Oil and Gas: Volume of Discoveries, by year
YearDiscoveries,
in billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe)
20235.0
20214.7
202012.5
201915.8
20189.9
201712.1
20167.9
201520.3
  • Region: Worldwide
  • Time period: 2015 to 2023
  • Published: Jan 2024

Data Analysis and Insights

Updated: Mar 27, 2024 | Published by: Statistico

Decline in Discoveries from 2015 to 2023

Global oil and gas discoveries experienced a significant decline, dropping from 20.3 billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe) in 2015 to 5.0 billion boe in 2023. This decrease highlights a trend towards fewer large-scale discoveries in the energy sector over the period.

Record High in 2015

The year 2015 marked a record high with 20.3 billion boe discovered, indicating a peak period of exploration success not matched in subsequent years.

Volatility in Annual Discoveries

Discoveries have been highly volatile, with a notable peak of 15.8 billion boe in 2019 and a low of 4.7 billion boe in 2021, demonstrating the unpredictable nature of oil and gas exploration outcomes.

Trend Towards Decline in Recent Years

The last three years have seen a consistent decline in discoveries, with 12.5 billion boe in 2020, 4.7 billion boe in 2021, and 5.0 billion boe in 2023, indicating a downward trend in successful exploration activities.

Comparison of Peaks and Troughs

The highest discovery volume after 2015 was in 2019, with 15.8 billion boe, whereas the lowest volume after 2015 was in 2021, with only 4.7 billion boe. This comparison highlights the significant fluctuations in annual discovery volumes.

Average Discoveries Analysis

The average annual discovery from 2015 to 2023 is approximately 9.8 billion boe, reflecting the overall exploration success rate during this period.

Frequently Asked Questions

What has been the trend in global oil and gas discoveries?

Global oil and gas discoveries saw a significant decline from 20.3 billion boe in 2015 to 5.0 billion boe in 2023.

Which year marked the peak period of exploration success?

The year 2015 marked the peak of exploration success with 20.3 billion boe discovered.

Terms and Definitions

This refers to a global industry responsible for the exploration, extraction, refining, transportation, and marketing of petroleum products, which are crucial sources of energy and chemical raw materials. The primary products of this industry are gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, heating oil, and natural gases.

In the context of oil and gas, volume of discoveries refers to the quantity of new oil and gas reserves found in a particular period, often expressed in barrels for oil and cubic feet or meters for gas. Each discovery signifies a new location where oil or gas has been found in commercially viable quantities, although further exploration and testing are usually needed to confirm the size and viability of these reserves.

Reserves refer to the known quantity of oil and gas that can be technically and economically extracted from the subterranean deposits. They are classified into proven (high certainty of extraction), probable (50% certainty), and possible (low certainty) reserves based on the confidence level of their recoverability.

This is the process of searching for new deposits of oil and gas. It involves geophysical surveys such as seismic testing, exploratory drilling of wells, and evaluation of geological and geophysical data to determine the presence, size, and recoverability of deposits.

This is the process of removing oil and gas from underground reserves once they've been discovered and deemed commercially viable. This usually involves drilling wells into the reserves and using various methods to bring the oil or gas to the surface.

Once oil is extracted, it must be refined into usable products. Refining is the process by which crude oil is transformed into different petroleum products, including gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, heating oil, and other chemical raw materials.

This is a type of drilling done to gather information about the subsurface layers in a particular area. While not all exploratory drilling results in the discovery of oil or gas reserves, the data obtained during this type of drilling is crucial for understanding the geological characteristics of potential reservoirs and their likelihood of containing commercially viable reserves.

This is a common geophysical survey method that uses the principles of seismology to create detailed images of the Earth's subsurface formations. It involves inducing shock waves into the ground and recording their reflections to identify the structures and characteristics of geological layers that might contain oil or gas reserves.
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