Oil investment potential of six emerging oil fields

There is still an abundance of oil fields scattered across the globe waiting to be tapped. Unfortunately, in many cases oil exploration is either blocked or delayed by a myriad of factors that are geo-political, economic, or technological in nature.  Lately, however, as some of these issues are settled, oil firms have been slowly tapping these regions with reportedly vast oil potential.

The oil reserves of Mexico’s Chicontepec Basin could run up to 10 billion oil barrels. For some oil companies, the extra-heavy crude found in the region is much too costly to tap considering current crude oil prices and the significant refining costs associated with heavier blends.

Another region with untapped potential is Ghana’s Jubilee Field.  It is believed to contain at least 1.8 billion barrels of crude.  ­­­Africa’s major independent oil firm, Tullow Oil, uncovered this oil resource five years ago and is presently working at exploring it further.  A year ago, Tullow managed to produce 66,000 bpd of oil from this resource.

Experts project crude deposits from the Kashagan region of the Republic of Kazakhstan about 11 billion barrels.  However, the major problem facing explorers is that, during the winter months, the crude oil-bearing reservoir freezes, making it more challenging to tap and develop.

Brazil’s popular Campos and Santos Basins have some of the highest projected crude reserves, more than 120 billion barrels. Due to their sheer geographic size and sizeable oil deposits, oil giants – the likes of Chevron and Petrobas – have taken bold steps to invest in oil exploration in these regions.  The task of extracting crude from these areas, however, could be quite arduous since the oil resource is many miles underneath the ocean and likewise buried underneath strata of salt.

Unlike Brazil’s popular basins, there exists unnamed oil deposits located in Iraq’s southwest portion.  Although it also holds significant amounts of crude of up to 100 billion barrels, which could compete with those of the Campos and Santos Basins, the region could be quite difficult to explore. For many years, Iraq has been a country beleaguered by armed struggle, and the current state of infrastructure makes it all the more difficult for oil firms to operate efficiently. But, since the once turbulent political climate has showed signs of easing, a number of oil firms are mobilizing towards this area to “get a piece of the pie.”

In terms of oil potential, topping all of the five above-mentioned regions is Venezuela’s Orinoco Belt. It is expected to hold crude amounting to more than 500 billion barrels. The overriding setback, of course, is the country’s shaky political condition making it a high-risk oil investment area. But with the entry of Hugo Chavez into the picture, some oil companies from Asia have boldly joined Venezuela’s oil sector, hoping that Chavez might prove to be a more reliable “partner.”