In 2017, GoM will finally feel the effects of lower oil prices and the end of a major investment cycle. Capex is expected to fall to its lowest since 2011. Project costs will continue to decline, with rig contract renegotiations and project optimisation leading the charge. The end of 2016 was a bright spot for GoM M&A. The combination of a stabilising oil price, the swathes of investment packages on the market, and motivated sellers bodes will for an improving M&A market in 2017. Exploration was surprisingly resilient with the number of exploration wells in 2016 only down 3 form 2015. However, exploration in 2017 is set for a dramatic drop.