Most Admired Upstream Explorer Revealed  | Rigzone

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As part of its annual exploration survey, Wood Mackenzie (WoodMac) has announced the upstream industry’s most admired explorer – Eni.

This is the fourth time in seven years that Eni has bagged the award. Tullow Oil was the inaugural winner of explorer of the year in 2009 and retained the title through to 2013 before Anadarko won in 2014 and 2015. Since then, Eni won from 2016-2018, ExxonMobil won in 2019 and TotalEnergies won from 2020-21.

“For the past 14 years, Wood Mackenzie has named the industry’s most-admired explorer after collating the results of our industry-leading annual exploration survey,” Andrew Latham, the vice president of energy research at WoodMac, said in a company statement.

“It canvasses views across the exploration sector, marrying Wood Mackenzie’s unparalleled, in-depth understanding with industry opinion. We ask respondents to tell us which explorer – aside from their own company – they most admire,” he added in the statement.

“We see a clear pattern continuing, companies which win this award do so by finding big volumes of advantaged resources. The industry really admires operators that can successfully open up new frontiers. Our warmest congratulations to Eni’s long standing exploration director, Luca Bertelli, and his team for a well-deserved win,” Latham went on to say.

Eni’s Baleine oil discovery, described by Julie Wilson, Woodmac’s energy research director, as “giant” and the largest find ever made in the Cote d’Ivoire, received WoodMac’s discovery of the year award. E&P Explorer of the Year went to Hess Corporation and QatarEnergy was named NOC Explorer of the Year.

Focus on Advantaged Barrels Intensifies

According to WoodMac’s latest exploration survey, few expect exploration to cease soon, but the focus on advantaged barrels continues to intensify.

As the transition takes hold, the barrels with the strongest economics and lowest carbon emissions will be the ones that make it to market, WoodMac noted in a company statement announcing the results, adding that, in 2022, explorers expect a greater emphasis on shorter-cycle opportunities and more attention to carbon. The company said its survey shows European majors are perceived as the most energy transition ready.

WoodMac also stated that, after the pandemic-impacted reductions of 2020 and 2021, many explorers are planning for more wells in 2022. However, overall budgets look set to remain flat with headcounts unlikely to increase, WoodMac said.

“Priorities around performance metrics have also changed since the peak of the pandemic,” WoodMac said in a company statement.

“Capital efficiency perhaps unsurprisingly topped the list of explorers’ most important metrics in 2020. The industry has now shifted back towards exploration value creation. Time to first oil or gas is also of greater importance – reflecting a laser focus on executing with pace,” WoodMac added in the statement.

2021 Prize Winners

TPAO bagged the discovery of the year prize in 2021 for the Sakarya gas discovery in the deep waters of the Turkish Black Sea.

“It’s a very well-deserved win and we look forward to following progress as the project moves forward,” Wilson, who described the discovery as “giant”, said in WoodMac statement accompanying the 2021 results.

The 2021 E&P Explorer of the Year prize went to APA Corporation and the 2021 winner of the NOC Explorer of the Year prize was Rosneft. As previously mentioned, TotalEnergies won WoodMac’s most admired explorer of the year prize in 2021.

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