In 2015, the oil exploration has discovered 2.8 billion barrels of oil and related liquids, according to the consulting company IHS. According to The Financial Times, the lowest annual volume of explored fields since 1954, and it reflects a reduction in the pace of exploration works, held against the desire of oil companies to protect the funds.
Most of the new oil reserves were found in marine deep water. On average, prior to the start of production in these fields takes seven years, so reducing the results of oil exploration activities will lead to reduced supplies to the mid 2020-ies, writes the FT.
However, the declining pace of exploration does not mean that the world is running out of oil, the newspaper notes. So, according to the consulting company Wood Mackenzie, in recent years most of the increase world’s oil production was not new and already existing deposits. In addition, in the latest discovered fields there is a predominance of gas, not oil.
However, Wood Mackenzie believes that if the rate of discovery of new oil fields has not improved, it will create a shortage in world supplies of about 4.5 million barrels a day by 2035, which in turn may lead to higher prices for oil and to make the world more dependent on terrestrial deposits with the already known resource base.
The Executive Director of the world’s largest oilfield services company Schlumberger Fell Kibsgaard said in April that the attitude of exploration and production of oil is currently so serious that it can “only expedite the decline in production, and, consequently, to raise prices,” writes the FT.
The sharp drop in oil prices that began in the summer of 2014, has led to the fact that many oil companies were forced to cut back on their spending. Exploration in this case has suffered the most, since this type of expenditure does not involve short-term returns. So, ConocoPhillips refused to exploration on the continental shelf as a whole, and Chevron and several other companies have significantly reduced its volume.