The exploration industry has taken a beating lately, exploration being sort of like the marketing staff during a downturn—the fi rst to go. But, like marketing, exploration has longterm importance in the oil and gas industry, and those who embrace it now will reap the benefi ts in the future.

Companies that make their living on exploration are not sitting idle. A recent trade show indicated that oil companies are examining what it takes to be a successful exploration company at lower-for-longer prices. Several executives commented that, without the luxury of $100 bbl oil, it was still possible to be successful by taking advantage of existing infrastructure and shortening the time from discovery to fi rst oil.

Another company is providing an integrated offering for mature and frontier basins that takes some of the guesswork out of entering a new area, and another has determined a better way to remove uncertainty from the modeling process. Finally, a new method for offshore seismic acquisition promises to drastically reduce costs while enabling better coverage in obstructed areas.

As long as fossil fuels remain a mainstay in the world’s energy mix, exploration will play a critical role. Luckily the industry and its technology are up to the task.


Read each of September E&P's exploration cover stories:

Secrets to doing business successfully

Integrated geoscience programs facilitate exploration

Risk mitigation using model uncertainty analysis

Autonomous vehicles benefit from 3-D seismic arrays