Exploration has a development problem - what will it take to fix?

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Report summary

Exploration has a development problem.  The industry is struggling to commercialise its new discoveries and its returns are suffering as a result.  We expect that full cycle economics will improve from their current abyss, as better capital discipline and many other factors drive performance.  A majority of the industry shares our optimistic outlook.  Encouraging results from recent drilling suggest that many explorers are already beginning to turn the corner towards recovery. 

What's included

This report contains

  • Document

    Exploration has a development problem - what will it take to fix?

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Table of contents

    • Returns from investment in exploration have fallen uncomfortably low
    • Increasingly complex new field resources are not converting to reserves
    • What does the exploration industry need to do to fix its problem?
    • Exploration returns will recover

Tables and charts

This report includes 8 images and tables including:


  • Matrix of possible solutions by opportunity type


  • Not an issue: total volumes and mean discovery size
  • Exploration has a development problem - what will it take to fix?: Image 2
  • Might become an issue: proportion of gas versus oil
  • Heart of the problem: rising costs suppress returns
  • Discoveries by resource commerciality
  • New developments by easy and hard reserve themes
  • Traffic light drivers of exploration returns

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