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Less drilling, more success: the state of exploration drilling so far in 2017

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A new report from Westwood Global Energy Group has revealed that whilst fewer exploration wells were drilled in the first half of 2017 (compared to the same period a year ago), the commercial success rates of these wells is up.

Overall, commercial success rates jumped to 53% in the first half of 2017 from a 30% success rate in the first half of 2016.

According to Westwood’s Global’s Head of Research, Andrew Hughes, the report indicates, ‘green shoots for exploration drilling, however overall activity remains subdued.’ He also added that ‘the lower well count is translating into more success and lower finding costs, proving that the old exploration mantra of “quality through choice” continues to hold true’.

Some of the most notable oil exploration successes to date in 2017 include Payara and Snoek in the offshore Suriname-Guyana Basin; Eridu in Block 10 onshore Iraq; and Horshoe-1 in the Colville Basin, onshore Alaska North Slope. Notable gas exploration successes include Muruk onshore PNG; and Macadamia in offshore Trinidad.

The report also examines the outlook for the remainder of 2017 which includes 4 frontier wells currently drilling with an additional 10-15 frontier wells expected to commence by the end of the year.

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