EY - Global oil and gas reserves study

Global oil and gas reserves study

  • Share

Worldwide oil and gas reserves increased by 11% and 3%, respectively, while capital expenditures among oil and gas companies increased 25% in 2013.

Our study analyzes the worldwide and regional exploration and production (E&P) results for 75 companies for a five-year period from 2009 to 2013. We found that total upstream spending more than doubled over the period.


“Continued strong upstream capital investment, despite current price volatility, demonstrates the industry’s confidence in the long-term opportunities. However, we expect to see significant pressure to reduce rising production costs and more investment in technologies and techniques that increase efficiencies and drive down costs.”

- Dale Nijoka, EY’s Global Oil & Gas Leader

Capital expenditures

Total worldwide capital expenditures for the companies in the study were US$678.9b in 2013. Exploration spending was 5% higher at US$87.9b in 2013, compared to US$83.4b in 2012 with the increased spending in Brazil led by Petrobras contributing significantly to the total. Development expenditures grew 8% in 2013 to reach US$411.2b.

Worldwide — capital expenditures (millions) (a)

  2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Proved properties acquired $ 15,565.4 $ 55,546.8 $ 31,595.1 $ 26,775.3 $ 115,557.9
Unproved properties acquired 15,017.8 120,005.6 64,501.3 50,786.5 63,137.9
Exploration 55,921.9 60,831.5 73,094.2 83,420.3 87,892.9
Development 227,977.0 260,393.3 311,289.6 379,095.9 411,167.0
Other 548.5 498.6 741.6 1,368.5 1,106.5
Total $ 315,030.7 $ 497,275.9 $ 481,221.8 $ 541,446.6 $ 678,862.1
(a) Includes the 75 largest companies based on 2013 end-of-year oil and gas reserve estimates.

On a regional basis, Asia-Pacific saw the largest increase with development spending increasing by 15% (US$15.2b). Combined exploration and development spending by integrated companies increased by 12%, compared to a 5% increase by the large independent companies.

Combined spending by independent companies decreased by 14% in 2013 as depressed natural gas prices in the US and Canada have taken a toll on their cash flows and spending ability.

Top