Guest Post: The Top Oil Finds Of 2013

Tyler Durden's picture

Originally posted at,

Last year was a record one for major new discoveries, and 2013 has so far demonstrated that the road to discovery still has plenty of mileage. The past two months alone have netted new finds in Egypt, a flurry of promising exploration results in East and West Africa, some important moves toward commercial viability in Kenya, more gas in the North Sea, an unexpected junior discovery in Brazil—and of course, more gains in Texas.

Riding high on a year of brilliant discoveries, companies are drilling deeper and expanding exploration like never before and sure enough as we have been vociferously discussing, Africa is increasingly the focus of developed nations' resource hunting.

These are the top finds for January and February that should be on your radar:

•    Eni finds new oil in Egypt’s Western Desert
•    Maersk makes a new pre-salt discovery offshore Angola
•    Sonatrach finds a new oil field and gas deposit in beleaguered Libya
•    Tullow moves toward commercial viability in Kenya
•    TAQA and Fairfield Energy find two columns of oil in the North Sea
•    Karoon Gas Australia hits light oil offshore Brazil
•    Fossil Oil finds new gas/condensate reserves in Texas

Egypt: Untapped Potential in Western Desert

Italy’s Eni on 8 February announced a new discovery in its NFW Rosa North 1X well in the Meleiha Concession in Egypt’s Western Desert. The well encountered a total oil pay of around 80 meters in multiple good-quality sandstones of the Bahariya, Alam El Bueib, Khatatba (Upper & Lower Safa Members) and Ras Qattara reservoirs. Reservoir flow has been successfully tested. This is Eni’s attempt to seek deeper oil sources in Egypt’s Western Desert, and the recent discovery will lead to the drilling of two additional wells this year.

Production at the Rosa North field is predicted to reach 5,000 bopd in the first half of this year. Western Desert potential has been boosted over the past year, with another sizable discovery in May 2012 in the Emry Deep field (also by Eni). Emry Deep is now producing 18,000 bopd.

In total, Eni is producing over 50,000 boe/d in six different concessions in Egypt’s Western Desert.

In 2010, Eni started oil production in its Arcadia field in Egypt’s Western Desert. Production began only 45 days after the discovery of oil in the well. The Arcadia 1X well is also in Eni’s Meleiha Concession.

The Meleiha Concession is managed by a group led by EniSPA, and includes Lukoil Overseas (24%), Mitsul & Co. (20%), and Eni’s International Egyptian Oil co (56%). Agiba, a joint-operating company owned by IEOC (40%), Mitsui (10%), and EGPC (50%), is the operator of the Rosa North project.


Angola: Mounting Finds Set Stage for Nigeria Challenge

In late January, Maersk Oil (Denmark) announced a new presalt discovery in the deepwater fields of Angola in Block 16 in the Lower Congo/Namibe Basin. The discovery came in the Caprolo-1 exploration well, which Maersk owns in partnership with Odebrecht (Brazil) and Angolan national oil company Sonangol. Production tests resulted in a flow rate of 3,000 b/d.

This same group found more than 3,000 b/d in the Azul-1 well in the Kwanza Basin in September. In February 2012, Cobalt International struck oil in the Kwanza Basin, estimating 1.5 billion barrels and setting off a flurry of renewed interest in Angola.

What’s important here is that the first two deepwater wells explored have resulted in discoveries.

Angola offered exploration licenses for pre-salt blocks in 2011 based on one-on-one negotiations with select companies. A new round of licensing for onshore blocks, however, will be based on open auctioning and small and medium-sized companies will be allowed to bid.



Libya: More Discoveries in Africa’s Largest Play and Biggest Security Concern

Libya announced on 14 February that Algeria’s state-owned Sonatrach had discovered an oil field and a new gas deposit in the Ghadames Basin in Areas 95/96, in the country’s southeast. Drilling here began in October 2012. This new find represents Sonatrach’s fourth since it relaunched exploration in June 2012. 

The new oil field has an estimated capacity of 8,200 b/d, while the gas deposit is about 1.7 million cubic meters per day. 

As foreign oil and gas companies rethink their presence in Libya amid an intensifying security crisis, the Libyan government is keen to promote its future oil and gas potential. At stake is Libya’s standing as the second largest exporter of oil in Africa (behind Nigeria). Libya has the largest reserves on the continent.



Kenya: Moving Slowly Toward Commercial Viability

This year is crucial for Kenya, riding high on major discoveries by Tullow Oil (UK) last year. Now it’s all about proving commercial viability. The second week in February, Tullow announced its first commercial flow rate, saying that 2,351 barrels of oil per day will flow from its northern Kenyan well (Twiga-South-1).

