The resource holders: NOC exploration strategies

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The NOCs are important and growing explorers. These companies managed to protect their exploration spend over the last two price downturns better than the rest of the industry. Their exploration investment is often influenced by domestic resource endowment. The world’s largest resource holders with long reserve lives do not need to invest heavily in E&A. By contrast exploration is essential for oil importing nations’ NOCs. Despite their advantages, the NOCs also face with big exploration challenges. Slow resource monetisation and lack of international success are key issues they need to address. Looking forward, we expect the NOCs to maintain current level of E&A spend and drilling. Many will pivot towards gas as a part of their agenda for a lower-carbon world. They will also diversify into new resource themes, skill sets, or geographical locations.

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