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Bakken Summary

Bakken Summary

The North Dakota area of the Bakken LTO basin has accessible data from the ND Department of Natural Resources, Oil and Gas Division. Production here seems to be past peak and in general decline. The data presented here is therefore more a historical perspective than of much interest in predicting issues that may have significant impact for the future. However it may give some indication on what to expect in the Permian basins, the only ones left in the US that may have capacity to increase production. The Texas RRC does also produce good data but a global data dump produces files that are too big for my computer to handle and splitting into smaller subsets is too man-hour intensive for me to pursue.

Production Across the Area

These charts show how the oil production has changed every three years by range (almost equivalent to lines of longitudes) and township lines (latitudes). These lines run every six miles and the area they contain is called a township, consisting of 36 square mile sections (that’s the simplified explanation, earth’s curvature and irregular land features make things a bit more complicated).

The production shapes indicate that there aren’t core (tier 1) areas with surrounding poorer quality areas. There is a single, small central peak area (I think geologists might call this a bright spot) and the reservoir quality declines steadily to the edges of the basin, outside of which there is no meaningful production and never will be no matter what oil prices, technology improvements or USGS fantasies come along.

The chart below shows the production over the whole area for April 2021, looking towards the north-west…

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Annual Reserve Revisions Part IV: Shale Producers

Annual Reserve Revisions Part IV: Shale Producers

EIA Liquids Reserve Estimates

This follows on from Part I, which looked at EIA reserves and revision estimates for US as a whole and the GoM, and concentrates on the on-shore tight oil and (below)gas producing regions.

The EIA issues revision data by whole states or state districts rather than by basin, so some of the reserves and production, but a small proportion, will be from conventional reservoirs. It does give total reserves for each shale basin but not the changes, and I didn’t go to the trouble of pro-rating everything against that. Its data only goes through 2019; the 2020 update will be out in December or January.

The regions for each basins used are Permian – Texas Districts 7C, 8 and 8A and East New Mexico; Bakken –  North Dakota and Montana; Eagle Ford – Texas Districts 1, 2, 3 and 4 Onshore; Niobara –  Colorado; Marcelus – Pennsylvania and West Virginia; Utica –  Ohio; Haynesville – Louisiana South Onshore and Texas District 6; Barnett – Texas Districts 5, 7B and 9; Woodford – Oklahoma ; Fayetteville – Arkansas.

Remaining reserves are for crude, condensate and NGL, which is easier to include here given the way EIA presents its data. Totalled for all the basins these may have peaked in 2019, they were levelling off from 2018 and will certainly fall significantly in 2020.

Production was aggressively increasing in 2019, coming mainly from the Permian, but will fall in 2020, and given shale dynamics, a concurrent peak with reserves is not unlikely.

Cumulative adjustments and revisions turned negative in 2019 and I expect will show a major decline for 2020, which may well not be fully recovered even if prices rise significantly. To me this indicates that estimates for recovery factors were over-estimated originally and are gradually being corrected…

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Annual Reserve Revisions Part III: Larger Independents

Annual Reserve Revisions Part III: Larger Independents

The story here is of a gradual decline in the size and importance of most of these (once) large independents. Their combined reserves and production is not sizeable compared to the super majors and majors but their history may be indicative of what is coming the way of the larger companies. All but one of these companies is American owned. Most have or had holdings in shale or oil sands but many have sold off most of these and chosen to concentrate on a shrinking core business. There is probably a fuller picture to see if their financial performances, such as debt loads or share buy back schemes, were also considered but that’s a bigger job than I’m prepared for or capable of.

For the reserves charts the right hand axis shows liquid (green) and gas (red) replacement ratio with the organic ratios and their trend lines as solid lines and total ratios, including trades, as diamond markers.

On the the production charts I have not shown R/P for the oil sands production (nor the replacement ratio on the reserves chart) as for the small producers it tends to whizz about all over the place as prices change, but see the future post on Canada and oil sands for some more details.

On the revision summary charts I have not shown the cumulative trades (acquisitions/dispositions) or adjustments and revisions if they go negative, as the charts are complicated enough as they are, though really colourful, which is what I mostly go for. However, in such cases, I have shown the final figure in the legend.

