Rare Run Of Oil Finds Is Little Respite For Price-Hit Explorers
LONDON, May 29 (Reuters) - Exploration firms have made a rare run of oil and gas discoveries in recent weeks as more targeted search strategies bear fruit, but they offer little respite to a sector that remains severely bruised by the oil price slump.
Global exploration and production (E&P) companies that scour frontier lands and seas in search of new energy reserves have had meagre success in recent years, putting many under pressure before a near halving of oil prices since last June.
Seven successful discoveries with potential to become commercial have been made so far in 2015 by explorers ranging from independents such as Premier Oil to majors including ExxonMobil, according to Anish Kapadia, Managing Director, International Upstream Research at Tudor, Pickering Holt and Co (TPH) investment bank.
Of the seven, all but one were made in the second quarter of the year.
By contrast, Last year saw a total of 10 new well discoveries, of which only 2 are estimated to be commercially viable, based on the TPH "Top 50ish" wells index.
"We haven't had 6 discoveries in a single quarter for a long time," Kapadia said.
"This year people are drilling a lot less as exploration spending has fallen sharply, so companies are focusing on higher quality projects," Kapadia said.
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