Tullow has completed four flow tests on its Twiga South-1 well and a fifth test is currently in process. “These tests provide the first potentially commercial flow rates achieved in Kenya and provide real encouragement for the Ngamia test,” Tullow said in a statement.

This is a good sign for Kenya, but there’s still some way to go. The country will need at least 85 wells like its first massive Turkana find in order to compete with neighboring Uganda (1,300 similar wells to compete with Nigeria). Tullow Oil and partners plan to begin production by 2015.  

(In the meantime, an auction is in the works. The Kenyan Energy Ministry is demarcating nine new onshore and offshore blocks for another round of licensing. This next auction will be conducted under proper auction-style terms rather than the “first-come-first serve” style of licensing of the past.)


North Sea: New Discovery Points to Promising Potential

Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA) and partner Fairfield Energy on 17 February announced a new discovery in the northern North Sea, where drilling began in November at the Darwin field. The discovery of two columns of oil goes some way to demonstrate the North Sea potential.

TAQA is riding high on the North Sea right now and has agreed to acquire some of BP Plc’s assets in the area for $1.06 billion.



Brazil: Australian Junior Hits Unexpected Discovery

Karoon Gas Australia Ltd in late January discovered light oil at the Eocene level in its Kargaroo-1 exploratory well in the Santos basin offshore Brazil. The well is located on the S-M-1101 and S-M-1165 blocks just west of other deepwater presalt discoveries in the same basin. The well has been drilled to a depth of 3,049 meters.

This is a propitious discovery for Karoon (and 35% interest partner Pacific Rubiales Energy Corp. of Toronto) because the well was not the company’s primary target. Its primary targets were the Emu-1 and Bilby-1 wells in the Santos basin in blocks S-M-1102 and S-M-1137, the company’s second and third wells to be drilled.


Texas: Fossil Oil Makes Gains in Cook Mountain, Buda and Georgetown

Fossil Oil Company LLC announced on 8 February that it had discovered new gas/condensate reserves in first drilling in the Cook Mountain well in Liberty Co. Texas, and in a dual-stacked horizontal well in the Buda and Georgetown formations in Brazos Co. Texas.

The Cook Mountain Bandit-1 well is a 15,000 foot-deep Yegua Sand formation. Testing measured gas volume of over 2 million cubic feet of gas/day and nearly 300 barrels of condensate/day. In the Buda and Georgetown formations, the Gary Bryant-1H well is a 9,200 foot vertical well in which oil and gas has flowed throughout the drilling process. Pipelines are currently being built in both areas.

Iran: 2 Billion Barrels in Discoveries Since Early 2012?

The Iranian government in late January announced the discovery of new oil and gas fields along its borders with Iraq and Turkmenistan that contain “massive” reserves. In total, Iran claims to have discovered some 2 billion barrels of oil since March 2012.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
CPL's picture

Don't post images as direct links from your mailchimp account.  Try an image hosting place that allows direct embedding.

RockyRacoon's picture

Many problems solved with prisoner labor.  Who needs oil anyway?

EnglishMajor's picture

Wouldn't it be more accurate to say, "Iran discovers just under a one month supply of world oil since early 2012"?

true brain's picture

I hear you EnglishMajor. This is news? A few drops of oil, not enough for my Hummer let alone changing world oil price by one fiat cent. Snooze, move on.

Bicycle Repairman's picture

This is a joke, right?  All the oil was discovered years ago.  We've run out of super-processed dinosaur goo.  What passes for oil now is coal slurry plus wood chips plus ethanol plus gravy master.  And, no, you cannot eat it, either.

Remember, your next tank of gas might be your last, so be thankful for what you have.

MillionDollarBonus_'s picture

If peak oilers expect oil stocks and crude futures to carry then into the higher echelons of society, then I'm afraid they're in for a rude awakening. Green energies are already starting to replace fossil fuels as a viable form of energy. Wind farms, for example, are staring to appear everywhere. There are pictures of wind farms on almost all the green promotional literature. That's telling you something important about the reality of green technologies. Ignore this at your own peril.

Ralph Spoilsport's picture

Equally important is the New Age music that accompanies the green ads on TV and radio. I can easily visualize the unicorns and skittles.

EscapeKey's picture

My car has solar panels installed on its roof. In sunshine, it almost creates sufficient energy to make it actually move.

It's really good downhill, though.

r3phl0x's picture

MDB underscore, keep up the good fight - that post was hilarious.


thisandthat's picture

Ironically, wind farms are starting to be shut down, also: in Portugal, at least one farm was ordered shut by courts after neighboring residents sued on health concerns; first they ordered the closest towers shut, then the whole farm.

Nice trolling - move along, now.

