Jordan Blum – Houston Chronicle – Exxon Mobil led the way with new finds off the coasts of Guyana and Cyprus as global oil and gas discoveries in 2019 hit a four-year high, according to a new report.
Energy companies discovered about 12.2 billion barrels of oil equivalent in 2019 — the highest since nearly 20 billion barrels in 2015 — from more than 25 discoveries of at least 100 million barrels each and mostly from international drilling offshore, according to the Norwegian research firm Rystad Energy. And Rystad believes that new discoveries in 2020 will exceed the volumes found last year.
Irving-based Exxon Mobil made four new discoveries off the coast of the small South American nation Guyana — adding to its tally of 15 finds in the country — and also made natural gas discoveries off of Cyprus in the eastern Mediterranean. Exxon also is exploring off of Egypt in the region.
Exxon Mobil started up its Guyana oil production in late December.
“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,” said Palzor Shenga, a senior analyst at Rystad. “The supermajor was exceptional, both in terms of discovered volumes and value creation from exploration.”
Exxon’s finds account for 9 percent of the global oil and gas discovered in 2019. London-based Tullow Oil also made new discoveries off of Guyana last year.
However, the single-largest discovery of 2019 came from the British energy major BP off the coast of Mauritania in northwestern Africa. BP is expected to build another liquefied natural gas hub in the region.
In Russia, Gazprom announced two discoveries in the Kara Sea — Dinkov in the Rusanovsky block and Nyarmeyskoye in the Nyarmeysky block. Rystad Energy estimates 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.
Other key offshore discoveries in 2019 include the French energy major Total’s find called Brulpadda in South Africa, the China National Offshore Oil Corp.’s Glengorm discovery in the United Kingdom’s portion of the North Sea, and Norway-based Equinor’s Sputnik find in the Norwegian sector of the Barents Sea.