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CNOOC oil and gas exploration summary



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Report summary

CNOOC has maintained its domestic offshore focus drilling an average of more than 100 E&A wells per year in China. This activity has delivered 4.0 billion boe of net reserves from a total of 4.7 billion boe conventional resources discovered. During 2014 deepwater exploration in the South China Sea was an important focus but activity has prioritised more established lower cost provinces since 2015. CNOOC has responded to the weaker oil price with overall capital investment reductions of at least 10% in 2016. This partly reflects the conclusion of heavy domestic investment but is also a result of increased focus on value and shareholder returns. CNOOC still lags a long way behind the largest IOCs in terms of deepwater exposure. If the company is to build a self sustaining international business it will need to replace production though the exploration drill bit. As such the drivers to continue to expand into high impact deepwater exploration opportunities remain strong.

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Table of contents

  • Executive summary
  • Strategy
  • Investment and costs
  • Exploration
  • Reserves and resources
  • Production
  • Valuation

Tables and charts

This report includes 24 images and tables including:


  • Executive summary: Image 1
  • 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 (2006 to 2015)
  • Key organic unconventional plays
  • Valuation: Table 1

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