HOUSTON—Unlike last year’s slow progress in offshore licensing activity, E&P companies are expected to show renewed optimism for offshore exploration prospects in 2020 with Brazil leading the way.

With the fall in oil prices, the offshore market responded with a 40% decrease in exploration activity during the past few years. However, this year industry experts forecast more than 50 licensing rounds to be conducted across the globe.

While many offshore “hotspots” have been recognized, Brazil is expected to lead exploration efforts with major revival of its E&P activity in 2020. Although drilling through thick salt layers can be a geotechnical challenge, yet the large hydrocarbon potential and recovery rates have attracted investments from oil majors.

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