Global Exploration: 2014 in review

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Report summary

Over the last twelve months, exploration has subtly shifted away from high-impact frontier wildcatting, towards lower-risk exploration in mature basins. This was encouraged by calls from shareholders for capital discipline and improved returns - and is a trend that we expect to be reinforced in 2015 in light of low oil prices. Preliminary results from 2014 indicate that explorers operating in proven basins delivered the best results - but that commercial success has been challenging to achieve.

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Table of contents

    • Volumes down and discovery costs up
    • Giant and large finds
    • Play openers
    • Russia and Sub-Sahara Africa are the top regions
    • Company performance
    • Re-focusing on heartland regions
    • Short-lead time plays favoured over high-impact frontier
    • Deepwater beginning to lose its share

Tables and charts

This report includes 12 images and tables including:


  • Annual volumes discovered - all basins
  • Annual volumes discovered - excluding mega-plays
  • Annual discovery costs
  • Distribution of giant and large oil and gas discoveries
  • Discovered resource by region
  • Commerciality of volumes by region
  • Top 35 companies by volume
  • Top 15 countries by volume discovered
  • Offshore volumes discovered by basin maturity
  • Total resources discovered by water depth (2014)


  • Increases from initial estimate of global new field resource
  • Play openers

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