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ExxonMobil oil and gas exploration summary

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Report summary

ExxonMobil's integrated business model is emerging from the down-cycle in good shape. Scale leadership has been firmly established by three counter-cyclical acquisitions in three different continents totalling close to US$11 billion. The company has enjoyed recent success from a revitalised exploration strategy embracing greater high-impact frontier exploration. It has a strong position in deepwater acreage, although much of it lies outside proven basins. The world-class Liza discovery and bolt-on finds in Guyana is justifying this high-impact approach. Key elements of the strategy include exploring in the most profitable areas where discoveries can be tied back to existing infrastructure; and accessing and expanding in new areas, especially where there has been world-class exploration success.

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    ExxonMobil oil and gas exploration summary

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Table of contents

  • Executive summary
  • Investment and costs
    • Well data
  • Reserves and resources
  • Production
    • Resource additions from both legacy and new basins
    • Shifting focus to high-impact acreage brings higher costs but great potential
    • Unconventionals: organic growth off the back of acquisitions

Tables and charts

This report includes 24 images and tables including:


  • Basins drilled and all conventional & organic unconventional discoveries 2007-2016
  • Exploration & appraisal spend by basin maturity
  • Discovery costs by water depth
  • Exploration & appraisal spend and reinvestment
  • Exploration & appraisal spend by water depth
  • Volumes discovered by year
  • Volumes discovered by water depth
  • Volumes discovered by country
  • Volumes discovered by basin
  • Production from new field discoveries and organic unconventionals, and as a proportion of all future production
  • Exploration wells drilled and spend per well
  • Exploration success rates
  • Full cycle value creation by year, with uncons
  • Exploration returns by year, with uncons
  • Costs and development value by reserve category
  • Exploration returns by water depth
  • Net active acreage by water depth
  • Net active acreage by country


  • Ten year performance summary
  • Top 40 discoveries (2007 to 2016)
  • Key organic unconventional plays
  • Full-cycle economics
  • SWOT Grid
  • Gross conventional exploration & appraisal wells by basin and sector

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