June 26, 2015Volume 5, No. 8
docFinder alert

Rocking it Old School with High Tech

Top 10 exploration finds in 2014, all conventional



Top 10 Discoveries in 2014

Total 3.7 Bboe, Cobalt plays in 3 of 10

May 12, 2015

Full Presentation


Faihaa-1 Discovery in Iraq

2nd Best in 2014 with 660 MMboe

February 17, 2015

Full Presentation

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This docFinder Alert focuses on the Exploration Prize of discovery and opening of new hydrocarbon basins. According to Wood Mackenzie, from data sourced in a presentation of leading explorer Cobalt International, the top 10 global discoveries in 2014 found a total of 3.7 billion boe. Here is the list:



The list and the slide above left is from a May presentation by Cobalt Exploration. Cobalt was founded in 2005 with a highly experienced exploration team and finds itself today, impressively, on the heels of discovering three of top 10 oil and gas finds in 2014. After 10 years, Cobalt is now pivoting its focus to development with a target to have nine of its 10 discoveries in production by 2022. Net production is expected to be >100,000 bopd with all nine being able to generate from mid-teens to 30% IRRs based on the current forward strip prices. Found just last year, the Orca discovery offshore Angola in Block 20 is expected to be online by 2020 and holds 400 MMboe – 700 MMboe of resources. Cobalt’s first oil production with start-up on track for first half 2016 will be from the Heidelberg discovery in 2009. Design capacity of the Spar platform is 80,000 bopd (APC operated, Cobalt 9.375% WI).

The slide above right is from Dragon Oil and identifies the location of Block 9 in Iraq where a consortium of Dragon (30%) and Kuwait Energy (70%) discovered the second-largest global oil and gas find 2014. The Faihaa-1 exploration well flowed 3,400 bopd and 2,000 bcpd at 2,700 meters in the Mishrif formation and flowed 8,000 bopd and 5,000 bcpd at 4,000 meters in the Yamana formation. Dragon has already established net contingent 2C resources on a working intersest basis of 198 MMbbls and 56 Bcf stemming just from the Mishrif formation. Two appraisal wells in 2015 are expected to expedite full development. Dubai-based Dragon Oil has an impressive suite of assets in the FSU as well as the Middle East. Recognizing the value of Dragon, UAE’s NOC, the Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC), made an offer in May to acquire the 46% shares of Dragon it does not already own at a 44% premium to the prior-day closing price. Less than a month after the official announcement, ENOC upped the offer another 2% to 750 pence/share, and Dragon now recommends acceptance of the offer.

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Shown below are more hot slides from PLS’s docFinder database from other leading global exploration companies including FAR Limited, Chevron, Vaalco and Lundin Petroleum.

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featured.slides from docFinder

Slide Slide Slide Slide

Senegal Elephants

SNE-1 and Fan-1

May 15, 2015

Gulf of Mexico

Anchor and Guadalupe

June 4, 2015

Offshore Angola


June 23, 2015

Southern Barents Sea


June 12, 2015

Yes, there are elephants lurking under Senagalese waters, says explorationist FAR Limited, a company that went two for two for frontier exploration tries in 2014, both grand slams! Both discoveries, two of the top 10, are offshore Senegal: FAN and SNE. The discoveries are within the Mauritania-Senegal, Guinea Bissau basin (MSGBC) controlled with PSC’s covering 7,490 sq km. Owners include operator Cairn Energy (40%), ConocoPhillips (35%), FAR (15%) and Petrosen (10% carried). The FAN-1 well discovered P50 OOIP of 950 MMbbls. The SNE-1 well has best estimate resources of 330 MMbbl. Far presents Senegal economics of >25% IRR based on $70 oil and a 10% cost reduction. The lands also hold 9 remaining prospects targeting best estimate of 1.5 Bbbls or a risked 75 MMbbls net to FAR.

Chevron, already an exploration leader among its peers having created exploration value of $12 billion from 2004-2013, had one of its best years yet in 2014. Last year, Chevron led two of the top 10 global discoveries – Guadalupe and Anchor in the Gulf of Mexico. First, in KC 10, Chevron hit pay with the Guadalupe prospect targeting Lower Tertiary Wilcox sands. The well drilled to 30,173 ft sits in 3,992 ft of water. Partners are operator Chevron (42.5%), BP (42.5%) and Venari Resources (15%). Next, Chevron hit pay again with the Anchor prospect in GC block 807. This well hit multiple Lower Tertiary Wilcox sands and drilled to 33,749 feet in 5,183 feet of water. Anchor owners are operator Chevron (55%), Cobalt (20%), Samson (12.5%) and Venari Resources (12.5%). Looking ahead, Chevron has an active 2015 exploration program.

Vaalco Energy is a west Africa-focused pure-play company focused offshore Gabon, Equatorial Guinea and Angola. The slide above shows the locations of two of the top 10 2014 discoveries – Orca and Bicuar, offshore Angola. The cross-section is a simplified view showing pre- and post-salt structures across an 80-mile section. The Bicuar #1 discovery well (operated by Cobalt) in Block 21 drilled to 18,829 ft was particularly important in that it is the first syn-rift discovery, a new pre-salt geological horizon within the basin. The slide also shows Cobalt’s second 2014 Angola discovery – the Orca #1 drilled to 12,703 ft in block 20. The well tested 3,700 bopd and 16.3 MMcfpd in the upper section. Regarding old-school exploration with high tech, here’s a striking example of seismic advances.

Swedish explorer Lundin Petroleum expanded on its Ghota discovery in the Loppa High area of the southern Barents Sea by striking oil with its Alta #1 well in PL609. The license is owned by operator Lundin (40%), RWE Dea (30%) and Idemitsu (30%). The discovery has gross resources from 125 – 400 MMboe. The Loppa High area contains several more high-impact prospects and is unique in that it is in an area affected by the Gulf Stream and as such is far from the maximum southern edge of ice. Regionally in the Southern Barents Sea, Lundin is a major license holder in the area that has yielded ~1 billion boe in the last four years. Strikingly, this slide shows Lundin’s leadership status in exploration for the area. This successful old-school exploration is expected to yield strong production growth.


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Full Presentation


Full Presentation


Full Presentation