Photo: Transocean Barents exploration drilling rig (for illustration purposes). Source: Equinor

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Deep dive into oil and gas exploration – then, now, and ahead

With the oil and gas industry in early stages of pivoting to a lower carbon future, the level of investment drastically shrinking first during the 2014 downturn and then again, even quicker, during the 2020 downturn, what will become of the oil and gas exploration efforts in the near- and longer-term?

To answer that question, we must first look into the events of the last several years, with an emphasis on drastic changes that occurred in 2020 following the Covid-19 pandemic, which is considered by many as one of the most important events for the oil and gas industry ever.

In the 2014 downturn, the operators were not so fast to reduce their spending as they were following the 2020 downturn. This time around, the E&P players slashed their budgets much faster than they did in the previous downturn due to the strength of financial discipline gained in the years before.

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