We identified four key ingredients for exploration's recent return to profitability: high proportion of oil in commercial volumes; low exploration spend; strong performance of deepwater, and low government share. By analysing our forward-looking tools, we predicted whether these trends would continue, and why. Oil will continue to be the main focus for explorers in the next 5-10 years. Spend will tick up but remain well below the highs of the boom years. Deepwater will sustain its outperformance in the near to medium term. Government share will rise.