ConocoPhilips (COP)

In the last fifteen years, pretty much since its inception in the merger of 2002, COP has lost over half of its reserves, averaged below 100% replacement ratio (and falling) and seen production half…

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Brazil Reserves and Production Update, 1H2018

Brazil Reserves and Production Update, 1H2018

brazil c&c production

Brazil and Petrobras show something in common with US LTO: even with a lot of debt and desire, and a strong resource base it is difficult to raise production in the face of high decline rates. It may also be a lesson for the world as oil prices rise and activity picks up; it is by far the most active conventional oil region with many major projects at various stages of completion, but facing delays and schedule crowding so oil production has continued a slow decline, contrary to expectations from last year. In July new production again did not quite match overall decline, mostly because of delays in start-ups of FPSOs planned for this year, and at 2575 kbpd was down 14 kbpd or 0.5% m-o-m and 48 kbpd or 1.8% y-o-y (data from ANP).

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Two FPSOs were started in 2017: Lula Extension Sul (P-66) at 150 kbpd nameplate and Pioneiro de Libra, an extended well test project on the Mero field, at 50 kbpd. Both are now about at design throughput. Two other FPSOs completed ramp up in 2017. In 2018 three FPSOs have started up: Atlanta a small early production system at 20 kbpd, Bezios-1 (P-74) in the Santos basin at 150 kbpd and FPSO Cidade de Campos dos Goytacazes on the Tartaruga Verde field in Campos, also at 150 kbpd. There were three other FPSOs due for the Buzios field (P-75, 76 and 77) but at least one is delayed till next year. There are now four planned FPSOs remaining to be started up this year, all in the fourth quarter: P-75 and P-76 plus P-67 (Lula Norte) and P-69 (Lula Extremo Sul) in the Lula field (each 150 kbpd nameplate).

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

GoM Reserves and Production Update, 1H2018

GoM Reserves and Production Update, 1H2018

crude and condensate reserves

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BOEM remaining C&C reserve estimates for GoM increased by 649 mmbbls for 2016 (i.e. to 31st December 2016). This was 112% reserve replacement and followed a similar growth of 618 mmbbls (111% reserve replacement) for 2015. The BOEM reserve calculation method appears to give highly conservative estimates. The increasing reserves followed several years, from 2006, of less than 100% reserve replacement, and actually negative numbers in 2006 and 2008. Current total original reserves (i.e. ultimate recovery) are a new high beating 2006 values, though deep water numbers are still below that year with the main growth appearing to be coming from: 1) older fields that were downgraded because of changes in SPE rules in 2007 (i.e. that reserves could only be booked if there were clear plans for their development within five years); and 2) newer discoveries, mostly smaller fields that are developed through tie-backs to existing hubs. These newer fields often do not get shown as new discoveries because BOEM records production and reserves against leases and each lease is recorded against a single field, even if there are deposits of different depth, age, geology and significant spacial separation within in it.

Current oil reserves are 3.569 Gb, which is 15% of the estimated original reserve (aka ultimate recovery). BOEM give the reserves as 2P (i.e. proven and probable) but they look very conservative and are actually lower than the EIA numbers, shown below, given for proven only and based on the operators own numbers, although the two are converging. The historical reserve histories look closer to how 1P (proven) numbers often appear, for example with some fields maintaining near constant R/P numbers, some showing large early drops that then come back over time, and some numbers being suspiciously low on fields obviously not near run out production rates (e.g. Mad Dog and Son of Bluto 2).

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Mexico Production and Reserves, 1H2018

Mexico Production and Reserves, 1H2018

mexico c&c production

Mexico oil production is in decline though, at the moment, not as steep as it was expected to be (at least by me – IEA predictions are closer).

Data is through June and comes from Pemex and National Hydrocarbons Information Center (CNIH)(both sites are pretty good).

For June C&C was 1870 kbpd, down 25 kbpd from May and 170 kbpd y-o-y. Yearly decline rates for each region are shown in the chart below. Production peaked in 2004/2005 at just over 3500 kbpd, so overall decline is approaching 50%.

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Most of the decline has been in light oil and condensate, with heavy oil holding fairly level.

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ku-maloob-zaap

The largest producer is the Ku-Maloob-Zaap complex (KMZ), which has been kept on a plateau, contrary to predictions of a decline starting about now from a Pemex presentation in 2012. The production has been maintained mainly by increasing flow from the Maloob field, and it looks like this has resulted in increased nitrogen production. Ku and Zaap production has been maintained, but the Ku field is getting close to exhaustion now. Ku is a medium oil at API 22°, while Maloob and Zaap produce heavy oil at API 12°. The two types of oil are processed separately so it’s not clear that decline in Ku can be fully replaced by the heavier oil fields, which I think also require more nitrogen for voidage replacement. Nitrogen injection to maintain production there was started in 2014, which was also when overall production came off a temporary plateau and started the current steady decline period. It would be interesting to know how the total available nitrogen is apportioned to the fields; presumably the total available is fixed and therefore so too is the net voidage replacement capacity and hence the total amount of heavy oil that can be produced.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

