Going under: Oversupply of oil and gas has reduced exploration, shrinking industry revenue

The Petroleum Exploration market research report provides key industry analysis and industry statistics, measures market size, analyzes current and future industry trends and shows market share for the industry’s largest companies. IBISWorld publishes the largest collection of industry reports so you can see an industry’s supply chain, economic drivers and key buyers and markets.


Market Share of Companies
There are no companies with a dominant market share in this industry
Industry Statistics & Market Size
Annual Growth
2012 - 2017
Annual Growth
2017 - 2022

Industry Threats & Opportunities

  • New extraction technologies have boosted global petroleum supplies, reducing exploration demand
  • For all industry participants, exploration itself does not directly generate profit
  • Investigations into the viability of unconventional resources should benefit specialised operators

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    Industry Analysis & Industry Trends

    Companies in the Petroleum Exploration industry provide onshore and offshore drilling and exploration services. The downstream Oil and Gas Extraction industry use these services to establish a portfolio of future projects. Exploration-only companies identify reserves that are attractive to larger players on a contract basis. The industry's high volatility over the past five years has reflected the role of commodity prices in determining exploration activities, which are by nature inherently risky and capital-intensive. Rising commodity prices assist industry players, increasing the potential benefit that exploration companies can generate by identifying unproven resources...

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    Industry Report - Industry Investment Chapter

    The Petroleum Exploration industry is highly capital-intensive, as industry players use sophisticated equipment and machinery to conduct exploration activities. In 2016-17, for every dollar invested in capital, an estimated $2.78 is spent as wages. Staff are required to complete a range of tasks such as analysing surveys, operating machinery and equipment, and completing any managerial and administrative roles. Many industry players also contract out their labour requirements during any major shifts in demand, which reduces their permanent wage costs and increases the industry's level of capital intensity.

    Potential oil and gas fields are identified by analysing seismic survey data, but drilling is required to determine whether oil or gas is present. Key..

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    Additional Insights for the Petroleum Exploration Industry

    IBISWorld identifies 250 Key Success Factors for a business.The most important for the Petroleum Exploration Industry are

  • Financial support from a downstream activity
  • Downstream ownership links
  • Ability to expand and curtail operations rapidly in line with market demand
  • IBISWorld analysts also discuss how external factors such as Demand from oil and gas extraction and US dollars per Australian dollar in the Petroleum Exploration industry impact industry performance..

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    Industry Products

    What is the Petroleum Exploration Industry?

    Companies in the industry conduct exploration for crude petroleum and natural gas.

    Industry Products
    Offshore oil and gas drilling
    Other offshore exploration services
    Onshore oil and gas drilling
    Other onshore exploration services
    Industry Activities
    Offshore oil and gas drilling
    Other offshore exploration services
    Onshore oil and gas drilling
    Other onshore exploration services

    Table of Contents

    About this Industry
    Industry Definition
    Main Activities
    Similar Industries
    Additional Resources
    Industry at a Glance
    Industry Statistics Snapshot
    Industry Structure
    Executive Summary
    Industry Performance
    Executive Summary
    Key External Drivers
  • Demand from oil and gas extraction
  • US dollars per Australian dollar
  • World price of crude oil
  • World price of natural gas

  • Current Performance
  • Industry structure
  • International energy markets
  • Chart: Revenue Growth

  • Industry Outlook
  • Domestic policy
  • Industry participation
  • Table: Petroleum Exploration Industry Revenue Outlook

  • Industry Life Cycle
  • Life cycle reasons
  • Chart: Benchmarking - Petroleum Exploration Industry Lifecycle vs The Economy

  • Products & Markets
    Supply Chains
    Key Buying Industries
  • Oil and Gas Extraction

  • Key Selling Industries
  • Custody, Trustee and Stock Exchange Services
  • Engineering Consulting
  • Machinery and Scaffolding Rental
  • Mining Support Services
  • Surveying and Mapping Services
  • Transport Equipment and Large Vehicle Rental
  • Water Freight Transport

  • Products & Services
  • Offshore oil and gas drilling
  • Other offshore exploration services
  • Other onshore exploration services
  • Onshore oil and gas drilling
  • Chart: Petroleum Exploration Industry Products and Services Segmentation

  • Demand Determinants
  • Oil prices
  • Technology
  • Environmental concerns

  • Major Markets
  • Export-focused gas companies
  • Export-focused oil companies
  • Domestic-focused oil companies
  • Domestic-focused gas companies
  • Chart: Major Market Segmentation for the Petroleum Exploration Industry

  • International Trade
    Business Locations
    Chart: Business Locations by State
    Competitive Landscape
    Market Share Concentration
    Key Success Factors
    Cost Structure Benchmarks
  • Chart: Cost Structure Benchmarking – Sector vs Petroleum Exploration

  • Basis of Competition
    Barriers to Entry
  • Table: Barrier to Entry Checklist for the Petroleum Exploration Industry

  • Industry Globalization
    Major Companies
    There are no major players in this industry
    Operating Conditions
    Capital Intensity
  • Chart: Level of Capital Intensity for the Petroleum Exploration Industry
  • Chart: Tools of the Trade: Growth Strategies for Success

  • Technology & Systems
    Revenue Volatility
  • Chart: Volatility vs Industry Growth

  • Regulation & Policy
    Industry Assistance
    Key Statistics
    Table: Industry Data for the Petroleum Exploration Industry
  • Industry Revenue (2008-2022)
  • Industry Gross Product (2008-2022)
  • Establishments (2008-2022)
  • Businesses (2008-2022)
  • Employment (2008-2022)
  • Wages (2008-2022)

  • Table: Annual Percentage Change for Key Industry Data
    Table: Key Ratios for Industry Key Data
    Jargon & Glossary
    At Cost
  • Completing an activity or selling a product without generating profit.
  • Brownfield Exploration
  • Exploration at sites near existing or developed resources.
  • Condensate
  • A type of light crude oil.
  • Exploration Acreage
  • The areas of land released by federal and state governments to exploration companies.
  • Greenfield Projects
  • Exploration at sites that have not been previously developed and are separate from existing extraction infrastructure.
  • Probable Reserve
  • Deposits that are considered likely to be economically viable for extraction.
  • Prospectivity
  • The potential of finding a reserve with oil or gas resources.
  • Proven Resources
  • Deposits that are considered economically viable for extraction.
  • Unconventional Resources
  • Resources that extracted from low-permeability environments using new technology such as hydraulic fracking.
  • Why buy this report?

    IBISWorld industry market research reports enable you to:
    • Find out about key industry trends
    • Identify threats and opportunities
    • Inform your decisions for marketing, strategy and planning
    • Quickly build competitive intelligence
    This report on Petroleum Exploration:
    • Provides Market Size information to assist with planning and strategic decisions.
    • Includes the necessary information to perform SWOT, PEST and STEER analysis.
    • Helps you understand market dynamics to give you a deeper understanding of industry competition and the supply chain.
    • Analyses key performance and operational metrics so that you can benchmark against your own business, that of your customers’ businesses, or your competitors’ businesses.
    The Petroleum Exploration market research report includes:
    • Historical data and analysis for the key drivers of this industry
    • A five-year forecast of the market and noted trends
    • Detailed research and segmentation for the main products and markets
    • An assessment of the competitive landscape and market shares for major companies
    • And of course, much more

    IBISWorld reports on thousands of industries around the world. Our clients rely on our information and data to stay up-to-date on industry trends across all industries. With this IBISWorld Industry Research Report on Petroleum Exploration, you can expect thoroughly researched, reliable and current information that will help you to make faster, better business decisions.

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