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Since 2002, over 30 billion boe have been discovered in global deepwater basins, with an average resource size of around 110 MMboe. But, with the exception of 2006 when a number of large discoveries were made, reserves discovered and the average size of discoveries have been decreasing, while finding costs have been steadily rising; thanks to tight rig availability, rocketing day rates and personnel shortages.
The Big Four deepwater provinces (Angola, Nigeria Brazil, and Gulf of Mexico) have continued to dominate deepwater exploration over the past five years, but both Angola and Nigeria have been hit by declining discovery sizes. Brazil’s 2006 results were boosted by two +500 MMboe discoveries, including the Tupi field in which BG partnered with Petrobras. Tupi is the first potentially commercial discovery in a significant new sub-salt play.
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