Asset report
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21 Pages

Global exploration trends

Global exploration trends

Report summary

The Global exploration trends report analyses high-level global trends in conventional exploration over 2006-2015. The cost of exploration is compared with the value of new field discoveries made. Trends in the exploration industry have made it a tough place to operate in recent years, although the sector has consistently delivered robust oil and gas volumes in new finds, with close to 250 billion boe found. Value and returns, however, have plunged as the collapse in oil prices compounds an already difficult environment for converting resources into commercial reserves.

What's included?

This report includes 2 file(s)

  • Global exploration trends PDF - 506.07 KB 21 Pages, 11 Tables, 22 Figures
  • Global Exploration Trends.xls XLS - 623.00 KB


Oil and gas exploration is an industry in constant motion, from technological breakthroughs to shifting supply and demand. The high costs of finding and developing new oil and gas fields that can be commercially developed has created a challenging atmosphere, with explorers increasingly seeing low returns, low value and slow progress.

This Asset Benchmarking report provides a detailed benchmarking of the oil and gas exploration industry, including drilling results, success rates and the value of each discovery. You'll also find information about discovery and development costs and full-cycle returns.

Exploration businesses and advisors can use this report to decide which regions or sectors are best to explore. Benchmarking at basin level helps with opportunity screening.

Wood Mackenzie has access to historic data for over 450 basins and forecasts for more than 125 basins. We provide accurate information on the cost of exploration compared to the value of discoveries so that you can develop profitable strategies. Our in-depth analysis gives you the information you need to navigate the ever-changing challenges of oil and gas exploration so you can make key commercial decisions.

  • Key facts
  • Summary and key issues
  • Exploration
    • Exploration & appraisal spend and well count
      • Discovery count and success rate
  • Reserves and resources
  • Costs
    • Discovery and development costs
  • Economic assumptions
    • Oil and gas prices
  • Economic analysis
    • Exploration full cycle economics
      • Upside in recent exploration results

In this report there are 33 tables or charts, including:

  • Key facts
    • Key facts
    • Key facts: Table 2
  • Summary and key issues
  • Exploration
    • Exploration and appraisal spend and well count
    • Exploration and appraisal spend
    • Drilling activity
    • Signature bonus payments by year
    • Total signature bonus payments by country
    • Discovery count and success rate
    • Annual discoveries
    • Trends in overall success rates
  • Reserves and resources
    • Volumes discovered and average discovery size
    • Volume discovered by phase
    • Volumes discovered by commerciality
    • Average discovery size
    • Average volume discovered per exploration well
    • Number of giant and large discoveries
    • Volumes in giant and non-giant discoveries
    • Distribution of giant oil and gas fields
    • Giant discoveries (2006-2009)
    • Giant discoveries (2010-2012)
    • Giant discoveries (2013-2015)
  • Costs
    • Discovery and development costs
    • Discovery plus development costs and government take
    • Annual discovery cost
    • Development costs by discovery year
    • Discovery plus development costs by discovery year
    • Annual state share of value creation
  • Economic assumptions
    • WM Brent Oil Price Assumption, May 2015 vs May 2016
  • Economic analysis
    • Value creation and returns
    • Annual value creation
    • Annual full-cycle returns
    • Growth of commercial success rates
    • Change in historical view of value creation
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