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Estimated recoverable oil and gas from giant field discoveries from 2000 through 2009 was 383 billion barrels of oil equivalent (BBOE)—a 92% increase from the prior decade and the largest addition from giant fields since the 1970s. This dramatic increase in giant field resources was driven by the emergence of shale gas and tight oil discoveries in North America. These so-called unconventional or continuous resource plays added almost 177 BBOE of new resources—mostly from super-giant plays like the Marcellus, Bakken-Three Forks, Eagle Ford, and Montney formations. In harmony with recent trends, giant natural gas discovery volumes greatly exceeded those of oil and contributed about 260 BBOE (1558 trillion cubic feet) of new resources. Traditional conventional giant discoveries added 198 BBOE of new resource—slightly less than in the prior decade and almost 55% of the total. Super-giant fields such as Galyknysh (Yoloten) with 67 BBOE gas and condensate in Turkmenistan, Kashagan in Kazakhstan; Lula in Brazil; and Kish 2 in Iran accounted for almost 60% of the giant conventional resources. The share of deepwater discoveries increased and contributed 23% of the conventional giant field volumes. The Santos Basin mega presalt and the Levantine Basin were the most important deepwater play openers.

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