Recently I spent some time thinking about exploration, one of my favorite subjects. The occasion was preparation for a talk on exploration trends. There’s a wealth of activity in the world right now, and explorers are hunting for resources on every continent except Antarctica. In an attempt to create a neat power-point slide, in keeping with the classic three- to five-item list, I came up with four main areas of focus for global exploration. My first bullet point is subsalt. Offshore Brazil, offshore West Africa, the Gulf of Mexico, and of course the Persian Gulf, are all enjoying strong attention. And Brazil’s supergiant Tupi discovery is testament to the tremendous potential of these provinces. Next, newly accessible areas are hot. India is a fine example of this category: it has hosted foreign and private-company exploration for less than 10 years and is the home to some major gas discoveries off its eastern coast. Ultradeep—both waters and depths--are another area of interest. In the past ten years, drilling capabilities have expanded to water depths of 10,000 feet and drilling depths to 32,000 feet, and this has opened whole new geographies to exploration. Finally, I see Arctic regions as crucial exploration grounds. About one-quarter of the world’s remaining undiscovered resources are estimated to lie above the Arctic Circle. --by Peggy Williams, Senior Exploration Editor, Oil and Gas Investor. Contact me at