MillionDollarBonus_'s picture

If peak oilers expect oil stocks and crude futures to carry then into the higher echelons of society, then I'm afraid they're in for a rude awakening. Green energies are already starting to replace fossil fuels as a viable form of energy. Wind farms, for example, are staring to appear everywhere. There are pictures of wind farms on almost all the green promotional literature. That's telling you something important about the reality of green technologies. Ignore this at your own peril.

Jack Sheet's picture

.. and you need a triple post to make your point? Shove it up your solar panel !

Irelevant's picture

Peak oil is not a movement, its a mathematical certainty. This rock is finite, as such so are all the resources on earth - FINITE. Water, oil, fish, fertile land. You need to educate yourself!

All the technology in the world will not create EROEI. The world we live in is built on the EROEI of that Saudi oil, sometimes 100 to 1. The EROEI of that tight oil in the Bakken is 6 to 1. So, do some exercise, 100 to 1, 6 to 1, 100 to 1, 6 to 1, what is the energy ”profit”?

TPTB_r_TBTF's picture

The Earth is not finite.  It is continually growing as its gravity field snares new material.  The problem is: our planet has to compete with the larger gravitational field of Jupiter and with all the other planets for the bits and pieces scattered all through the solar system.

Plus they have found that when they add bacteria to the chemtrails, that water can be harvested from the sky.

Totentänzerlied's picture

Technically true, in a meaningless on-a-geologic-timescale-only way. Knowing that new oil wells may be formed a million or 50 million years hence leaves oil as a finite, non-renewable resource on human timescales.

thisandthat's picture

IF oil is fossil (debated), then it's being constantly formed at every moment since the beginning of life, and well past it's eventual end, and may well be infinite on a human scale, depending on the rate of (re)generation... If it's not, then the same applies.

IcantstopthinkingaboutNINJAs's picture

Where are the factories located that produce "green energy" wind mills and solar panels?

How are these factories powered?

What is the source of energy used to deliver the finished "green energy" goods to their location to be installed?

What type of energy is used to get the materials to create the "green energy" raw materials out of the Earth?


Your definition of viable... not viable.



We're not quite there yet.  I believe what we will see is something more akin to what we already have regarding energy infrastructure: Ie: the energy is created in locations that have a comparative advantage in creating that energy.  The energy would then be stored in a yet-to-be-commercially-viable storage medium for final delivery to point of energy use.  Empty storage mediums are exchanged for full ones where the empty storage mediums will be returned to a charging station as described above.


The problem is the yet-to-be-commercially-viable storage medium isn't here yet.  I'm thinking low temperature, high energy density salt batteries.


It also doesn't make much sense to create energy, deliver it, then turn it into heat.  Heat should be stored as heat, for use as heat.  I would propose that solar heated water collectors make much more sense than photovoltaics.  You want hot water? you store the thermal energy in an extremely well insulated water tank and draw hot water from it.  You want heat? you use a photovoltaic powered pump to circulate the hot water around your the baseboards / flooring of your home.





SubjectivObject's picture

Your anxiety for attention is palpable.

Midas's picture

MDB: Your third post was your best.  Ever.

richard in norway's picture

Was there more oil discovered last year than there was oil used? If not then very little has changed and this article is a waste of cyberspace

CvlDobd's picture

This is all great news on my birthday! Will I see cheaper prices in celebration?


What I want on my birthday is for all my ZeroHedge friends to have a nice day today. May your quest to stack bring you and your families great wealth! Cheers!

fuu's picture

It's above 32 degrees and the sun is shining.

Happy b-day.

Theos's picture

Learn to post maybe?

fudge's picture

pics or did'nt happen

EscapeKey's picture

I just want numbers. How many million barrels were found, how much of that is ultimately recoverable, and when will we see volume production?

Irelevant's picture

Wake me up when the find CHEAP high EROEI oil. This is a lala story, what is the EROEI of that presalt of shore oil?

FecundaGoat's picture

Cheap Energy is the only economic hope we have left.....

Bullish Global Warming!!

LawsofPhysics's picture

An area that desparately needs "democracy", coincidence?

Winston Churchill's picture

A little Imperial agression,a little there,and suddenly we are

talking real Empire.Shame the maintenance costs are more than the US can afford.

I'm sure the Chinese already on the ground are just going to hand over their

investments with a smile.

Can't work out which area is going to spark thermonuclear war first.

This is the way the world  will end, in a bang,not a whimper.


TPTB_r_TBTF's picture

> ... maintenance costs are more than the US can afford.


The World shares the costs of the Empire through the Pretrodollar.  It is so much easier to maintain an Empire when everyone pitches in.  At least ... til the donT anymore...  Kinda funny how the Empire reaches its apogee along with Peak Oil.

buzzsaw99's picture

I'm sure it is just a coincidence that Hosni and Momar are out and oil companies are in.

