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Upstream oil & gas trends

What's the future of exploration? We asked explorers

How optimistic are they?

The results from our annual Exploration Survey are in. The industry has had their say on all things exploration, from budgets and technology to portfolios and peers.

Download the results to find out:

  • the most admired explorers
  • the most exciting discoveries of 2018
  • how exploration ranks as a resource capture option

Back in the black

Overall we see a continuing theme of optimism, and, on the whole, we find confidence continuing to grow and an industry firmly back in the black.

Digitalisation has become a consistent feature on our surveys. There are certain key technologies, such as seismic processing, machine learning and artificial intelligence, that stand out as fundamental to the digital revolution for exploration. Results from the survey back up our expectation that the exploration industry, led by the majors, will spend billions each year on digitalisation. With budgets like this, it's no surprise we see involvement from the big tech giants.

Is more money flowing through exploration?

Efficiency gains mean the industry is now doing more with less as standard. And so money is once again flowing through the exploration pipeline, leading to a general sense of optimism. And this is reflected in the following chart which shows that, overall, the industry is confident that it can break even with an average oil price of around $50/bbl.  

Success factors

What makes a successful exploration company? The top five factors given by respondents to this year's survey were:

  1. Entry into new basins
  2. Repositioning of portfolio
  3. Acquisition of other companies
  4. Clever farm-in deals
  5. Continued drilling success

And the industry also told us which discoveries were the most exciting of 2018. How in tune are your opinions with those of the rest of the exploration world? Find out by downloading the 2019 results.