Here we assess the near-term outlook for global conventional exploration, highlighting five themes to look for in 2020. Exploration faces a growing battle for support as companies and investors question the need for new resources. The Majors are likely to remain prominent participants in high-impact exploration plays, although one or more might announce a strategic move away from wildcatting in favour of acquisition-led growth or new energy businesses. National Oil Companies have been slowly increasing their exploration market share and this trend looks likely to continue in 2020. Smaller players face the double whammy of waning investor appetite and, even when they are successful, fewer industry buyers for their pre-FID discoveries.