Global exploration in 2020: solid results from fewer wells

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25 January 2021

Global exploration in 2020: solid results from fewer wells

Report summary

The oil and gas exploration industry’s plans were hit hard by the crises of 2020. Budgets were abruptly cut and logistical challenges left many wildcats deferred. We reckon spend and well counts both ended up down 40% on 2019. Yet, despite completing far fewer wells, the sector’s overall performance achieved many positives including at least 25 large and giant finds. Powered by our Lens platform and Exploration Service research, we review 25 billion boe of new field discoveries to identify the key discoveries, companies and economic metrics: • Which volumes are already considered commercial or economically viable? • How did overall discovery costs improve to become the lowest in over a decade? • Which regions drove value creation and returns to continue their upward trends of recent years? • Which NOCs and leading independents were the companies to watch?

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