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Poll: Where will the biggest Oil & Gas resources be based?



As unconventional oil discoveries overtake conventional resources, traditional predictions within the Oil & Gas industry are changing, making it harder to say where the next big oil discoveries are likely to be made.

Everyone has their own theories, so we want to know what the EngineeringPro community think. Have your say on the future of Oil & Gas discoveries in this week’s poll:

New discoveries of conventional resources are fewer and smaller than ever. The peak of conventional resource discoveries occurred in the late 1960s at around 55 billion barrels. Since then, oil majors have resorted to increasingly difficult and thus expensive resource plays to top up their reserves.

Hence the rise of unconventional resources:

  1. Deepwater
  2. Shale formations

This has changed the way operators look for new opportunities, opening up areas that previously weren’t considered.

Deepwater FPSO projects are a major source of unconventional oil resources
(Image via Wikipedia)


Global deepwater production has been primarily focused on the middle and south sections of the Atlantic Ocean, but the resources spread much further globally. There are five basin groups that comprise the main global deepwater oil and gas discoveries. The Atlantic Ocean groups have seen giant discoveries around Brazil, West Africa and the Gulf of Mexico, as well as gas discoveries in the northern part of the Atlantic Ocean around the west coast of Norway.

The East African continental margin is home to a group of giant gas fields in the Rovuma Basin and Tanzania Basin.

Giant discoveries of oil and gas have been concentrated in the South China Sea and Southeast Asian waters.

The deepwater basins of the Neo-Tethys Region have proved rich in gas from discoveries on the northwest shelf of Australia and the eastern Meditteranean.

Major discoveries in the Barents Sea suggest further basins around the Arctic pole.

Over the next 3-5 years we will certainly see much greater deepwater development in all of these areas, but we may also find newer discoveries made in other waters.


The US is the leading developer of shale formations (in large because it reached the peak of its own conventional oil production in the mid-1970s). Dominated at present by independent operators, the US shale market is being gradually taken over by the majors. This trend is predominantly driven by the need for the majors to buy proved reserves to satisfy their shareholders.

Shale development is also being explored in Argentina, China, the UK and parts of Eastern Europe.

Have your say

Unconventional resources open up opportunities for both onshore and offshore discovery. With new developments creating jobs in areas such as Africa, South America and the USA, we want to know where you think the next major Oil & Gas boom will take place. Have your say in the poll above, or leave a comment below.

The results and best comments will be published on Monday 14th October and featured in next week’s EngineeringPro newsletter.

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Poll: Where will the biggest Oil & Gas resources be based? - Time to read 3 min
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