At first glance, 2016 looked like a disappointing year for the upstream sector in Continental & Mediterranean Europe. The numbers show exploration and appraisal drilling down by half, while production seemed to have entered a terminal decline. However, a closer look shows that there have been plenty of positive stories for the region. Majors have entered frontier regions for the first time following successful licensing rounds, while a successful exploration well opened up a new deepwater play. The number of M&A deals tripled, with the largest deal seeing Chinese investment in one of Europe's largest onshore oil fields.