In Guyana ExxonMobil added four new discoveries within its offshore Stabroek block, while Tullow Oil’s Jethro and Joe exploration wells established the presence of a working petroleum system to the west of the Stabroek block. According to Rystad Energy, the discoveries in Guyana hold an overall recoverable resources of about 1.8 billion boe.


ExxonMobil discovered around 1.07 billion boe in additional net resources last year, with the value creation from these volumes estimated to be around $2.7 billion, mainly driven by the continued success in Guyana.

Off Mauritania, BP’s Orca gas field was the largest single discovery, as well as the deepest-water find of 2019, holding around 1.3 billion boe of recoverable resources. Recent gas discoveries in the region now support plans to build an additional LNG hub in the Bir Allah area in Mauritania.

In Russia, Gazprom made two discoveries in the Kara Sea, Dinkov in the Rusanovsky block and Nyarmeyskoye in the Nyarmeysky block. Rystad Energy estimates Gazprom’s 2019 discoveries to hold a total recoverable resources of around 1.5 billion boe.

Other important offshore discoveries in 2019 include Total’s Brulpadda in South Africa, ExxonMobil’s Glaucus in Cyprus, CNOOC’s Glengorm in the United Kingdom and Equinor’s Sputnik in the Norwegian sector of the Barents Sea.

In addition, US independent Hess and Chinese state player CNOOC occupy the second and the third spots on the list of top explorers of 2019 in terms of value creation from new discoveries, benefiting from their collaboration with ExxonMobil in Guyana’s Stabroek block. Hess added around $2 billion in value from new discoveries last year, while CNOOC had value creation of about $1.8 billion.

As for Total, it came fourth, with about $873 million in value creation from its 2019 exploration activities.

Finally, in 2020, Rystad Energy expects the global discovered volumes to continue increasing, with the list of upcoming wildcats including several high-impact wells along with some promising probes delayed from 2019.