Guyana and one of its partners on technical cooperation for energy, Mexico, will attract the most investment for 2019. This is according to Andrew Latham, the Vice President of Global Exploration at Wood Mackenzie.
Latham said, “The Americas will receive a lot of attention this year. In fact, the Latin American plays account for one third of global large and giant prospects scheduled for drilling in 2019. This region will also see one-third of the potential play-opening wells. Exceptional reservoirs in Guyana and Mexico will attract the most investment. We expect billion-barrel scale volumes from these emerging and newly-proven plays, as has been the case in the last couple of years.”
The Wood Mackenzie Analyst reminded that it was only a few years ago that the exploration sector was in the red. Thanks to the prolific basins in the Americas, it has returned to being in the black. He said, too, that it is keen to stay there, since oil and gas explorers’ disciplined approach to exploration in key areas is set to continue this year.
Latham said, “We are seeing a long-overdue recovery in the sector. Last year, conventional exploration returns hit 13 percent – the highest calculated in more than a decade. This is as a result of success in places like Guyana, Mexico and even Brazil. As 2018’s discoveries are appraised and projects move through the development cycle, we expect these economics to improve further.”
In 2018, exploration added at least 10.5 billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe) resources in new field volumes. This was split 40:60 oil to gas, the Woodmac Analyst said.
Latham added, “These volumes are currently the lowest for several decades, but we expect they will increase, due to further disclosure and appraisal.