Oil, Gas Exploration Activity Picks Up, But Concerns Remain

The success story unfolding offshore Guyana where ExxonMobil Corp. has made seven oil discoveries coupled with recent wins by Chevron Corp., Total SA and Royal Dutch Shell Plc in the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) plus others offshore Norway and across Africa have put oil and gas exploration back in the spotlight.

But there are still obstacles ahead even as the industry steps up exploration spending following the recent downturn.

Pointing to about 60 high-impact wells planned worldwide for the rest of 2018, Westwood Global Energy Group said exploration drilling is expected to rise by 12% and budgets by 7% this year with focus centered on the GoM, Caribbean and Atlantic margins. However, this year’s planned exploration wells are considered riskier than those pursued in 2017, the energy consultancy said.