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.