Global oil and gas discoveries in 2019 of 12.2 billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe) represents the highest volumes since 2015, according to Rystad Energy's data on Thursday.
Headquartered in Norway, Rystad Energy is an independent energy research and business intelligence company providing data, tools, analytics and consultancy services to the global energy industry.
Ongoing investments of U.S. company ExxonMobil in Guyana with additional four new discoveries boosted last year's numbers, Rystad said in a statement.
According to the estimations, the discoveries in Guyana hold cumulative recoverable resources of around 1.8 billion boe.
"ExxonMobil can be declared explorer of the year for a second year in a row thanks to its ongoing efforts and results in Guyana, along with significant investments in Cyprus. The supermajor was exceptional, both in terms of discovered volumes and value creation from exploration," Palzor Shenga, a senior analyst on Rystad Energy's upstream team was quoted as saying.
The company discovered around 1.07 billion boe in additional net resources last year, with an estimated value of around $2.7 billion, the data showed.
"U.S. independent Hess and Chinese state player CNOOC [China National Offshore Oil Corporation] occupy the second and the third spots on the list of top explorers of 2019 in terms of value creation from new discoveries, with both benefiting from their partnership with ExxonMobil in Guyana’s Stabroek block," the statement read.
Hess added about $2 billion in value from new discoveries last year, while CNOOC had a value creation of about $1.8 billion.
Rystad Energy's data showed French energy giant Total took fourth place with about $873 million in value creation from its 2019 exploration activities.
"Total's value creation from exploration in 2019 was largely driven by the play-opening success with the Brulpadda find in South Africa," Shenga said.
- BP marks largest single discovery last year
While the first four companies formed the highest values from oil and discoveries in 2019, BP's Orca gas field off the coast of Mauritania was recorded both as the largest single discovery and the deepest-water find of last year.
The field is estimated to hold about 1.3 billion boe of recoverable resources, Rystad estimated.
In Russia, Gazprom announced two discoveries in the Kara Sea; Dinkov in the Rusanovsky block and Nyarmeyskoye in the Nyarmeysky block, according to the statement.
Rystad Energy predicted that Gazprom’s 2019 discoveries hold combined recoverable resources of around 1.5 billion boe, with Dinkov ranked as the second-largest find in 2019 worldwide.
Shenga noted that many of 2019’s high-impact wells turned out to be duds.
"Although the discovered volumes for 2019 surpassed the preceding year, it was a disappointing year for high-profile wells as many prospects with significant estimated pre-drill resources failed to deliver. Over 10 billion barrels of estimated pre-drill volumes were at stake in wells that failed to encounter hydrocarbons," he noted.
In 2020, Rystad Energy said it expects the rising trend of recent years in global discovered volumes to continue, with the list of upcoming wildcats including several high-impact wells along with some promising probes delayed from 2019.
By Nuran Erkul Kaya