The volume of new oil discoveries hit a record low in 2016, the result of severe cuts to exploration budgets amid plummeting oil prices. The number of new conventional drilling projects also dropped to the lowest level in 70 years, according to the International Energy Agency . Across the globe, the oil industry only discovered 2.4 billion barrels last year. That is a small fraction of the 9 billion barrels that companies discovered on average each year for the past 15 years. Not only did new discoveries hit a record low, oil companies also declined to move forward on developing oil reserves that they already had in their possession. The industry gave the greenlight to drill only 4.7 billion barrels last year, about a third less than the previous year and sharply lower than the annual average before oil prices collapsed in 2014. In fact, the IEA says, the […]