Chart of the week: oilfield finds fall to 60-year low

Chart of oilfield finds

The world’s energy companies found only 174 new oil and gas fields last year, a 60-year low, compared to an annual average of 400-500 in the years leading up to 2013, say Ed Crooks and Andrew Ward on FT.com.

This is partly due to reduced exploration budgets following the oil price slide, which has cut wildcat, or exploratory drilling (see chart); this can bankrupt small companies if they don’t find oil or gas.

But it’s also because 190 billion barrels of shale oil and gas have appeared in the past decade. Shale wells can be brought on stream in weeks, compared to five years for deepwater discoveries.

Viewpoint

“When does the next banking crisis start? When the only banker who properly understood the last one retires. That used to be the rule, allowing for a new apocalypse every 20 years (top bankers often retire early, remember, owing to having too much money). Perhaps they can come around faster if Donald Trump happens to be president… Trump [has] signed an executive order to review the 2010 Dodd-Frank regulations, which aimed to separate ordinary savings from casino-like trading… Over here, the ground is shifting in Trumpian ways… you can pencil the next banking crisis in for around 2020 — we can call it the Trump Slump.”

Simon English, Evening Standard