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Trends and Predictions for Giant Oil and Gas Field Discoveries, 2000–2019


We have updated our compilation of giant oil and gas fields of the world for the period of 2000 to 2014 using over 1400 articles and reports. During this decade and half of observation, 185 new giants bring the total number of the world's giants discovered from 1868 to 2014 to 1063. Of these 187 newly discovered giants, 90 are oil giants and 85 are gas giants and 12 combination oil and gas giants. 137 were discovered offshore while 48 were discovered onshore. Of the 137 offshore giants, 67 are gas, 60 are oil and 10 are a combination of both oil and gas. Of the 48 onland giants, 22 are gas, 24 are oil and 2 are combinations. The tectonic settings of the newly discovered giants closely follow a pattern we described in 2003 for pre-2000 giant discoveries. The majority of the 2000–2014 discoveries are found along continental passive margins fronting major ocean basins (18 in West Africa, 13 in the Gulf of Mexico, 13 in East Africa, 8 in the Persian Gulf, 7 in the Mediterranean Sea, 20 in Brazil, and 9 in Sunda). Far fewer giants were found on continental and arc collision margins (14 in the Persian Gulf, 6 in the Caspian Sea and 4 in China), and rift and inverted rift settings (11 in the Caspian Sea, 9 in Siberia, 8 in the Barents Sea and 6 in North Africa). We predict that the decade 2010–2019 is on track to be the fourth highest giant discovery decade since 1868 with 117 new giants added. Emerging giant clusters - defined as areas with new giant discoveries in areas that previously lacked giants - include the passive margins of East Africa and the eastern Mediterranean Sea.