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Westwood: Oil and gas exploration remained resilient in 2021

Published by , Deputy Editor
Oilfield Technology,

The latest analysis from Westwood Global Energy Group has revealed that in spite of challenges due to COVID-19 and the accelerating energy transition, high impact oil and gas exploration drilling in 2021 maintained its momentum.

While high impact drilling levels in 2021 were similar to 2020, performance sank significantly, with discovered resource dropping 65% in 2021 to 6.7bnboe. The commercial success rate also fell 11% year-on-year, from 40% to 29%. This is due to a reduced number of giant discoveries >500mmboe and some unsuccessful play extension tests in recently opened emerging basins.

The research also confirms that companies with a significant proportion of infrastructure-led exploration in their portfolios delivered a higher commercial success rate and a more predictable finding cost, despite lower discovery sizes. Access to funding also meant that Supermajors and NOCs, together accounted for 68% of high impact well equity in 2021 compared to 47% in 2018.

Graeme Bagley, Head of Global Exploration and Appraisal at Westwood said, “The results of our latest State of Exploration report present a promising outlook for exploration, having bounced back from COVID-19 and despite significant headwinds against exploration for fossil fuels. As we stride towards a cleaner energy mix, however, the crucial requirement is for low emissions intensity developments for all future exploration opportunities.”

“Looking ahead, we’ll be seeing scrutiny of the success case impact on company net zero targets, with ESG considerations and the time to break-even becoming increasingly important when it comes to prospect selection.”

The State of Exploration 2022 report is now available for subscribers to Westwood’s Wildcat solution.

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<p><strong>Read the latest issue of Oilfield Technology in full for free: <a href="" target="_blank">Spring 2022</a></strong></p>
<p><strong>Oilfield Technology’s first issue of 2022 begins with analysis from Wood Mackenzie on the disconnect between surging oil prices and US oil production growth and investment. The rest of the issue is dedicated to features covering sand removal technology, dissolvable frac plug technology, digitalisation of offshore operations, annular intervention, oilfield chemicals, subsea compression systems and smart instrument measurement.</strong></p>
<p><strong>Exclusive contributions come from TETRA Technologies, NOV, Archer, Expro, Locus Bio-Energy Solutions, AES Drilling Fluids, MAN Energy Solutions and Winters Instruments.</strong></p><div style="position:relative;padding-top:max(60%,326px);height:0;width:100%"><iframe sandbox="allow-top-navigation allow-top-navigation-by-user-activation allow-downloads allow-scripts allow-same-origin allow-popups allow-modals allow-popups-to-escape-sandbox" allowfullscreen="true" style="position:absolute;border:none;width:100%;height:100%;left:0;right:0;top:0;bottom:0;" src=""></iframe></div>

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