Asset report

Exploration trends - benchmarking by play maturity

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Report summary

Maturity is a defining element of exploration portfolio, programme and strategy. Companies must decide between the greater risks and rewards of frontier opportunities versus smaller, safer bets in mature plays. Optimal timing of play entry is a critical contributor to exploration outperformance. Our analysis of exploration results over the past decade reveals that frontier exploration is generally better than mature alternatives. Big volumes in new plays offer better returns than near-field drilling for smaller prospects close to infrastructure.

What's included

This report contains

  • Document

    Exploration trends by maturity.xlsx

    XLSX 650.94 KB

  • Document

    Exploration trends - benchmarking by play maturity

    PDF 394.81 KB

  • Document

    Exploration trends - benchmarking by play maturity

    ZIP 915.70 KB

Table of contents

    • Introduction
    • Maturity definition
  • Exploration
  • Discoveries and success rate
  • Reserves and resources
  • Lead times
  • Costs
  • Economic analysis
  • Economic assumptions

Tables and charts

This report includes 33 images and tables including:


  • Exploration drilling trend by maturity
  • Exploration: Image 2
  • Proportion of exploration wells trend by maturity
  • Exploration: Image 4
  • Exploration: Image 5
  • Proportion of exploration spend by maturity
  • Proportion of exploration spend trend by maturity
  • Number of discoveries by maturity
  • Number of discoveries trend by maturity
  • Success rates by maturity
  • Success rate trend by maturity
  • Volumes discovered by phase
  • Volumes discovered by commerciality
  • Volumes discovered by maturity
  • Proportion of volumes discovered by maturity
  • Average discovery size by maturity
  • Average volume discovered per well
  • Number of giant discoveries by maturity
  • Giant discovery trend by maturity
  • Development lead times by maturity
  • Discovery and development costs by maturity
  • Discovery cost trends by maturity
  • Value creation by maturity
  • Unit development value by maturity
  • Full cycle IRR by maturity
  • Annual full cycle IRR by maturity
  • Wood Mackenzie Brent price assumptions


  • Exploration and appraisal spend and well count
  • Discovery count and success rates
  • Volumes discovered and average discovery size
  • Discovery and development costs
  • Value creation and returns
  • Exploration maturity definition

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