In 2018, ExxonMobil drilled 2.7 net wildcat wells in Guyana, and discovered around 2 billion barrels in additional gross resources in the Stabroek block. These volumes are considered extremely valuable, as they will add to the current development solution in the region.


Hess and CNOOC came in second and third place in terms of value creation in 2018. However, both are partners in ExxonMobil’s Stabroek block, and have benefitted from the Guyana success.

In addition, Total ranked as the second best oil major, having created about $2.2 billion in valuation from 2018 exploration. The company had particular success in the US Gulf of Mexico (Ballymore).

What is more, Savannah Petroleum had the highest value creation per barrel of oil equivalent (boe) last year due to its work in Africa. Rystad Energy estimates that the resources discovered in Niger Block R3/R4 have a net present value of more than $10 per boe.

Finally, Novatek had the greatest amount of discovered resources in 2018, at 935 million boe. Novatek’s volumes stem from the North Obskoye discovery in the Kara Sea.

Rystad Energy head of upstream research Espen Erlingsen, stated:

Last year, Rystad Energy witnessed the revival of offshore exploration activity. Improved market conditions and operational efficiencies, along with sustained cost deflation, allowed many E&P players to move forward with promising high impact exploration campaigns in 2018