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Why do so many oil and gas projects fail to produce as expected?

Half of oil and gas fields are not producing to expectations due to reservoir issues. This could have been mitigated before project startup with more efficient appraisal.

This report examines the appraisal scope and strategies of 70 oil and gas fields, as selected from the Appraisal module within Westwood Global Energy’s Wildcat service. The assets are spread globally, with operators ranging from supermajors to small E&P companies. Appraisal programmes are benchmarked to understand how production performance is related to the effectiveness of appraisal. Lessons learnt from this study show there is room for improvement in appraisal practices to increase the chance of success of future upstream projects.

Use the report to:

  • Understand how field production performance relates to the effectiveness of appraisal
  • Examine the most common subsurface causes of field non-performance
  • Identify appraisal analogues and benchmark appraisal programmes
  • Access lessons learnt and recommendations to improve appraisal practice and reduce development risk

Report structure:

  • Analysis of reservoir issues encountered in non-performing fields
  • Appraisal benchmarking
  • Relevance of appraisal strategy – four case studies
  • Lessons learnt and recommendations
  • Selected examples of ‘non-performing’ fields from the Wildcat database

Key Findings:

  • 50% of the fields were subject to reserves revisions after production started, on average +68% for those with reserves increases and -60% for those with decreases.
  • 84% of the assets not matching expectations had unexpected reservoir production performance and 51% required reservoir volume estimate revisions.
  • 70% of fields with limited appraisal did not perform to the development plan. The number of reservoir penetrations is important, but is not the only factor.
  • Appraisal well location, the type of data acquired and the timing of the data acquisition are also important factors.
  • Improvements in appraisal practices that can increase the chance of success of future upstream projects are identified.


Obtain the report

Should you wish to purchase this report, please contact [email protected]

The Appraisal database within Wildcat is available on a subscription basis and can be used to scope duration, cost and number of wells, early in the appraisal programme. Please contact us for a demo of the Wildcat Service and see the Appraisal Module in action.