Asset report

Exploration trends - benchmarking by basin maturity

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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 contains

  • Document

    Exploration Trends by maturity.xls

    XLS 677.50 KB

  • Document

    Exploration trends - benchmarking by basin maturity

    PDF 601.94 KB

  • Document

    Exploration trends - benchmarking by basin maturity

    ZIP 816.48 KB

Table of contents

Tables and charts

This report includes 27 images and tables including:


  • Annual volumes discovered
  • Average volumes discovered per well
  • Proportion of volumes by commerciality
  • Volumes discovered by Phase
  • Maturity classification
  • Exploration and appraisal spend
  • Drilling activity
  • Number of discoveries
  • Overall success rate
  • Lead times
  • WM Brent Oil Price Assumption, May 2015 vs May 2016
  • Economic analysis: Image 1
  • Economic analysis: Image 2
  • Annual value creation at the Base price
  • Annual full-cycle returns
  • Annual discovery costs
  • Discovery and expected development costs
  • Government take


  • Key facts
  • Assumptions
  • Volumes discovered and average discovery size
  • Basin maturity definition
  • Key facts by maturity
  • Exploration and appraisal spend and well count
  • Discovery count and success rate
  • Costs: Table 1
  • Value creation and returns

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