Saturday, January 08, 2011

2010 Was a Very Good Year for New Oil Finds


Last year was a really good year for new oil discoveries, there were at least 14 major oil discoveries in Brazil alone totaling 13.5 to 26.7 billion barrels, here's a list below:

1. Well OGX-4-RUS: 100-200 million barrels – February

2. Well 1-OGX-3-RJS: 500-900 million barrels - February

3. Well 4-PM-53: 25 million barrels – February

4. Additions to Barracuda: 65 million barrels - February

5. Maastrichtian section of Well OGX-5:  30-90 million barrels February

6. Piranema: 15 million barrels - March

7. Wahoo: 300 million barrels - April

8. Franco: 4.5 billion barrels - May

9. Pipeline and Etna: - 1.4-2.6 billion barrels - May

10. Waimea and Fuji: 600 million-1.1 billion barrels - May

11. Carimbe: 105 million barrels - May

12. Brava: 380 million barrels - June

13. Libra: 3.7-15 billion barrels - October

14. Cernambi field at Iracema: 1.8 billion barrels -December

In addition, there were more than 30 billion barrels discovered in other parts of the world in 2010, including Iran, Russia, Norway (more), Mexico, Ghana, Iraq, U.S. (Texas, ND and Montana and Colorado), Falkland Islands, U.K., Angola (more) and Oman, bringing the total of new recoverable oil discoveries in 2010 to around 50 billion barrels.  Brazil was the clear leader in 2010, with the oil found there representing up to half of all new global oil discoveries in 2010.  With oil now selling now at close to $90 per barrel, we can expect even more discoveries in 2011.  


6 Comments:

At 1/08/2011 11:42 AM, Blogger Junkyard_hawg1985 said...

Last year we consumed around 86 million barrels of oil per day which calculates to around 31 billion barrels per year. If we discovered 50 billion barrels last year, it looks like we may have to postpone peak oil for yet another year.

 
At 1/09/2011 12:47 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

If we discovered 50 billion barrels last year, it looks like we may have to postpone peak oil for yet another year.

No, it does not. The problem still comes down to the ability to produce oil after the energy cost of oil is accounted for. We can't replace 31 billion barrels of oil of production (today) that requires one barrel used for ten barrels produced with 50 billion barrels of discovery that will be produced may years into the future at a cost of 6 barrels for each 10 barrels produced.

Mark's optimism is very predictable but is very misguided in this particular case. While a solution will come it will probably appear from some breakthrough that is still off the radar screen. If those breakthroughs come the discoveries that Mark is hyping will turn out to be big money losers for the people that invested into them. If they are not big money losers it means that we will be traveling down the back end of Hubbert's Peak and that things are so dire that such marginal properties are considered worthwhile.

 
At 1/09/2011 12:58 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

I forgot to add this little bit of perspecitve:

http://gailtheactuary.files.wordpress.com/2007/03/oil-discoveries.jpeg

 
At 1/10/2011 12:55 PM, Blogger Junkyard_hawg1985 said...

Vangel,

I disagree with your assessment for two reason. First, for the oil to be added to reserves, it must already be economically viable to extract. Often new discoveries may be 1 billion barrels, but only half considered economically viable. The discovery shows up as a reserve of 500 million barrels in this case. The list Mark showed was of new discoveries. It does not include the continued growth in extractable reserves from previous old discoveries that should have been long ago depleted but are now "marginal" properties because of improvements in technology.

The second issue I have is this. You are correct that we need to account for the energy required to produce the oil (this is my big gripe with ethanol). What is missing from your accounting is that the 31 billion barrels produced last year INCLUDED the amount of energy required to produce those barrels of oil. So what really matters in this case is not the energy required to produce those barrels, but the net energy difference to produce those barrels that was not required before. Offshore oil like Mark described tends to have good pressure (see BP well blow-out for example) so the energy input is not 60% like you suggest.

 
At 1/12/2011 4:38 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

I disagree with your assessment for two reason. First, for the oil to be added to reserves, it must already be economically viable to extract. Often new discoveries may be 1 billion barrels, but only half considered economically viable.

But that is the problem; we don't have enough data to make any call on how much oil can be produced. This is the usual trick by the promoters who work for oil companies. They announce a discovery and after a log time when the evaluation wells have been drilled we find that most of the announced find has to be written down.

The list Mark showed was of new discoveries. It does not include the continued growth in extractable reserves from previous old discoveries that should have been long ago depleted but are now "marginal" properties because of improvements in technology.

Let me be clear here. There will be a time when someone will find a way to inject some additive that allows a bit more oil to be extracted. While that would be expensive it could still be economic and some reserves could increase in value. But the problem that we have has to do with timing and depletion. Nothing that Mark has announced will change reality. As for other 'new technologies,' they have been used for decades to get more oil faster out of existing fields. That makes the tail end of the curve a bigger problem to overcome.

 
At 1/12/2011 4:40 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

So what really matters in this case is not the energy required to produce those barrels, but the net energy difference to produce those barrels that was not required before. Offshore oil like Mark described tends to have good pressure (see BP well blow-out for example) so the energy input is not 60% like you suggest.

That is another problem. The new oil added to the market is not as the same quality as the light sweet it has displaced. That means two things. One is a lower return on the energy invested. Another is a different mix of the end products produced from that oil. You get less gasoline and kerosine per new barrel, which means that you have to produce more of them just to stay in the same place.

 

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