Long-Run Industry Performance in Exploration Outside North America
BEE, ALASTAIR C., BP Exploration Company, London, England
Exploration success in the oil and gas business over the long term has not followed a sufficiently consistent pattern to predict the future with any degree of comfort. The study of past industry performance, however, has an important bearing on future exploration activity.
Nationalization of a large part of the major companies' producing assets in the 1970s and 1980s proved to be a turning point for many industry trends, including global finding rates. Supported by a byouant oil price, the industry moved to explore in the more remote, hostile, and costly environments.
This technologically improving exploration is rapidly eating into the accessible acreage. Larger fields are becoming scarcer, and competition to access the most prospective areas is fierce.
To meet the anticipated demand for oil and gas, the industry must be increasingly successful in finding large volumes to replace declining reserves from existing giant fields. The successful explorer will not only be measured by annual finding volumes and costs, but also by long-term value creation, which has taken as long as 30-40 years to achieve in any one basin.
AAPG Search and Discovery Article #91007© 1991 AAPG International Conference, London, England, September 29-October 2, 1991 (2009)