UK Offshore Production: Summary for First Quarter 2018

UK Offshore Production: Summary for First Quarter 2018

UK C&C

It was expected by many, me included but more importantly UKOGA and a couple of the bigger oil and gas consultancies, that UK offshore oil production would increase significantly from 2017 to exceed 1000 kbpd for the yearly average in 2018. So far this is proving a bit of a challenge. March production was 934 kbpd, down 7% m-o-m and 2% y-o-y (but up 0.8% for the first quarter compared with 2017). It’s possible that some fields have not reported but those showing zero for the month are not big producers. The biggest single field drop came from Clair but most fields saw declines, even the newer ones. Jodi data indicates there will be a rise shown for April to slightly above 1000 kbpd and then a fall back to around March numbers in May (note edit based on July Jodi data); there is usually a summer dip because of maintenance shutdowns (plus this year some strikes at Total platforms will impact).

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Two of the largest oil producers, Buzzard and the Golden Eagle Area Development, both operated by Nexen, have started accelerated decline following increasing water breakthrough (especially noticeable in GEAD over the past year). The newest large field is Scheihallion. This is a redevelopment with its neighbouring field, Loyal, through the Glen Lyon FPSO (also called the Quad 204 project), which was started last year. So far the combined decline in Buzzard and GEAD is almost matching growth in Scheihallion.

The Clair Ridge platforms, which will also exploit the remaining heavy oil in the Clair field, were installed last year but there have been multiple delays and production is not now expected until later this year. Once it is ramped up, which could take three or four years despite it having some predrilled wells, the project will be the largest producer at 100 to 120 mmbpd and has an eight year plateau, while Scheihallion/Loyal will plateau and decline quickly.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

GoM: First Quarter 2018, Production Summary

GoM: First Quarter 2018, Production Summary

crude and condensate

BOEM has March 2018 production at 1696 kbpd, which is down 1% month-on-month and 4% year-on-year (March 2017 was the peak production month for GoM so far). EIA numbers were very similar, although last month’s were higher and haven’t been revised yet – typically EIA numbers end up almost exactly corresponding to the BOEM reported total qualified lease production, whereas BOEM can be a little higher, maybe including test wells or non-qualified leases.

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The major new project, Stampede, started in January, has no reported production numbers yet. BOEM and EIA estimate non-reported values and then retrospectively adjust their reports when actual numbers are available. I don’t know how they estimate new production but Stampede could produce around 60 kbpd with current plans, though likely a lot less initially as only one of two leases has been ramping up. I’ve assumed 20 and 40 kbpd for February and March respectively, which still might be high. Even allowing for that, and assuming other late numbers are the same as the previous month, since December EIA and BOEM both have estimates about 30 to 40 kbpd higher than the reported lease and well production numbers (which always match closely) would suggest. Usually the difference is no more than ten. It is unlikely that the other late numbers, of which there are few, and none for all four months, will show such large, sudden and unexplained increases so either I’m missing something (maybe a lease not yet included in the numbers, but also not reported as starting up) or there could be some future downward adjustments.

Rigel and Otis are still off-line following the failure at a subsea manifold last October and are taking out about 22 kbpd plus some gas (Otis is a small gas field). Great White, Stones (for the full month) and Caesar/Tonga all had noticeable downtime in March taking about 90 kbpd off-stream.

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Norway Production, 2017 Summary and Projections

Norway Production, 2017 Summary and Projections

Average annual Norwegian wellhead C&C production dropped 1.5% in 2017, from 1709 kbpd (625 mmbbls total) to 1682 kbpd (614 mmbbls total). Wellhead gas (which includes fuel gas, flaring and gas injection) rose 2.6% from 2805 kboed to 2878 kboed. Exit rates were down 9% for oil andt 4% for gas, some of which was due to the Forties pipeline failure in December, but the decline appears to have continued in the first quarter of 2018.

Three small projects, Flyndre, Sindre and Birding, and two larger ones Gina Krog and Maria, came online. Sindre appears already to be exhausted. Flyndre is shared with UK and is declining fast. Gina Krog, discovered in 1974, is a tie back via a wellhead platform to Sleipner with nominal nameplate capacity of 60 kboed (split about evenly between oil and gas), and Maria is an oil tie-back to the Kristin semi-sub, but with water injection supplied from Heidrun, with 40 kbpd nameplate and is still ramping up after first production in Decemeber.

Norway C&C

The data shown in the charts is through February, but the NPD figures for this year have not been as complete or unequivocal as usual, so should be considered accordingly. A number of fields have no reported wellhead figures for January or February, though they do have sales reported (to fill the gaps I have prorated from these numbers based on previous complete monthly data). Additionally it looks for some reason that the sales figures for 2017 have all been doubled and the numbers for NGL are being switched from reporting in Te/d to m3/d, so there’s a bit of uncertainty.

