According to the latest State of Exploration Report from Westwood Global Energy Group, there’s renewed optimism for exploration in 2018, driven by higher oil prices and improving exploration performance. The cost of exploring has fallen more than 50% since 2013/14 and there are fewer companies competing for acreage. The geology economic to explore increases considerably above $60/b and in the first quarter of 2018 the oil price averaged $67/b. Success rates have improved as lower exploration budgets have led to companies being more selective.
For 2018, exploration drilling is expected to increase by 12% and budgets by 7%, with around 60 high impact wells planned globally for the remainder of 2018 focused in the Atlantic margins, Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean.