Crude oil discoveries hit record low in 2016

Crude oil discoveries hit record low in 2016

Global discoveries of conventional crude oil plummeted to a record low in 2016 as energy firms continued to pursue cost-cutting measures following sustained low prices in the sector.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) reported that oil discoveries dropped to 2.4 billion barrels last year, compared to an average of 9 billion barrels in the 15 years leading up to 2016.

In addition, the leading energy advisory agency revealed that global oil companies sanctioned only 4.7 billion barrels of conventional oil for project development, down 30% from 2015.

The volume of discoveries given the green light with regards to a final investment decision also dropped to the lowest annual level since the 1940s.

Offshore drilling projects saw a significant pullback last year with just 13% of sanctioned conventional oil projects located offshore, compared to an average of 40% during the period between 2000 and 2015.

However, US President Donald Trump is attempting to revive the offshore oil industry in the US, and is expected to sign an executive order aimed at reversing offshore drilling limits imposed during the previous Obama administration.