Exploration managers commonly base future drilling decisions on past experience in an area. To do this well, they should consider both discovered and undiscovered resources to characterize total future potential. Discovery-size estimates should be adjusted to account for future field growth; otherwise, the relative efficiency of recent exploration will be undervalued.
This study models and projects field growth for pre-1997 discoveries in the U.S. Federal Gulf of Mexico (GOM) Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). Projected additions to reserves for these fields from field growth through 2020 are 5.2 billion bbl of oil and 46 Tcfg. Projections include growth associated with sizable new oil discoveries in deepwater areas and initial reserve additions from new subsalt plays discovered through 1996.
This article focuses on the U.S. GOM because it has produced longer than other worldwide offshore areas. Its field-growth profile may be prototypical of other offshore provinces such as the North Sea, Scotian Shelf and deepwater Angola, as well as high-cost onshore areas.
Additional publication details
Growth in conventional fields in high-cost areas: a case study