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CNOOC oil and gas exploration summary

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Report summary

Over the study period, CNOOC has maintained its domestic offshore focus, drilling an average of 66 E&A wells per year in China. This has delivered 3.9 billion boe of net reserves from a total of 4.8 billion boe conventional resources discovered, and accounts for over 80% of total value creation from exploration. CNOOC responded strongly to the weaker oil price fundamentals with overall capital investment reductions of 38% in 2015 and 10% in 2016. This partly reflects the conclusion of heavy domestic investment, but is also a result of increased focus on value. The maturity of the domestic portfolio highlights the need for renewed business development, and CNOOC Ltd is already one of the most internationally active of the Asian NOCs in 2017. It has made steady progress building its international exploration position, although it remains relatively light on high-impact acreage. Full details are provided in our report, and all data and analysis can be downloaded in excel and pdf format.

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Table of contents

Tables and charts

This report includes 24 images and tables including:


  • Basins drilled and all conventional & organic unconventional discoveries 2007-2016
  • Exploration & appraisal spend and reinvestment
  • Exploration & appraisal spend by water depth
  • Exploration & appraisal spend by basin maturity
  • Discovery costs by water depth
  • Net active exploration acreage by water depth
  • Net active exploration acreage by country*
  • Exploration wells drilled and spend per well
  • Exploration success rates
  • Volumes discovered by year
  • Volumes discovered by water depth
  • Volumes discovered by country
  • Volumes discovered by basin
  • Production: Image 1
  • Full cycle value creation by year, with uncons
  • Exploration returns by year, with uncons
  • Costs and development value by reserve category
  • Exploration returns by water depth


  • Ten year performance summary
  • SWOT grid
  • Gross conventional exploration & appraisal wells by basin and sector
  • Top 40 discoveries (2007 to 2016)
  • Key organic unconventional plays
  • Valuation: Table 1

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