The Discovery Companies

Always searching for a better way (since 1980)

The Discovery family of companies is developing profitable oil and gas operations in Eastern Europe. The highly experienced team is committed and enthusiastic about the huge potential for this region, and to a long-term dedication of time and talents to making it more self sufficient in the energy sector.
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Discovery Polska, LLC (“DP”) is a privately-held exploration and production company primarily focused on the oil and gas rich Carpathian thrust belt of Poland, Slovakia, Romania and the Czech Republic. It manages oil and gas exploration projects through subsidiaries, utilizing its strong management team of proven industry professionals, a well-connected and supportive Board, and a knowledgeable, motivated and enthusiastic technical team.

The group has worked diligently and tenaciously since 2008, building relationships and working toward acquisitions and partnerships in some of the most prospective conventional areas. DP now controls 3,288.5 sq km (812,606 acres) on five licenses in Slovakia and Poland, with additional acquisitions and partnerships underway.
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Discovery GeoServices Corporation (“DGSC”) is a highly experienced oil and gas consulting firm founded in 1980. Through its president, Michael (“Mike”) Lewis, the company has played a principle role in several major discoveries and developments, most notably the initiation of the Middle Bakken Play in Montana with Lyco Energy Corporation in 1999. With the “boom” in unconventional reservoir types (shale, CBM, fractured carbonates, tight sandstones, etc.), DGSC is applying its experience in several areas of Europe and North America.

DGSC provides geological services like prospect generation, evaluation, selection and support, but also has a long history with project management and oil and gas field operations. Through its sister-company relationships, it is also in position to consider participation in non-conflicting projects.

DGSC also provides workshops, seminars and conferences in cooperation with DP, to develop university students into productive members of the oil and gas community, and to interface with and train other professionals to stay abreast and involved in the latest technological improvements.
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A brief bit of history...

The modern oil and gas industry actually began in the Carpathians, with the first well in the world in 1854, followed by the first refinery in 1857. However, the history of oil in the Polish Carpathians actually started at the 15th century. Polish knight and king’s writer Jan Dżugosz describes Erazm Syxt (1617), Wojciech Tylkowski (1695), Gabriel Rączyński (1721), Krzysztof Kluk (1781), and Stanisław Radowski (1783) as scientists in Poland who did work on the implementation of oil for the pharmacy industry. The first Petroleum Geology lectures were held by Professor Józef Ignacy Martinovics (1755-1795) in Lwów City (then southeastern Poland, now Ukraine). The research of Ludwik Zejszner, Alojzy Alth and Roman Gostkowski in the early 19th Century gave Ignacy Łukasiewicz the ideas that he ultimately used for the first distillation of oil near Krosno, Poland.

The Carpathians of Poland was one of the most productive oil and gas areas in the world, drilled with cable tool and primitive rotary equipment, until WW1, when German and Soviet occupation all but halted exploration. Although the occupations ended in 1989, only in the last few years have the government and contractors, due in part to pressure from the shale gas players, worked out how to cooperate with western companies.

Although the Carpathians area was booming until WW1 (1914), modern exploration and development techniques have been applied in only a very small number of areas. Easily as oil and gas rich, this is akin to all exploration and development activities in East Texas ceasing in 1914. Imagine the remaining potential! Carpathian fields in southern Poland, Slovakia, southeastern Czech Republic, western Ukraine, Romania and Austria had produced 6.8 billion BO (984 million m3 of oil) and 53.7 BCFG (1,522 billion m3 of natural gas) by 2010. Almost all of that was discovered prior toWW1, or in the few intervening years between WW1 and WW2. The JV Area is often cited as one of the most prospective, mature and yet under-explored geological provinces in the world.

Because the Discovery team has been working this area since 2007, it is in a prime position to select the most lucrative projects, and to achieve the best governmental cooperation and support. Since the government owns all oil and gas rights, handles all concession awards and regulates all operations, those relationships are critical to success.

Although Europe has generally higher costs (by 40% or more), Discovery is working diligently to improve efficiencies, lower costs and develop highly profitable oil and gas production opportunities. Poland and Slovakia import about 95% of their oil needs, and 65% to 90%, respectively, of their gas needs. Brent oil pricing (see widget above) and a gas price 3X that of the U.S., with a population eager and motivated to be free from Russian supply controls, only serves to improve an already promising market situation.
Europe is the third largest producer of oil in the world (by region) behind the Middle East and, only recently, North America. European oil sales are based on Brent pricing (graph at right - current as of 15 January, 2015). Click on the map below to visit a great interactive EU map, showing the way the EU has changed over the years:
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The European oil and gas industry literally began in the Republic of Poland in 1854 with the first oil well at Bóbrka Field, and then the first refinery, all in the Carpathians of southern Poland. The area is heavily oil saturated, with most production from less than 500 meters. Surface oil seeps are plentiful. An active oil recharge system dominates as oil and gas migrates from deeply buried source beds to the south.
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Bobrka, the first oil field.
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The original wells were dug by hand, using boards and ropes with buckets for digging and stabilizing the hole. This was a very dirty and dangerous job, especially when oil and gas were encountered!
The Carpathian geological system is one of the world’s largest under-explored and under-developed oil and gas producing areas. The system has produced 6.8 billion BO (984 million m3 of oil) and 53.7 BCFG (1,522 billion m3 of natural gas) from fields in southern Poland, southeastern Czech Republic, Slovakia, western Ukraine, Romania and Austria. However, it has only recently begun to be the focus of modern (post WWII) exploration and production techniques and technologies because of its long political setting in the USSR.

Exploration and development of oil and gas resources in the Carpathians of Poland was feverish in the last half of the 1800’s and early 1900’s, using cable tool and primitive Canadian rotary equipment. Many of the “oilmen” were of North American origin. Although producing fields were exploited, exploration activities were largely suspended during WWI (1914 to 1918). During the relatively peaceful years between the World Wars, there was some renewed activity. However, things changed dramatically after Hitler’s attacks in 1939. After 6 years of destruction under the Nazi’s, the country was then plunged into 44 years of Soviet domination. Fiercely patriotic, the Poles hid or destroyed much of their oil and gas information during that period, so only very limited and largely unsuccessful oil and gas exploration was conducted.

In 1989, largely due to pressure from the Poles, the Soviet occupation was ended in eastern Europe and “the wall” came down. Oil and gas rights for all promising areas were immediately put into a state oil company called Polskie Górnictwo Naftowe i Gazownictwo SA (“PGNiG”) a/k/a the Polish Oil and Gas Company. PGNiG has since had only a handful of successes in Poland. They have drilled an average of less than 10 wells per year in this Carpathians area (4.7 Million acres), looking mostly for deep targets (>3,000 meters). Of the historical 76 oilfields (25 of which are still producing) and 147 gas fields in the area, almost all were discovered and in production by 1935. Much of the associated natural gas was flared and unmeasured.
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Shallow oil wells in the Polish Carpathians.

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A typical Poland shale gas rig site.

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The core archive at Hołowno…one of the nicest!