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16 Pages

Exploration trends - benchmarking by basin maturity

Exploration trends - benchmarking by basin maturity

Report summary

This report details how conventional exploration in frontier basins has compared to exploration in emerging and mature basins, over the decade 2006-2015. We analyse trends in E&A spend and wells drilled, resources discovered, discovery cost, lead times, expected development cost, full-cycle value creation and returns.

Global exploration spend fell 35% in 2015. The frontier sector, which has greatest exposure to deepwater and other high-cost complex plays, was hit hardest, suffering a 45% decline in investment, and a similar drop in exploration and appraisal wells.

Mature basins contributed 43% of the discovered volumes over the decade, but face the greatest commercial challenges. Emerging is the only maturity class to have delivered positive full-cycle economics over the full ten-year period.

The report is accompanied by an excel download which details costs, volumes and value on an annual basis.

What's included?

This report includes 2 file(s)

  • Exploration trends - benchmarking by basin maturity PDF - 601.94 KB 16 Pages, 9 Tables, 18 Figures
  • Exploration Trends by maturity.xls XLS - 677.50 KB


Oil and gas exploration is an industry in constant motion, from technological breakthroughs to shifting supply and demand. The high costs of finding and developing new oil and gas fields that can be commercially developed has created a challenging atmosphere, with explorers increasingly seeing low returns, low value and slow progress.

This Asset Benchmarking report provides a detailed benchmarking of the oil and gas exploration industry, including drilling results, success rates and the value of each discovery. You'll also find information about discovery and development costs and full-cycle returns.

Exploration businesses and advisors can use this report to decide which regions or sectors are best to explore. Benchmarking at basin level helps with opportunity screening.

Wood Mackenzie has access to historic data for over 450 basins and forecasts for more than 125 basins. We provide accurate information on the cost of exploration compared to the value of discoveries so that you can develop profitable strategies. Our in-depth analysis gives you the information you need to navigate the ever-changing challenges of oil and gas exploration so you can make key commercial decisions.

  • Key facts
  • Summary and key issues
    • Maturity definition
    • Key trends
  • Exploration
    • Exploration & appraisal spend and well count
    • Discovery count and success rate
  • Reserves and resources
  • Development
    • Lead times
  • Costs
    • Discovery and development costs
    • Discovery and development costs
      • Discovery costs
      • Development costs
  • Economic assumptions
    • Oil and gas prices
  • Economic analysis
    • Exploration full cycle economics
      • Government take

In this report there are 27 tables or charts, including:

  • Key facts
    • Key facts
    • Assumptions
  • Summary and key issues
    • Basin maturity definition
    • Maturity classification
    • Key facts by maturity
  • Exploration
    • Exploration and appraisal spend and well count
    • Exploration and appraisal spend
    • Drilling activity
    • Discovery count and success rate
    • Number of discoveries
    • Overall success rate
  • Reserves and resources
    • Volumes discovered and average discovery size
    • Annual volumes discovered
    • Average volumes discovered per well
    • Proportion of volumes by commerciality
    • Volumes discovered by Phase
  • Development
    • Lead times
  • Costs
    • Costs: Table 1
    • Annual discovery costs
    • Discovery and expected development costs
  • Economic assumptions
    • WM Brent Oil Price Assumption, May 2015 vs May 2016
  • Economic analysis
    • Value creation and returns
    • Economic analysis: Image 1
    • Economic analysis: Image 2
    • Annual value creation at the Base price
    • Annual full-cycle returns
    • Government take
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