ExxonMobil most admired explorer. Dorado discovery of the year

U.S. oil giant ExxonMobil has been named the upstream industry’s most admired explorer, according to Wood Mackenzie.

Image by: Brian Katt; Source: Wikimedia – under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license

The energy intelligence group said that the accolade was awarded in conjunction with its annual Exploration Survey.

Mike Cousins, ExxonMobil’s SVP of exploration and new ventures, accepted the award at the second Wood Mackenzie Exploration Awards ceremony, held in June 2019.

Andrew Latham, VP of global exploration research at Wood Mackenzie, stated: “The survey canvasses views across the sector, marrying Wood Mackenzie’s unparalleled in-depth understanding of the sector with industry opinion.

“We ask the question ‘aside from your own company, which explorer do you most admire?’. We don’t restrict the question to a particular time period or any particular sectors. But most voters clearly have recent success in mind when making their choice.

“We’ve looked closely at previous winners. If you want to win this award, you need to make big discoveries, ideally as operator and in ideally in new frontiers. For the first five years of this award, the same company won every year – Tullow Oil. Then we saw Anadarko win in each of the next two years. For each of the past three years, our winner was Eni.

“This year, our overall winner is ExxonMobil. Arguably, it’s a long overdue recognition given the tremendous successes across plays as diverse as Guyana, Papua New Guinea, Nigeria, Romania, Cyprus, and many others.”

WoodMac added that four other awards were announced at the event: Discovery of the Year (2018); New Venturer of the Year; Best Explorer of Unconventional Plays; Best E&P Explorer

“Discovery of the Year award” is also based on Wood Mackenzie’s survey of exploration industry opinion.

“2018 was a good year for exciting new discoveries – big finds, new plays, even company-makers. Our award goes to Santos and partner Carnarvon Petroleum for the Dorado discovery. The find, in the Bedout basin, looks to be the largest oil discovery in Australia for over 20 years. The runners-up were ExxonMobil’s Hammerhead in Guyana and Chevron’s Ballymore in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico,” Latham said.

The New Venturer of the Year award reflects the need for explorers to continually renew their portfolio. The winner of the award is Total, who made moves into high-impact opportunities across many different proven, emerging, and frontier plays.

With the growth of U.S. shale plays, onshore exploration has become a key area of interest. For the Best Explorer of Unconventional Plays award, we looked at company efforts at opening and extending unconventional plays. The winner this year is Chevron which plans to grow organically in the Permian basin alone to over 900,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day by 2023.

The last award was given to Kosmos Energy for the second year in a row and it was for the Best E&P Explorer. It reflects the contribution the smaller and mid-sized companies make to the sector.

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