Royal Dutch Shell Group .com Rotating Header Image

UpstreamOnline: Shell on big cat hunt

By KNUT EVENSEN in Stavanger

Shell is aiming to make about 15 “big cat” find this year, the same number it targeted in 2005.  The supermajor defines a “big cat” as a discovery in which its equity interest is more than 100 million barrels of oil equivalent.

Speaking at the ONS conference in Stavanger, Shell vice president for exploration David Lawrence would not give details about results so far this year, but said: “We will drill roughly 15 big cats. We’re doing fine.”

Last year the supermajor also targeted 15 big cats in Australia, West Africa – particularly Nigeria – the Middle East and Gulf of Mexico. It made seven discoveries.

Drilling in virgin frontier areas carries a high risk. However, Lawrence said Shell is looking for frontier areas where there is a good “running room”.

He said there are more conventional oil discoveries to be made, but added there are no easy plays left.

Lawrence said the industry will have to hunt in deeper waters, in the arctic and also look at more difficult reservoir targets.

He said this will require new technologies and that this will have to be applied in an integrated manner, such as using conventional seismic in combination with electromagnetic surveying.

New drilling technology for high-temperature and high-pressure targets, together with new well completion techniques are other examples. and its sister non-profit websites,,,,,, and are owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia feature.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: