Friday, December 22, 2017

About That "Decreased Conventional Discoveries" -- A Bit Of Perspective -- December 22, 2017


May 27, 2019: update on conventional -- high-impact -- exploration.

February 1, 2018: Richard Zeits talks about ten million bopd.

February 1, 2018: Chevron has best year for new oil discoveries since 2011.

December 28, 2017: Bloomberg repeats the gloom and doom story.

December 26, 2017: from Yahoo!Finance:

Original Post 

The other day I linked a story sent to me by a reader about conventional oil discoveries. At the time I said I did not "like" such stories but posted it for the archives. This was the story:
The oil industry discovered the least amount of oil in 2017 in almost eight decades, breaking the previous record low set in 2016.
The global oil industry has discovered less than seven billion barrels of oil equivalent so far this year—a drop-off from the 8 billion boe discovered last year. Last year’s total was the lowest since the 1940s. The 2017 figure is down by more than half from the 15 billion boe discovered in 2014-2015, and down sharply from the 30 billion boe discovered in 2012.
The plunge is the result of a third consecutive year of relatively low upstream exploration budgets. So many oil companies slashed their spending on exploration when the market downturn began in 2014, and they have yet to restore that spending to anything close to pre-2014 levels.
The problem with these articles: the writer does not put this into perspective. 

Here's a little bit of perspective from April 27, 2017:
This story has been told several times in several places over the past few days. I have not posted the story nor linked the story until now. There were several reasons why I did not post/link it.

But now, with this graph, perfect for posting:

I think the graph would have been even more "effective" had they drawn the x-axis to 75 billion bbls to accurately capture the 60-billion-bar for 2009. Folks are concerned that low discovery rate in past two years will mean severe supply/demand imbalance sooner (2018) than later (?).

Maybe, maybe not. But when I see the graph above, and note the 2009 bar, as well as the 2012 and 2014 bars, my hunch is it will take a few years to work that off, as well as the three billion bbls of crude oil now being stored globally.
These are discoveries, not production.

In 2007, the North Dakota Bakken boom began.

The Bakken reached its stride in 2010 - 2012. Even through 2014 significant discoveries were being made.

I don''t know when Big Oil will increase CAPEX to explore for new conventional basins/fields, but my hunch is there is no hurry. Had the bar in the graph above not been truncated, it would have stretched off the graph, into the paragraph above.

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