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This report reviews high impact discoveries made between 2008-2016 in 30 countries and 39 basins, which have neither been sanctioned for development nor had any appraisal activity since 2016 to understand the reasons for delay and what it would take to unlock them.

Almost half of the 242 recorded high impact, >100 mmboe discoveries made between 2008 and2016 are stalled at the appraisal stage with 47 bnboe of resources, of which 77% is gas, making no progress towards production.

  • Summary
  • Introduction and methodology
  • Stalled high impact discoveries
    Stalled discoveries over time
    Stalled resources by country and basin
    Pool size distribution – twelve discoveries over billion boe are stalled
    Stalled discoveries by phase – most are gas, but many are oil
    Stalled discoveries by water depth – Most but not all are in deep water
    Stalled discoveries by play maturity – More stalled discoveries are in immature plays
    No correlation to lithology or trap type
    Appraisal drilling – most stalled discoveries had small appraisal programmes
  • Who owns the stalled resources and how has ownership changed post discovery?
  • Why are projects stalled?
    Above and below ground factors
    Case Studies
    Causes by Companies
  • How can stalled discoveries be unlocked?
    Improved Gas Terms
    Appraisal to unlock upside
    New Technologies
  • Discussion
  • Conclusions
  • References
  • Appendix I: Dataset of Stalled HI Discoveries