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Anadarko oil and gas exploration summary

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Report summary

Returns from Anadarko's conventional exploration activity over the last decade slipped below 10% for the first time since our coverage began. Conversely, the sale of non-core and dry gas acreage onshore US boosted returns from unconventional exploration. Anadarko is focused on high-margin domestic oil in the near term, both onshore and in the US Gulf of Mexico. The Wolfcamp and Niobrara plays will drive production growth. Near-field, incremental exploration in deepwater GoM competes well with the short-cycle unconventional portfolio. Internationally, recent results have been mixed and few new test areas have been added. That said, its select frontier opportunities could provide the company with the next long-term production hub.

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Table of contents

    • Basins drilled and all conventional & organic unconventional discoveries 2007-2016
    • Upstream strategy
    • Evolution of exploration strategy
  • Investment and costs
    • Well data
    • Resource additions for two types of asset are tabulated below - conventional new field discoveries and organic unconventional plays.
    • Production from new field discoveries and organic unconventionals, and as a proportion of all future production
    • High-impact strategy in core deepwater regions brings volume, but value is less certain
    • Leader in unconventional liquid-rich plays
    • Early realisation of value from gas-prone shales
    • Range of plays provides diversity in deepwater US Gulf of Mexico
    • Early-mover advantage in the West African Transform Margin
    • Spectacular East African success brings LNG potential to the portfolio
    • Brazilian acquisition bears fruit through pre-salt success
    • Limited value creation from conventional onshore exploration
    • Non-core areas rationalised

Tables and charts

This report includes 24 images and tables including:


  • Exploration & appraisal spend and reinvestment
  • Exploration & appraisal spend by water depth
  • Exploration & appraisal spend by basin maturity
  • Discovery costs by water depth
  • Executive summary: Image 1
  • Net active exploration acreage by water depth
  • Net active conventional 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, including unconventionals
  • Exploration returns by year, including unconventionals
  • Costs and development value by reserve category
  • Exploration returns by water depth


  • Full-cycle economics
  • Ten year performance summary
  • SWOT grid
  • Gross exploration & appraisal wells by basin and sector
  • Reserves and resources: Table 1
  • Reserves and resources: Table 2

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