PARIS — Global oil discoveries fell to a record low in 2016 as companies continued to cut spending and conventional oil projects sanctioned were at the lowest level in more than 70 years, according to the International Energy Agency, which warned that both trends could continue this year.
Oil discoveries declined to 2.4 billion bbl in 2016, compared with an average of 9 billion bbl per year over the past 15 years. Meanwhile, the volume of conventional resources sanctioned for development last year fell to 4.7 billion bbl, 30% lower than the previous year as the number of projects that received a final investment decision dropped to the lowest level since the 1940s.
This sharp slowdown in activity in the conventional oil sector was the result of reduced investment spending driven by low oil prices. It brings an additional cause of concern for global energy security at a time of heightened geopolitical risks in some major producer countries, such as Venezuela. (by World Oil)