PESGB August 2019
- NEWS FEATURE: The Roebuck Basin – Over 40 years of patience
- NEWS FEATURE: US shale growth to moderate in the medium term
Plus much more inside
Mid-Year Round Up…
The analysis by Rystad Energy published in April of this year provided interesting statistics for global exploration performance. Between 2013 and 2015, some 47.8bnboe were added to global conventional resources, an average of 16bnboe per year. During the industry downturn, between 2016 and 2018, the addition of new reserves fell by 58% to 27.8bnboe, an average of 9.3bnboe per year. The temptation is to attribute this reduction in exploration performance to the collapse in the price of oil. However, in a similar report published in May, Westwood Global Energy Group notes that around half of the performance decline is accounted for by a lower well count, with the remainder due to a combination of falling success rates and lower discovery sizes.
By contrast, the first quarter of 2019 has thus far delivered some very impressive exploration well results. In the same report, Rystad published global discoveries totalling 3.2bnboe, with the top five largest located in Cyprus, South Africa, Guyana, Indonesia and the UK. The UK’s contribution is CNOOC’s operated Glengorm 250mmbo discovery, the second largest discovery in over a decade since Culzean (which incidentally was placed on production in June this year). More new field discoveries will hopefully be added to the North Sea as the year progresses. At the start of the year, Wood Mackenzie reported that a 25% increase exploration drilling activity could be expected with more than 60 wells planned in UK, Norwegian, Dutch and Danish waters.
The results of the 31st Offshore Licensing Round were announced by the OGA in early June with the award of thirty seven new licences covering 141 blocks. Hopefully, the results of future drilling on these licences will contribute to the UKCS’s exploration statistics by opening up new plays and hydrocarbon provinces.
Turning to exploration onshore UK, in April, IGas announced it had encountered a 250 metre hydrocarbon bearing shale sequence in its recently completed drilling of the ‘unconventional’ Springs Road-1 well in the Gainsborough Trough. Hopefully, the ‘surface issues’ the onshore industry is facing will soon be overcome to enable progress on these key projects.
The midyear round up would not be complete without acknowledging the milestone achieved by Hurricane Energy’s achievement in delivering first oil from the Lancaster field into the FPSO. The PESGB membership was treated to an excellent case history of the field delivered by Hurricane Energy CEO, Robert Trice, at last month’s evening meeting at the Geological Society.
Whilst on the subject of case histories, the October meeting of the PESGB will feature a presentation of the 2018 oil and gas Dorado discovery (courtesy of RISC Advisory). Back in June, licence operator Santos announced that its first appraisal well confirmed that Dorado was a major new field discovery, opening up a new play offshore Western Australia. It will be interesting to monitor progress of this new play as exploration in the region steps up.
And finally, by now members are probably aware that Ben Gardner has left the PESGB having been a key part of the office team for the last eight years. Many of you will have met Ben at different conferences convened by the PESGB. On behalf of the PESGB I wish to acknowledge and thank Ben for the loyal and professional service given to our organisation and we wish him every success in the future. I would also like to extend my thanks to Bethany Parkinson-Hunt and Stephanie Best both of whom have also left the PESGB. They too have also made significant contributions to the PESGB’s events.