Do we still need to explore for oil and gas? One conclusion in our Horizons scenario analysis is that if the world gets onto a 2 °C pathway, there’s enough oil in existing discoveries to meet future oil demand. It’s a view the IEA NZE concurs with.
Dr Andrew Latham, Huang Tra Ho and Julie Wilson have just published their analysis of the Majors’ exploration performance for 2011-2020. In that tumultuous decade, exploration lost its way economically, before a pivot to value that got returns back to respectable levels – even at US$50/bbl. I asked them where exploration goes from here.
Is exploration still relevant?
It will still play a role in upstream. Even if we do get onto a 2 °C pathway, exploration can deliver new resource into the supply stack that’s lower cost and less carbon-intensive than existing resources. We also think the focus of exploration will progressively shift towards gas, for which demand will be more resilient through the transition.
There is still a likelihood that oil and gas demand holds up for some years. In that case, we’ll want exploration to find new resource to offset the natural decline in production from existing fields.
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Source: Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide