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World holds 1.4 trillion boe in untapped oil and gas reserves

13th September 2013

Middle East, Latin America, North America and Africa hold most valuable undeveloped reserves, with combined potential value of nearly USD 600bn

World holds 1.4 trillion boe and “USD 760bn prize” of untapped oil and gas reserves
300 billion boe of undeveloped commercial reserves will be brought onstream in the next ten years

There are nearly 1.4 trillion barrels of oil equivalent (boe) reserves in conventional undeveloped oil and gas fields around the world, Wood Mackenzie’s latest upstream outlook says, with the Middle East, Latin America, North America and Africa identified as key E&P regions for future plays. 

 

The figure includes 1.1 trillion boe of "technical reserves" – reserves for which there are no firm development plans in place – that could yield an estimated USD 760bn of collective value.

 

“Over half of these discoveries which we classify as ‘good technicals’, are potentially economic under our current price assumptions.  These have an indicative collective value of ca. USD 760bn,” said David Highton, principal analyst of Upstream Research at Wood Mackenzie. 

 

According to the global energy research firm’s outlook, there is vast potential value from good technical fields across the world:

 

* Middle East = USD 185bn

* Latin America = USD 149bn

* North America = USD 132bn

* Africa = USD 125bn

* Russia & Caspian = USD 78bn

* Asia Pacific = USD 67bn

* Europe = USD 24bn

 

The Middle East holds the most valuable technical reserves, Wood Mackenzie says, followed by Latin America, North America and Africa. In the Middle East, Highton identified the giant North/South Pars gas field lying between Qatar and Iran as “the largest single technical reserve in the world”.

 

There are also around 300 billion boe of undeveloped commercial reserves which should be brought onstream in the next ten years or so, according to Wood Mackenzie’s outlook.

 

Technical fields face a range of challenges but are a key component of many company portfolios and a key opportunity set for companies looking to expand.  With sustained high oil and gas prices, advances in technology and stiff competition for quality opportunities, companies are looking to exploit the unfulfilled potential of these undeveloped resources.

 

For Highton, exploration of these resources will require “investment, technical expertise, patience and diligence, by companies of all sizes, to overcome the challenges”.