Exploration will remain important for upstream oil and gas companies as they look to refresh and optimise their portfolios. Prioritisation of advantaged resources is now well established, helping companies improve the sustainability (low carbon) and resilience (low cost) of their barrels. Exploration spend will see a modest increase, which will contribute 20 billion barrels of new resource delivering returns of over 15%. Explorers will prefer to target oil while demand remains robust and the most material contribution will come from high-impact deep and ultra-deepwater exploration. Private investors, while playing a minor role in overall exploration spend, are ramping up investment in deepwater exploration. Acreage portfolio renewal remains important, but licence rounds will take a back seat to direct negotiations and farm-ins. Results from 2024 pilot projects in geothermal technology could shape the future of this immature sector as diversification into geo-energies gains importance.