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After a dismal year for oil discoveries, turnaround expected

Bloomberg News

Last year saw the worst oil downturn in a generation. Exploration outfits slashed spending, and oil discoveries were the lowest they’d been since the 1950s.

But, as Bloomberg reports, the good news is there’s probably nowhere to go but up.

In 2016, oil companies discovered about 14 percent less oil than they had in the previous year—and 2015 was itself a slow year for exploration. Last year’s discovery total was America’s lowest since 1952.

But now, optimism sparked by OPEC’s promise to curb output could mean U.S. exploration will soon be back on track.

Andrew Latham handles global exploration for the Wood Mackenzie energy company. He says, there’ll be a lag [in exploration] of at least a year, but he expects investment to start growing again soon, and volumes will come back.