The exploration industry is searching for a new way forward. Here we summarise the main strategic themes for explorers, outlining some key arguments for and against. We characterise four broad categories based on impact and water depth. These simplify the complex reality of exploration strategies which can be defined according to a myriad of other factors including materiality, hydrocarbon phase, timing, risk, geography, geopolitics, subsurface and existing portfolio. Our four themes are generic. Every company has its own specific factors and sources of competitive advantage to consider. Fit with existing portfolios, particular competencies or preferential access can be critical. So too are timing considerations. Those with the cushion of a robust near-term production outlook will take a different approach to those that face greater urgency to replace output.