Oil and gas discoveries in 2019 are on track to hit 10 billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe), same as last year, but still lowest in decades, said Norwegian consultancy Rystad Energy in a report.
Russia has seen the most discovered resources so far this year, with the discovery of two new fields holding around 1.5 billion boe of recoverable resources in the Yamal Peninsula, Siberia, said Rystad.
Guyana and Cyprus nab the other places on the podium, the research firm added.
The so-called resource replacement ratio for conventional resources – oil and gas that can be extracted through traditional drilling – now stands around 16 percent, which is the lowest seen in recent history, says Rystad.
“This means that only one barrel out of every six consumed is being replaced by new sources. This is the lowest replacement ratio we have witnessed in the last two decades,” Palzor Shenga, senior analyst said.
The Caribbean is the only bright spot.
ExxonMobil’s Stabroek block offshore Guyana and discoveries by other operators have led to a surge in offshore exploration in the Caribbean.
“We estimate the annual number of wells drilled could increase slightly to 25 wells in 2020, as more operators join the Caribbean exploration circuit,” said Santosh Kumar, an exploration analyst on Rystad’s upstream team.
The numbers do not include US and Canadian shale resources, a key driver in supply growth in recent years.