WoodMac: Conventional reserves play prominent role in short-term exploration outlook

Low-cost opportunities continue to draw operator interest in 2017, according to an exploration survey released by Wood Mackenzie Ltd. Of the 200 senior industry professionals responding to the survey, 60% rated conventional reserves as a primary resource capture option.

Less than 20% of respondents cited unconventional exploration as a primary part of the short-term outlook. Most respondents thought unconventional development requires further price support.

In 2017, near-field opportunities in mature basins featuring high-margin, low-cost development opportunities have dominated much of the offshore market (OGJ Online, May 2, 2017). More than 60% of respondents said their company had increased focus on near-field development within the last year. WoodMac’s survey confirmed industry leaders continue to seek stable exploration projects with budget constraints maintaining the top slot in issues effecting the industry. Nearly 70% of respondents cited a change in company focus on lowering operating costs within the last year.

On a scale of admiration, respondents chose Eni SPA and Anadarko Petroleum Corp. as two operators that have displayed the highest commitment to exploration during the last few years. Both companies were noted for a consistent track record and success rate with discovering high-impact, large-volume discoveries despite limitations inherent to the current downturn.

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