22 September 2017, Sweetcrude, Lagos — The actual volume of conventional oil discoveries across the globe has halved over the past four years, Secretary-General, Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, Mohammed Barkindo has said.
He made the statement during the week at a dinner at the Oxford Energy Seminar, Oxford University, Oxford, UK.
While addressing the gathering on ‘Reflection on Recent Market Challenges’, the OPEC chief said oil discoveries have dropped by half compared to the previous four-year period.
Barkindo’s statement was also supported in April by the International Energy Agency, IEA.
According to the group, global oil discoveries fell to a record low in 2016 as companies continued to cut spending and conventional oil projects sanctioned were at the lowest level in more than 70 years, warning that both trends could continue this year.
Oil discoveries declined to 2.4 billion barrels in 2016, compared with an average of 9 billion barrels per year over the past 15 years, according to IEA.
Meanwhile, the volume of conventional resources sanctioned for development last year fell to 4.7 billion barrels, 30% lower than the previous year as the number of projects that received a final investment decision dropped to the lowest level since the 1940s.
This sharp slowdown in activity in the conventional oil sector was the result of reduced investment spending driven by low oil prices.