Continental Focus, International Reach

Gas is King in H1 2019

Sunday, August 18, 2019

The first half of 2019 saw a substantial increase in drilling activity over the same period from 2018 according to Douglass Westwood. The analyst firm said that high-impact exploration drilling activity saw 51 exploration wells completed, compared to 36 in the same period in 2018.

While some oil discoveries were made, the majority of the successes were natural gas.

Douglass Westwood also said that H1 2019 saw a higher commercial success rate compared to 2017 and 2018, with 2019 coming in at 37% so far compared to around 27% for the previous two years.

16 discoveries estimated to be larger than 100 mmboe have already been made in H1, with the largest discoveries all being gas at Dinkov (~14 Tcf) and Nyarmeyskoye (4.3 Tcf) in the Kara Sea offshore Russia, and Glaucus (4.5 Tcf) in the Eastern Mediterranean offshore Cyprus. The largest oil discoveries are considered to be at Yellowtail and Tilapia offshore Guyana, both at more than 300 million barrels.

The report revealed that 18 frontier play tests were completed in H1 with only one potential commercial play opener, at the Brulpadda-1AX well in the Outeniqua Basin offshore South Africa. High-impact emerging play exploration was dominated by the Upper Cretaceous Liza play offshore Guyana, the Pliocene deepwater clastic play offshore Trinidad and the Cretaceous gas play in the South Kara Sea. High-impact success was also seen in maturing/mature plays, including ENI’s prolific Block 15/06 offshore Angola (Agidigbo and Agogo) and at CNOOC’s Glengorm discovery in the Central N Sea.

H2 is expected to see around 35-40 high impact exploration wells, according to Douglas Westwood, resulting in more than 85 for the year, a ~35% increase on 2018 levels. The firm estimates that a total of ~10 billion boe could be found by the end of the year, delivering the highest volumes from high-impact exploration since 2015.

Drilling in maturing and mature plays is expected to drive the increase in the well count with the frontier program expected to remain roughly in line with 2018, at around 32 frontier wells