ParkAveFlasher's picture

The process follows:

1) you have oil.  you sell oil to west and to the east.  dollars and gold bullion flows to you in exchange.

2) you wish to use your gold and dollars to advance your nation.  you may want to build irrigation infrastructure, or modernize communications, or industrialize.  or, you may want to simply build a big castle / chocolate factory for yourself. 

3) you're awesome!  the west flocks to your prosperity.  contracts, aid, and goods flow like champagne.

4) wait, you have to buy a timeshare in Virginia?  fuck those Yankees.  I can buy and sell whatever I like to whomever I want.

3) you didn't build that.  you are a rogue regime.  you are a fundamentalist terrorist and your regime bombs children and tortures dissidents.  you have wmds, terrorist training camps, covert funds, etc.  you are just like us, and we don't like that.

4) you are bombarded by cruise missiles, your skies are stalked by legions of drones, your critical infrastructure is destroyed by special forces infiltrating hostile borders, and your repositories of wealth are seized by stormtroopers. 

5) try to run, go ahead, but you can't hide.  your population has been seeded by antagonists and disgruntled opponents are now, suddenly and mysteriously, well-funded.  there are hostile eyes looking out for you in every neighborhood across the land.

6) try to access your international accounts.  yes, the ones in Switzerland and Singapore and Hong Kong.  Surprise, bitch!  Your passcode does not exist!  Gold, what gold?  YOUR LOGIN HAS EXPIRED, NOW KISS YOUR ASS GOODBYE.

Poor Grogman's picture

So to cut a long story short.

1. First we buy your oil for dollars and gold.

2. Then we liberate our gold back.

3. Defense contractors profits and all the war mongering for politicians are just additional bonuses.

Moral of the story. Watch your back KSA

Aegelis's picture

Watch out Africa, better give us a huge discount on oil or you're a 'terrorist'...and you know what happens next.

PUD's picture

Isn't that special. Nothing stopping the glorious ramp to a couple billion suv's ....yeah!!  Wall st cheer!! 

PUD's picture

Isn't that special. Nothing stopping the glorious ramp to a couple billion suv's ....yeah!!  Wall st cheer!! 

Dr. Engali's picture

Egypt, Lybia, Kenya, Iran....why do all these countries ring a bell with me? Could it be they all need to be liberated?

Sleepless Knight's picture

Africa is increasingly the focus of  "military action". Fixed it.

Seer's picture

Yup.  AFRICOM, it wasn't an accident...

hugovanderbubble's picture

Long Threshold Pharma Target 11.29$ (ticker THLD ) driver- Milestones to be reached with TH302 Pancreatic Cancer Fast Track, Merck KGaA ,"jewel´s crown".

akarc's picture

Yepper-Discover Africa, Sequestration be damned

orangegeek's picture

There's enough KNOWN oil reserves in the middle east alone to feed the planet at 2006 consumption levels for the next 200 years.


The game becomes how do oilco's get it out of the ground and sold without collapsing the market.


If these African countries decide to sell their oil in anything else other than US Dollars, they will be "liberated".

LawsofPhysics's picture

"There's enough KNOWN oil reserves in the middle east alone to feed the planet at 2006 consumption levels for the next 200 years."


At what EROEI?  What will the quality be? Details matter.  If it cost more in capital and energy costs to remove the oil, then the capital and energy in the oil removed, the oil will stay in the fucking ground.

greyghost's picture

can't you read? the oil isn't staying in the ground. your saying that companies won't seek new finds because it "cost" too much. but that isn't happening, welcome to the real world, and not class room nonsense.

LawsofPhysics's picture

My brother has been in oil and gas for 20+ years.  Yes, they are seeking new finds, but if you really believe that the capital and energy costs for the discovery and extraction of resources from those new finds is really costing less, you are indeed stuck in the fucking classroom and know nothing about the real world.  Go beyond "reading" and do some critical thinking or speak with someone in the business, like an engineer.

EscapeKey's picture

That is a terrible article - it reads as if it was sponsored by the IOC's. Not one potential issue is even outlined, it's all just positive spin. Here's a few ones I picked up on from quickly skimming the article (I'm sure there are more):

  • Santos oil field at 150bn barrels? [citation needed]
  • Orinoco is nowhere near volume production.
  • Athabasca will struggle to cross 3-4mbpd.
  • Bakken production profile is a complete joke (2 years post drilling the flowrate has dropped through the floor)
  • Australian find is nowhere close to volume production.
  • Horizontal/MRC drilling isn't anything new.
  • Fracking (used in Bakken) has a terrible production profile; way too much optimism in this sector at present.