Survey of Energy Resources Interim Update 2009
SER 2007 version >Crude Oil Country Notes update
Proved reserves have been derived from the level of 'measured/indicated/inventoried' reserves quoted in the Balanço Energético Nacional 2008 (BEN), published by the Ministério de Minas e Energia. Compared with the level of oil reserves reported by the WEC Member Committee for the 2007 Survey (which was identical to the BEN figure for end-2005) the current level is some 850 million barrels (or just over 7%) higher.
Much interest is currently being shown in Brazil's offshore (especially deep-water) oil fields and in particular the massive reserves discovered in the pre-salt formation.
The levels of proved recoverable reserves adopted for this interim update correspond with the 'Remaining Reserves at 2007-12-31' reported by the Reserves Committee of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) in the CAPP Statistical Handbook, March 2009. These 'Remaining Reserves' comprise 797 million m3 of conventional crude oil, 187 million m3 of natural gas liquids (67 pentanes plus and 120 ethane/propane/butane) and 2 158 million m3 oil sands and natural bitumen (1 371 'developed mining - upgraded and bitumen' and 787 'developed in-situ - bitumen').
In all, Canada's proved oil reserves now amount to 3 142 million m3, equivalent to 19 762 million barrels. Compared with the end-2005 levels quoted in the 2007 Survey, total reserves have increased by 31.4%, owing almost entirely to a substantial rise in the amount of oil deemed to be recoverable from Canada's oil sands, with a 40.9% growth in developed synthetic oil reserves and a doubling of developed bitumen reserves.
The Energy Resources Conservation Board reports that in 2007 Canada had 27.45 billion m3 (172.7 billion barrels) of 'established oil sands reserves'.
This term is defined by the National Energy Board (June 2006) as 'the sum of the proven reserves and half probable reserves'. The ERCB figure amply illustrates the enormous extent of the oil sands resource.
China's reserves remain a state secret, and thus it is necessary to have recourse to published sources. For the purposes of the present interim update, World Oil's estimates have been retained, involving an 11.5% increase from 16 189 million barrels at end-2005 to 18 052 million barrels at end-2007. Other published assessments of China's oil reserves range down to the figure of 15 500 million barrels quoted by BP and the Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe (BGR).
Ecuador reactivated its membership of OPEC in October 2007, after suspending it in December 1992.
The level adopted for Gabon's end-2007 reserves reflects that quoted by World Oil, as did the figure for end-2005 given in the 2007 Survey. The difference of over a billion barrels between the two assessments corresponds to a leap of over 48% and implies a significant reappraisal of Gabon's potential.
The Jubilee field, a substantial oil discovery that straddles two deep water exploration licence areas (Deepwater Tano and West Cape Three Points) in Ghana's offshore, is being developed by the field operator Tullow Oil, with first production scheduled for the second half of 2010. In March 2009, Tullow announced another promising discovery (Tweneboa-1) in the Deepwater Tano licence area, about 25 km west of the Jubilee field.
Cairn Energy has made 25 discoveries in Rajasthan (in India's northwest) and currently has six fields under development. Initial attention is being concentrated on Mangala, Bhagyam and Aishwariya (MBA). Production from Mangala is scheduled to begin in third quarter 2009. Output from the MBA fields is estimated to peak at 175 000 b/d, which would represent at least 20% of India's total oil production.
After being a member since 1962, Indonesia suspended its OPEC membership in December 2008.
Iran (Islamic Republic)
The OPEC Annual Statistical Bulletin 2007 quotes Iran's proved crude oil reserves as 136 150 million barrels at end-2007, 1% lower than the end-2005 level of 137 490 reported by the Iranian WEC Member Committee for the 2007 Survey. With the exception of World Oil (137 000), the other published sources appear to follow OPEC, reproducing its end-2006 figure of 138 400, or in the case of the December 2008 Oil & Gas Journal, its end-2007 level.
The OPEC Annual Statistical Bulletin 2007 quotes Libya's proved crude oil reserves as 43 663 million barrels at end-2007, 5.3% higher than the end-2005 level of 41 464 million barrels quoted in the 2007 Survey. Other published estimates of Libya's oil reserves, with the exception of a somewhat lower figure in World Oil, seem to fall into two camps, depending on whether they reflect OPEC's end-2006 or end-2007 level.
With a view to consistency, the Survey of Energy Resources has used the Oil & Gas Journal's reserves report as its source for Malaysia for at least the last ten years. The latest OGJ assessment gives a figure of 4 billion barrels for both 1 January 2008 and 1 January 2009, an increase of one third over the 1 January 2007 level. The other published compilations range from OPEC's 2 840 million barrels to BP, BGR and World Oil at around 5 400.
