Report Summary 

This is the eleventh edition of the State of Exploration report and it comes at a particularly difficult time. The report covers 2015-2019, the five-year period after the 2014 price crash through to 2019 when confidence was returning, drilling activity was increasing, and performance was improving on the back frontier success made over the last 10 years It was not to last. The world is now in the middle of a global pandemic and the demand for oil has just tumbled by 30 million barrels a day. Oil prices have crashed into the $20s or lower per barrel, and producers are shutting in production. Meanwhile societal pressure for a rapid transition to low carbon future and the ESG 1 movement is increasing pressure on the industry. 2020 plans are now in a state of flux and exploration strategy is being reset again.

WI State of Exploration 2020Figure 1: High impact exploration activity, drilling spend, discovered resources and success rates 2015-2019
Source: Westwood State of Exploration 2020 Report

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Contents

Executive Summary
Section Highlights

1. Introduction and Methodology

1.1 Dataset
1.2 Methodology
1.3 Report structure

2. Global Exploration Review

2.1 Significant discoveries in 2019
2.2 High impact exploration drilling activity and performance
2.3 Frontier play exploration
2.4 Emerging play exploration
2.5 Key global oil and gas plays 2015-2019

3. Frontier and High Impact Exploration Performance by Company

3.1 High impact exploration competitive landscape
3.2 High impact exploration by company
3.3 Frontier and follow-on exploration performance by company

4. W32 Mid to Large Cap Peer Group Companies’ Exploration Performance

4.1 Introduction
4.2 Exploration performance – W32 peer group companies’ overview
4.3 Exploration performance – play maturity analysis
4.4 Infrastructure-led exploration vs. high-impact exploration
4.5 Exploration performance – water depth analysis
4.6 Exploration performance – primary target age analysis
4.7 Exploration performance – W32 company rankings
4.8 W32 companies’ – exploration efficiency ranking
4.9 Impact of exploration on reserves and reserve replacement ratios

5. Pre-drill Predictions vs Post-drill Outcomes 

5.1 Drill-out risk profile trends
5.2 Review of Westwood pre-drill risking 2015-2019

6. Accessing high impact prospects

6.1 Initial license award
6.2 Equity access mechanisms at the time of drilling
6.3 Country access at time of drilling
6.4 Company strategy

7. Progressing Discovered Resources to Production

7.1 Resource progression
7.2 Discovered resource opportunities
7.3 commercialising frontier discoveries

8. Exploration Strategy

8.1 W32 company exploration strategies
8.2 Super-major+ high impact exploration strategy
8.3 NOC high impact international exploration strategy
8.4 Exploration strategy and the energy transition

9. Exploration Look-ahead

9.1 2020 YTD performance benchmarks
9.2 W32 company exploration look-ahead 2020
9.3 Frontier and High impact exploration lookahead 2020
9.4 Key wells to watch

Glossary
Definitions