Continental Focus, International Reach

Gabon Makes List of Top 10 Discovered Resources

Monday, January 7, 2019

Although it is still early in the new year, numbers are being calculated in the industry to rank 2018’s standing for oil and gas exploration successes. According to  Rystad Energy, as of mid-December, 2018 stood as the best year for global oil and gas exploration since 2015. Rystad, an independent energy research and business intelligence company, said it expected 2018 to surpass 9.4 billion boe in discovered resources by the end of 2018.

Of the resources discovered during 2018, 82% of them were made offshore.

It should be no surprise to those who stay up to date on the global industry scene that Guyana came in as number one in resources discovered. Guyana was followed by Russia and then the US on the list of the top 10. What is surprising is that Africa only had one entrant in the top 10 and it was not one of the nations that have been making the news with new major discoveries.

In fact, the country making the list has a long history of producing and is currently on the downward trend as its resources shrink. Gabon came in as the country with the ninth biggest resources discovered in 2018. According to Rystad, Gabon had 203 million boe in discovered resources. Over 2018 the most notable discoveries for Gabon were made by Petronas, Repsol, and BW Offshore.

Petronas hit in early 2018 with the drilling of the Boudji-1 exploration well on the Likuale Block. The well encountered both oil and gas while drilling. The ultra-deepwater exploration well, drilled in water depths of 2,800 meters, encountered 90 meters of gross high-quality hydrocarbon-bearing pre-salt sands. Repsol hit with the drilling of the Ivela-1 exploration well in the Lower Congo Basin, in Luna Muetse (E13) Block. Repsol, partnered with Woodside hit when they intersected a 78-meter gross oil column while drilling.

BW Offshore made multiple discoveries over 2018 on the Dussafu License’s Tortue field. The company hit with the DTM-3, DTM-3H, and the DRNEM-1 appraisal well. The well encountered 40 meters of pay in the Gamba and Dentale formations in the original wellbore. An appraisal side-track was drilled approximately 800 meters north-west of the original wellbore and encountered 34 meters of pay in the Gamba and Dentale formation.

Rystad expects the global discovery trend to continue, saying in a statement: “We at Rystad expect this discovery trend to continue into 2019 with many promising high-impact wells targeting vast potential,” said Palzor Shenga, senior analyst on Rystad Energy’s Upstream team.

2018 has also seen a significant uptick in the reserve replacement ratio to around 15% from 11% in 2017. “Global exploration activity and discoveries have halted their year-after-year decline and look set to rise in the next year. This as an exciting recovery which runs contrary to a decline in global exploration spending from 2014 to 2017,” Shenga added.