Session Details

Role of "E" in "E&P": The future of exploration

Tuesday, March 10

11:30 am - 12:30 pm

Globally, conventional exploration and discoveries are at the lowest level in seven decades—not from lack of resource potential, but from lack of investment by a financial market disenchanted by lower returns from North American unconventional production onshore. Larger operators are determining strategies that emphasize financial returns, but with lower growth; however, financial market distrust is driving investors out of the upstream sector altogether. Conventional NFW drilling has shifted towards maturing phase basins, close to infrastructure, and with faster cycle times. Could disenchantment with onshore NA production drive operators back to conventional exploration in the medium term? Will a push to generate value versus volume growth hurt conventional exploration or reward those companies that show that a relentless focus on exploration generates value? Will the role of future exploration programs be to find new, highly competitive basins or to improve the value of larger, maturing basins? In lower oil and natural gas demand scenarios, will investors still be interested in even highly successful exploration?

Session Speakers
  • Gerald Kepes

    IHS Markit

    Executive Director, Plays and Basins, Upstream Oil & Gas Insight

  • Emeliana Rice-Oxley


    Vice President Exploration, Upstream

  • Kevin J. McLachlan

    TOTAL S.A.

    Senior Vice President Exploration

  • Sonia Scarselli


    Vice President Exploration and Appraisal

  • Luca Bertelli


    Chief Exploration Officer