Eni wins Most-Admired Explorer title

Italian oil and gas giant Eni has won Wood Mackenzie’s Most-Admired Explorer title, an accolade awarded in conjunction with Wood Mackenzie’s industry-leading annual Exploration Survey. This is the third time in a row Eni has won the award.

Worker on an FPSO Image by Eni/Flickr under Worker on the CC BY-NC 2.0

Eni’s chief exploration officer, Luca Bertelli, accepted the award at the recently held inaugural Wood Mackenzie Exploration Awards ceremony.

Andrew Latham, Vice President, Global Exploration Research, at Wood Mackenzie, said: “For the past 10 years, Wood Mackenzie has named the industry’s Most-Admired Explorer after collating the results of our industry-leading annual exploration survey. The survey canvasses views across the sector, marrying Wood Mackenzie’s understanding of the sector with industry opinion.

“We ask respondents to name the explorer they most admire. The award typically recognizes big discoveries, ideally as operator and in new frontiers. With this year’s award, Italy’s Eni seals a hat-trick, having won in 2016 and 2017.”


Talos in the discovery of the year


Wood Mackenzie’s Discovery of the Year (2017) award went to the U.S. oil firm Talos which struck oil offshore Mexico at its Zama well in July 2017.

“Talos’ partners are Premier Oil and Sierra Oil & Gas. Zama is a big find in a new play and looks set to be a company-maker. It is also one of the first foreign-operated discoveries in Mexico since international oil companies returned to the country after an absence of over 70 years. This award was made based on our survey of exploration industry opinion, which saw more than 200 senior business leaders and experts vote for the discovery they consider to be the most exciting of the year,” Woodmac said.

New Venturer award to ExxonMobil

Wood Mackenzie’s New Venturer award went to Exxon Mobil, “a company prepared to place big bets on high-impact opportunities in both proven, emerging and frontier plays.”

“The New Venturer of the Year award reflects the need for explorers to continually renew their portfolio. Wood Mackenzie has long argued that the capture of good acreage is the key differentiator in exploration performance. This award was based on Wood Mackenzie’s survey results and our analysis of licensing and farm-in deals over the year. Both our research and wider industry opinion reached the same conclusion,” Woodmac said.

The Best E&P Explorer award went to Kosmos Energy. The energy intelligence group said the award reflected “the tremendous contribution the smaller and mid-sized companies make to the sector.”

“The award is again based on a mix of our research and our survey. Once more, both industry and Wood Mackenzie’s analysis reached the same conclusion. Our winner, Kosmos Energy, achieved the largest net resources found last year of any company and received the most votes in our survey,” Wood Mackenzie explained.

Bobby Ryan, who recently announced his retirement from Chevron after having been at the helm of its global exploration business, received a Lifetime Achievement Award. Ryan led Chevron’s global exploration business following its merger with Texaco in October 2000.

Wood Mackenzie’s Latham said: “The list of discoveries made during his long tenure is impressive. Among the operated finds made during his watch were Wheatstone in Australia, Usan in Nigeria, Tahiti in the Gulf of Mexico and Rosebank in the UK.

“The Gulf of Mexico proved a particularly rich seam with St Malo, Big Foot, Jack, Blind Faith and Chevron’s latest discovery, Ballymore. Wood Mackenzie estimates that the total gross oil and gas reserves in discoveries made on Bobby’s watch is close to 30 billion barrels.”

He added: “We are pretty sure that his subsequent tenure lasting over 17 years sets the record for length of service at any major. Bobby is a worthy recipient of the award.”