This gap could be filled with the preoccupation of the E&P sector. Harry Paton, Senior Analyst, Global Oil Supply, identifies the contribution from each of the traditional four sources.

  • Reserve growth

12 million b/d or 24% will be produced from fields that are already operating today or are under development. These reserves are commonly to the lowest risk and have a lower cost, readily tied-in to export infrastructure already in place. Around 90% of these future volumes break even below US$60 per barrel.

  • Pre-drill tight oil inventory and conventional pre-FID projects

They will bring another 12 million b/dy. That’s up on last year by 1.5 million b/d, representing the industry’s success in beefing up the hopper. The majority of the increase is from the Permian Basin.

Tight oil plays in North America now account for over two-thirds of the pre-FID cost curve, though extraction costs increase over time. Conventional oil plays are a smaller part of the pre-FID wedge at 4 million b/d.

Brazil deep water is amongst the lowest cost resource anywhere. Whereas mature areas as the North Sea have succeeded in getting lower down the cost curve although volumes are small. Guyana, shows how new conventional basins can change the curve.

  • Contingent resource

These discoveries could deliver 11 million b/d, or 22%, concerning future supply. This cohort forms the next generation of pre-FID developments, but each must overcome challenges to achieve commerciality.

  • Yet-to-find

The Senior Analyst comments that it is still being calculated how new discoveries bring in 16 million b/d, the biggest share and almost one-third of future supply.

This number is based on experience, based on past discovery rates, future assumptions for exploration spend and prospectivity.

Nowadays, there's a challenge that new discoveries, with higher cost, will mitigate if demand's s not there or new, lower-cost supplies emerge. Tight oil’s rapid growth has disrupted the commercialisation of conventional discoveries this decade and is re-shaping future resource capture strategies.

The technology arising might be a challenge to future exploration. Evolving technology has always played a major role in boosting expected reserves from known fields.

Yet, Woodmac comments that what's different in 2019 is that the industry is on the cusp of what might be a technological revolution.

Advanced seismic imaging, data analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence, the cloud and supercomputing will shine a light into sub-surface’s dark corners.

If global recovery rates could be increased by a percentage or two from the average of around 30%, reserves growth might contribute another 5 to 6 million b/d in the 2030s.

Credit: Woodmac