Libya tops poll of top exploration spots

Oil companies from around the world voted Libya as their top choice of areas for new exploration, development, and production ventures in 2000 in a recent survey conducted by Robertson Research International Ltd., Llandudno, Wales. The changing political environment and prospects for world-class production plays catapulted Libya to the top spot for the year 2000 from the 20th position in Robertson�s previous survey, conducted in 1998.


Oil companies from around the world voted Libya as their top choice of areas for new exploration, development, and production ventures in 2000 in a recent survey conducted by Robertson Research International Ltd., Llandudno, Wales. The changing political environment and prospects for world-class production plays catapulted Libya to the top spot for the year 2000 from the 20th position in Robertson�s previous survey, conducted in 1998.

The survey, now in its 14th year, polls oil companies across the globe that are involved in exploration and production ventures. Robertson�s survey asks them to rate, in a confidential questionnaire, their level of interest in new ventures in 146 countries.

Companies polled voted Iran the second most attractive new venture spot, followed by the UK, Australia, and Algeria in the list of top 10 countries. The Middle East continues to be the most popular region, with solid performances from Iran, Iraq in 6th place, Qatar in 13th, and Oman in 16th.

Countries that rose prominently in this year's survey vs. the 1998 results include Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Dubai, and Israel. Africa also moved up to third from sixth place in regional rankings, thanks to impressive showings from North and West African countries, such as Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon, and Morocco.

Asia-Pacific stayed second in the regional ranking, while the Latin America-Caribbean, Europe, and Eurasia regions all fell back one place to accommodate Africa's rise.

Resurging oil prices during 1999 and early this year has brought a �cautious increase� in E&P spending, with 62% of companies reporting higher E&P budgets this year. But until investor confidence is restored in the energy sector, significant increases in upstream expenditures will not yet occur. An average oil price of $18.94/bbl is being used for 2000 budgeting purposes, but 64% of the survey�s respondents expect oil prices to fall later this year.

Gas and deepwater ventures also continue to increase in popularity, as they remain the primary areas for new significant growth, the survey said. This year, 76 companies responded to the survey, representing an estimated 70% of total oil company upstream spending worldwide in 2000.

Top Ten Exploration Hotspots, 2000

1. Libya
2. Iran
3. UK
4. Australia
5. Algeria
6. Iraq
7. Indonesia
8. Angola
9. Brazil
10. Egypt

More in Home