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Troll

Troll, started in 1990, is by far the largest gas producer but also, currently, the largest oil producer, at around 150 kbpd, which has been kept steady for several years. The oil comes from a thin oil rim, produced from long, horizontal wells that are being continually drilled.

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Brazil and Mexico, 2017 Summaries

Brazil and Mexico, 2017 Summaries

Brazil had a fairly uneventful 2017 for C&C production. Overall production was up 4.5% at 957 mmbbls (114 kbpd average), but the December exit rate was down 4.5%, or 124 kbpd, at 2612 kbpd. There were only two new platforms with significant ramp-ups, and one of those went off line for a couple of months late in the year. The Libra (now Mero) extended test FPSO came on line in November but had achieved only 11 kbpd.

Pre-salt production exceeded 50% for the first time. It was 1356 kbpd, or 52%, in December compared to 1262, or 46%, for December 2016. There were 85 pre-salt wells up from 68, but average production for each had fallen from 19 kbpd to 16, which is as expected as they were drilled mostly on producing platforms.

Petrobras owned 94% of December production, with Statoil at 2.4% (63 kbpd) and Shell, from their BG purchase at 2.1% (57 kbpd); for 2016 the numbers were 94%, 2.1% and 2.0%.

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(Note that December water data wasn’t available at the time of writing so the water cut values have been assumed to be the same as November for the chart.)

Santos platforms increased overall, but some of the older ones may be showing signs of coming off plateau. Campos platforms declined and the rate may be increasing as the water cut growth is accelerating.

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This year will be a bit different as over 1 mmbpd of nameplate capacity is due to come on line, but it will be interesting to see how efficiently that amount of work is handled, and how far the ramp-up times might be limited by drill rig availability. If they add only another 20 odd wells then there is likely to be less than 400 kbpd new production. In addition reserve numbers for 2017 will come out in early April and the estimated Mero numbers will be important.

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EIA USA Reserve Estimates

EIA USA Reserve Estimates

EIA reserve estimates for USA for 2016 have been issued (a couple of months later than usual). The numbers they provide are ‘proven’ reserves of crude, condensate and natural gas.

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The data is provided directly by the E&Ps with some adjustments made by EIA for missing numbers. The data show reserves for the end of a given year, plus the reasons for change over the year: basically discoveries, production, revisions and sales. Until 2015 EIA had different categories for discovery (essentially a new reservoir, although there may be new pockets in existing freservoir) and extension (an increase in the area of an existing field). Recently most of this category has been extensions to LTO fields (i.e. an increase in the expected economic drainage area of a play). This year the reporting has changed so all discoveries and extensions are reported as a single figure and I’ve shown only this sum for previous years too. I have summed revision gains and losses plus adjustments to give a net number, and similarly for sales and acquisitions.

This year the data include non-producing reserves. I don’t know for sure if this is new but I haven’t noticed it before and can’t find any history for previous years. ‘Non-producing’ may mean reserves behind wells that are offline (e.g. are uncompleted, for maintenance or because of lack of processing or transport capacity); or that have real development plans for their production (typically starting within the next five years according to SEC rules, although for large, long cycle conventional projects the time can be extended). The undeveloped values for 2016 are shown on each chart.

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Non-OPEC Mid-size Oil Producers

Non-OPEC Mid-size Oil Producers

This post covers recent C&C production and future prospects, with a bit on gas, for several mid-size non-OPEC producers. A few have been omitted (e.g. Canada, Kazakhstan, Egypt, UK) for no particular reasons other than lack of time or anything much to say, but may be covered in the future. Many of the countries here have held a bumpy plateau over the last twelve to eighteen months. For most this has come after a period of decline, and some are showing signs that decline might be starting again. Brazil has been on a plateau after a period of increase, and may be about to renew that growth. There is a general theme that oil discoveries and developments are drying up and most of the countries are looking more to gas, but with the current gas glut looking like it might end up worse than the 2014/15 oil glut that strategy may prove difficult in the near term.

Brazil

Brazil production peaked in March and has been on a plateau since (data below is through July, there should have been an August update but ANP aren’t very consistent in release dates). They have had several large FPSOs offline for maintenance (generally their FPSOs don’t have the best availability and they have had recent common mode failure issues with the high pressure gas risers, though I don’t know if this is a direct cause of the recent turnarounds). The Campos fields’ average water cut seems to be accelerating, which might also be contributing to a plateau rather than allowing a new peak.

