystad noted, there appears to be a lot of potential for new discoveries offshore of South America. Guyana is continuing to emerge. Houston-based Apache Corp. is exploring off of Guyana’s eastern neighbor, Suriname. Brazil is expected to increase production next year. And Colombia is increasing offshore exploration.

If Venezuela can eventually recover from its geopolitical free fall, then that would mean additional oil production there as well.

 


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