End-2007 proved reserves are based on information released by Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) on 26 March 2008 and reflect (in millions of barrels) the sum of 10 501.2 crude oil, 559.6 condensate and 1 125.7 natural gas liquids obtained from processing plants - a total of 12.186 billion barrels. Overall the level of oil reserves has fallen by nearly 1.5 billion barrels (-10.9%) from the end-2005 level reported for the 2007 Survey by the Mexican WEC Member Committee (again using Pemex data).
In its report on reserves, Pemex also quotes 'probable' oil reserves totalling 12.173 billion barrels and 'possible' reserves totalling 11.305 billion barrels.
It was reported in March 2009 that Chevron would shortly begin large-scale testing of a heavy-oil extraction technique in the partitioned Neutral Zone between Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. The American company has recently been granted a 30-year extension to its Neutral Zone operating licence by the Saudi Government.
In this interim update, as for the 2007 Survey, Norway's oil reserves have been derived from a report of the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate. The publication Facts 2008 quotes 'remaining reserves' of (crude) oil as 1 013 million cubic metres, NGL as 123 million tonnes and condensate as 51 million cubic metres. Converting these numbers into standard units, total oil reserves amount to 8 163 million barrels or 1 008 million tonnes. Compared with the end-2005 level reported in the 2007 Survey, this represents an overall fall of 1 384 million barrels, or 14.5%.
However, Facts 2008 also reports substantial quantities of recoverable potential in lower-probability categories: namely, 'contingent resources in fields and discoveries', 'potential from improved recovery' and 'undiscovered oil'. Together, contingent resources and improved recovery could contribute an additional 632 million cubic metres of crude oil, 41 million tonnes of NGL and 49 million cubic metres of condensate - a total of some 4 773 million barrels. Undiscovered crude oil and condensate resources are estimated to add around 9.6 billion barrels to Norway's eventually recoverable potential.
The level of proved recoverable oil reserves adopted for the present interim update is based, as was the corresponding figure in the 2007 Survey, on that given by BP in its Statistical Review of World Energy. The June 2008 edition quotes 79 400 million barrels, an increase of 5 billion barrels, or 6.7%, on the comparable end-2005 figure. Other published sources quote levels either close to BP's (World Oil and BGR) or a good deal lower (OAPEC and OGJ).
The independent oil companies Heritage Oil and Tullow Oil are seeking to develop the promising oil fields that they have discovered in the vicinity of Lake Albert in Uganda. Full exploitation of these deposits would require the construction of an export pipeline to the Indian Ocean coast.
The Department of Energy and Climate Change reported in September 2008 that total UK proven oil reserves (with a better than 90% chance of being produced) were 452 million tonnes (3 390 million barrels) at end-2007. 'Probable' reserves (with a better than 50% chance of being technically and economically producible) are put at 328 million tonnes, whilst 'possible' reserves (with a significant, but less than 50%, chance) are estimated at 399 million tonnes. Since the end of 2005, there has been an increase of 28 million tonnes (9.3%) in 'probable' reserves and a decrease of 52 million tonnes (-11.7%) in the 'possible' category.
United States of America
In its 2007 Annual Report on U.S. Crude Oil, Natural Gas, and Natural Gas Liquids Reserves (Advance Summary, October 2008), the Energy Information Administration reports that there was a small rise in proved reserves of crude oil in 2007, with additions of 2.0 billion barrels. After deduction of crude production of 1.7 billion barrels during the year, proved reserves at end-2007 were 21.3 billion barrels, an increase of 1.6% over the end-2006 level, but a decrease of 2.0% on the end-2005 total.
Approximately 39% of proved reserve additions were accounted for by discoveries arising from drilling exploratory wells - including extensions to known fields, discovery of new fields, and of new reservoirs in old fields. Most of the remaining additions were due to revisions arising during the development of previously discovered reservoirs or fields.
Proved reserves of natural gas liquids rose by 671 million barrels to 9 143 million barrels. Nearly three-quarters of the additions to proved NGL reserves were attributable to discoveries arising from drilling exploratory wells. Overall, U.S. proved reserves of crude oil and NGL have increased by 1.8% above the level quoted in the 2007 SER.
The OPEC Annual Statistical Bulletin 2007 quoted in this interim review shows Venezuela's proved crude oil reserves as increasing from 80 012 million barrels at end-2005 to 99 377 million barrels at end-2007, a rise of just over 19 billion barrels, or more than 24%. Of the other major published sources, only the December 2008 Oil & Gas Journal was able to pick up the latest level: the other sources (apart from World Oil) reflect the end-2006 level quoted by OPEC.