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Norway and UK Production Update

Norway and UK Production Update

Short-term trends for UK oil and gas production and, to a lesser extent, Norway can be rendered a bit meaningless by seasonal impacts from summer maintenance turn-arounds and cyclic gas demand. Overall, though, both are at or approaching the tail end of the production curve, but with slight upticks in the nearer term. Barring several large and unlikely new discoveries over the coming years the industry will continue winding down in both countries, with the UK ahead of Norway, and exploration and development leading operations and finally decommissioning. However some Norwegian gas production still has a multi-decade plateau to come and there are a couple of large oil projects due on-line in each country which will run for twenty to thirty years.

norway drilling and discoveries

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The usual patterns of exploration wells and discoveries following a bell curve that is matched by a later development curve (see below for the UK example and note that production is in cubic meters as it fits on a common axis better that way) is not seen so much in the Norwegian numbers. There are a number of reasons for this: 1) the wells and discoveries shown are for oil and gas and Norwegian gas development has been several years behind oil; 2) Norway really has three basins which have been explored somewhat sequentially – the North Sea, then the Norwegian Sea and then the Barents Sea; 3) the NPD includes as discoveries ‘hydrocarbon shows’ which will never be developed and skew the numbers, additionally in the chart the large number of ‘not evaluated’ finds in recent years will mostly become ‘unlikely to be developed’; 5) in the past Norwegian governments has made efforts to spread development of the resources through approval and leasing timing; 6) I think there are tax breaks in Norway that encourage exploration drilling even at low oil prices and low discovery rates; and 7) the chart shows numbers of discoveries rather than size, which would show a much clearer bell curve.

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Recent Production: Colombia, Mexico and Brazil

Recent Production: Colombia, Mexico and Brazil

Colombia

Colombia production is holding a plateau over the past year after a large decline in the last part of 2015 and first half of 2016. August value was 858 kbpd (down 0.04% y-o-y).

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Colombia oil reserves at the end of 2016 were 1.66 Gb (down 16.8% from 2 Gb in 2015 which followed a drop from 2.31 Gb in 2014). At the average 2016 production rate of 885 kbpd this gave an R/P of 5.1 years, the lowest for any significant producing country. Most of their production is heavy oil. Ecoptrol, which accounts for more than three quarters of Colombia’s crude and natural gas reserves and output, estimated about 45% of their decline was due to the “pronounced fall in oil prices”.

Individual field production is reported through the Colombian hydrocarbon agency (ANH), but data is only available to June. The previous decline mainly seems to have come from the many smaller fields (there are almost 500 total producing fields listed for 2017) and the largest one, Rubales. A few smaller fields were added in 2015, but the main cause of the plateau seems to be an arrest of the previous declines in the mature fields. Some of that may have been to do with the cessation of insurgent sabotage on pipelines.

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It’s unlikely they will be able to maintain a plateau without new discoveries. Exploration has dropped significantly in the last couple of years; Anadarko has been one of the few companies to maintain some activity but they only found gas and the latest news from them would appear to indicate they are going to use money for share buybacks rather than expansion. Even EcoPetrol look more interested in opportunities abroad (e.g. offshore Mexico).

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

GoM June Production Update

GoM June Production Update

Production

Production for June by BOEM was 1631 kbpd and by EIA 1636, compared with 1673 and 1659 kbpd, respectively, in May. The decline was mostly from Thunder Horse going offline and Constitution staying offline. Hurricane Cindy didn’t seem to have much of an impact, things will be different for the impact of Harvey on August figures.

Even with the two offline facilities coming back July numbers will struggle to beat those for March, and after that the depletion declines and hurricane disruptions take over. Note that the “others” area includes any assumptions BOEM has made to allow for missing data, which is quite a lot this month.

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The combined new fields added from late 2014 are holding a plateau with South Santa Cruz and Barataria fields added and a new lease for Marmalard starting (adding about 20 kbpd combined). Stones also had a better month and achieved 70% of nameplate capacity. It’s interesting that five leases have come on line and then have effectively been killed off in this thirty month period: Amethyst (a small gas field that died after sputtering along for about six months, and not shown as the flow was so small), one lease in Lucius, Kodiak, one lease in Caesar/Tonga/Tahiti, and one in Rigel. Dalmatian South production fell immediately after start-up and was offline for a couple of months but came back in June (there are plans for subsea pumping to be installed but I don’t now the present status).

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The big drops have been for BP, with Thunder Horse off line for part of June, and for Anadarko with the Constitution shut down extending into a second month (I think a bit longer than was planned).

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Olduvai IV: Courage
In progress...

Olduvai II: Exodus
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