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Big Oil’s Investment Risk Is Spiking

Big Oil’s Investment Risk Is Spiking

Oil majors have been a…

James Burgess

James Burgess

James Burgess studied Business Management at the University of Nottingham. He has worked in property development, chartered surveying, marketing, law, and accounts. He has also…

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6 of the Largest Oil Fields in the World Still Waiting to be Developed

For a variety of reasons there still exist many untapped oil fields in the world. Those reasons may be political, technological, geological, or economical; but as time goes on they are being resolved to the extent that some huge fields are now becoming available for exploration and production.

The Jubilee Field in Ghana is estimated to contain 1.8 billion barrels of crude. Tullow oil discovered the field in 2007 and is now working to develop its potential. In 2011 it produced 66,000 barrels a day.

The Chicontepec Basin in Mexico is estimated to contain 10 billion barrels of crude. The problem is that most of the oil in this formation is extra-heavy crude, which at current prices is too expensive to extract.

The Kashagan Field in Kazakhstan is estimated to contain 11 billion barrels of crude. Extracting this crude is difficult due to the fact that the northern parts of the Caspian Sea, where the reservoir is situated, freezes over in the winters, and the ice makes production very difficult.

The unnamed fields in the southwest of Iraq are estimated to contain 45-100 billion barrels of crude oil. Iraqi oil has been unavailable for extraction due to conflict which has plagued the country for decades. Now that a relative peace has settled oil companies are moving to the region eager to secure a share of its riches. A lack of infrastructure in the country still hinders its full potential, along with the fact that Baghdad has banned oil giants Chevron and ExxonMobil for their dealings with the KRG in the north.

The Santos and Campos Basins in Brazil are estimated to contain 123 billion barrels of crude. They are a hot topic in the world of oil due to their size, and companies such as Chevron are keen to work on them. However their location, miles below the surface of the ocean and trapped beneath layers of salt, makes extracting the oil very difficult.

The Orinoco Belt in Venezuela is estimated to contain 513 billion barrels of oil. However western companies have been pulling out of the region despite the fortune that could be made there due to the high risk and unstable investment climate that Venezuela poses. Since the South American nation pulled withdrew from the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) the legal uncertainty surrounding business there has caused many investors to avoid the area. Now, however, Asian companies are entering the Venezuelan oil market, probably confident that Hugo Chavez’s anti-US stance will make him more trustworthy.

By. James Burgess of Oilprice.com



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  • todd kozel on March 24 2014 said:
    GULFKEYSTONE PETROLEUM Shaiken oilfiled in Kurdistan contains more than 100 billion barrels of oil 35% RF extraction cost 5c a barrel offshore lowball is $50 go figure
  • Bob Berke on August 02 2012 said:
    Isn't Venezuela's Orinoco reserves mostly made up of heavy crude?
  • david on August 02 2012 said:
    the general answer is "because they are inaccessible and the oil there sucks"
  • JeffC on August 02 2012 said:
    How did you manage to leave off ANWAR ? obviously not an accident ...
  • Philip Andrews on August 02 2012 said:
    and the Arctic and Antarctic will one day be found to contain 500 to 1000 billion barrels of crude each buried under miles of ice or an (Arctic Ocean) of water. Hey, we might even find it on the Moon (its actually made of solidified oil, not green cheese...) and ...Mars!!!

    and a partridge in a pear tree

    a partridge who says beware of the claims about undiscovered oil riches made by desperate oil men to an incredulous and gullible world gasping for (1 or 2 gens?) more of oil...

    I'm sorry Mr Burgess but with all due respect, we've heard it all before...

    And the mirage now is as illusory/impractical as its always been...
  • Jim Barry on August 01 2012 said:
    I'm sorry but if that is the best we have to look forward to as the replacement of older fields going dry then we are in a great deal of trouble. I should say for the record that I believe in "Peak Theory" and the above examples reassure me that my beliefs are well grounded in fact.

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