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Murphy oil and gas exploration summary

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Report summary

Murphy’s exploration strategy has traditionally focused on high-impact deepwater. Complementing this, it has built an attractive portfolio of unconventional assets in North America. Recent under-performance with high-impact exploration and low oil prices have triggered Murphy to review its exploration strategy. Addressing its depleted hopper of opportunities, the company has competed in bid rounds to enter new countries, notably Mexico and Brazil. Near-field exploration will continue in its current areas of operation while it works up high-impact prospects in its newer acreage. Unconventional exploration will be centred on the Eagle Ford, with the Canadian assets on pause. Here, we analyse Murphy’s conventional and unconventional exploration strategy, and its exploration performance over the period 2007-2016, including investment, well activity, volume discovered, discovery cost, reserve replacement ratio, value creation and rates of return. The report includes a detailed data download.

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Table of contents

  • Executive summary
    • Upstream strategy
    • Evolution of exploration strategy
  • Investment and costs
    • Well data
  • Reserves and resources
  • Production
    • Full-cycle economics

Tables and charts

This report includes 24 images and tables including:


  • Basins drilled and all conventional & organic unconventional discoveries 2007-2016
  • Exploration & appraisal spend and reinvestment
  • Exploration & appraisal spend by water depth
  • Exploration & appraisal spend by basin maturity
  • Discovery costs 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
  • Net active exploration acreage by water depth
  • Net active conventional acreage by country
  • Exploration wells drilled and spend per well
  • Exploration success rates
  • Full cycle value creation by year, incl. uncons
  • Exploration returns by year, with uncons
  • Costs and development value by reserve category
  • Exploration returns by water depth


  • Ten year performance summary
  • Top 40 discoveries (2007 to 2016)
  • Reserves and resources: Table 2
  • SWOT grid
  • Gross conventional exploration & appraisal wells by basin and sector
  • Valuation: Table 1

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