WoodMac: Exploration survey shows industry optimistic amid geopolitics

Oil & Gas Journal | Paula Dittrick | May 13, 2019

Wood Mackenzie said its 11th annual exploration survey shows the oil and gas industry foresees a return to profits enabling exploration of promising prospects. WoodMac surveyed 258 senior energy leaders and exploration professionals worldwide.

Andrew Latham, WoodMac vice-president, exploration, said, “We’re seeing a continued recovery in the exploration sector…borne out by the drilling plans and new licenses we’re seeing.”

Conventional exploration remains the primary resource replacement option, he added.

Survey respondents said lower exploration and development costs are helping operators return value to shareholders.

High-quality deepwater prospects in Brazil, Guyana, the Gulf of Mexico, and the East Mediterranean are attracting exploration investment (OGJ, May 6, 2019, p. 36).

WoodMac said survey participants expect a $40-billion worldwide exploration budget in 2019 with drilling accounting for half of that and 25% for geological and geophysical surveys. Digitalization accounts for about 8% and is expected to increase as new seismic processing techniques, machine learning, and artificial intelligence become fundamental tools.


Latham said, “Digitalization offers exploration the possibility of better resolution of the subsurface, better seismic modeling, and growing use of automated interpretation.”

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