--> ABSTRACT: World-Wide Deep Water Exploration and Production: Past, Present and Future, by H. Pettingill and P. Weimer; #90906(2001)

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H. Pettingill1 and P. Weimer2

1Repsol YPF, Madrid, Spain
2University of Colorado, Boulder, CO

ABSTRACT: World-Wide Deep Water Exploration and Production: Past, Present and Future

This paper summarizes the reserves and geological trends of deep water Exploration and Production as of January 2001, using data compiled from public information sources.

Deep water (>500m) is an immature frontier, with approximately 53 BBOE discovered from 18 basins on 6 continents. Over half of this total has been discovered since 1995, however only about 25% of the total resources are developed or currently under development, and less than 5% produced. Most reserves have been found in the Gulf of Mexico, Brazil, and West Africa. Published estimates for reserves remaining to be found in deep water are 100-150 BBOE.

The global deep water success rate was about 10% up until 1985, but has since averaged approximately 30%, driven by remarkable success in the Gulf of Mexico and West Africa. Success rates have been highest in West Africa and lowest in Asia. In the lower Congo basin, the geological success rate over the past few years has exceeded 80%.

28 giant discoveries (>500 mmboe recoverable) have been made in deep water. Of the 58 giants of the decade 1990-1999 that were true wildcats, roughly one third were found in deep water (Pettingill, in review). Whereas the total number of giant fields discovered worldwide in recent decades has leveled off, the discovery rate of deep water giants is rapidly increasing. Associated deep water giant reserves are approximately 67% oil, compared to 34% oil for all giants of the same time period.

Whereas OPEC accounts for almost 80% of the world's current oil reserves (BP Statistical Review of World Energy, 2000), it accounts for only 14% of the deep water oil reserves, all of which are from the waters of Nigeria and Indonesia. OECD countries, on the other hand, while accounting for only 8% of current oil reserves, hold 27% of current deep water oil reserves discovered to date. In terms of gas, the OECD accounts for 73% of the deep water “reserves” reported to date, as opposed to only 9% of the total current gas reserves. Therefore, deep water is a frontier with relatively more resources for the OECD, particularly in terms of gas.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90906©2001 AAPG Annual Convention, Denver, Colorado