Improved market conditions, efficiency gains, cost reductions and free cash flow have given some oil and gas companies the confidence needed to step up offshore exploration activity.

But are analysts ready to call it a comeback?

Some parts of the world—so-called “hotspots”—are seeing a rise in offshore exploration activity as energy players chase potential oil and gas pay. Analysts say this activity combined with more opportunities to snatch up additional acreage being offered in licensing rounds and companies having the cash to spend support an exploration comeback.

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