Seeing Opportunity, Oil Explorers Continue Hunt Despite Challenges

Executives from Hess, Saipem America, Shell, Staatsolie and Wood Mackenzie share insight on frontier basins and emerging offshore areas.

A jackup rig is towed to a location offshore. (Source: James Jones Jr./

A jackup rig is towed to a location offshore. (Source: James Jones Jr./

Continued focus on spending amid oil price volatility, coronavirus concerns and near-term demand have not stopped oil and gas explorers from pursuing barrels in deep water and frontier regions.

Looking at discoveries made across the world, frontier and deepwater finds are by far the largest, with the average deepwater discovery size around 225 MMboe compared to about 25 MMboe for onshore finds, providing opportunity for not just scale but lower costs, according to Julie Wilson, director of global exploration research for Wood Mackenzie.

“If you think that, as many people do right now, in this time of capital discipline, companies are just focused on lower risk near-field exploration, I’m here to disavow you of that belief,” she said.

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Velda Addison

Velda Addison is the senior editor of digital media for Hart Energy’s editorial team. She covers energy with a focus on renewables.