TotalEnergies Wins Upstream Industry’s Most-admired Explorer Award


French oil and gas giant TotalEnergies (formerly Total) has been crowned the upstream industry’s most-admired explorer for the second year in a row. The accolade is awarded as part of Wood Mackenzie’s annual Exploration Survey. 

The award ceremony was held in conjunction with the global natural resources research and consultancy business’ Next Generation Energy and Exploration Summit on June 9, 2021. This year’s event was held online.

Dr Andrew Latham, Vice President, Energy Research, at Wood Mackenzie, said: “For the past 13 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 exploration sector, marrying Wood Mackenzie’s unparalleled, in-depth understanding with industry opinion.  

"We ask respondents to tell us which explorer – aside from their own company – they most admire. We don’t restrict the question to a particular time period or any particular segments. But most voters clearly have recent success in mind when making their choice.”

He added: “We’ve looked closely at previous winners. If you want to win this award, you need to discover big volumes of advantaged resources, ideally as operator and ideally by opening up 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 the three years following that, Eni scooped the prize. In 2019, it was ExxonMobil’s award.

“This year, I can reveal that the most-admired explorer is once again TotalEnergies taking top spot for the second year in a row. Our warmest congratulations to the company’s senior vice president of exploration, Kevin McLachlan, and his team for a well-deserved win.”

Three other awards were announced at the event: Discovery of the Year (2020); E&P Explorer of the Year; NOC Explorer of the Year

Discovery of the year is also based on Wood Mackenzie’s survey of exploration industry opinion. Over 200 senior business leaders and experts voted for the discovery that they consider to be the most exciting of the year.  

Julie Wilson, Director, Energy Research, at Wood Mackenzie, said: “Even during the pandemic, exploration remained a vibrant business and you can doubtless imagine many worthy winners.”

“I can reveal this year’s winner is TPAO for the giant Sakarya gas discovery in the deep waters of the Turkish Black Sea. It’s a very well-deserved win and we look forward to following progress as the project moves forward.”

E&P companies have traditionally been some of the most innovative and successful explorers in the business, Woodmac said.

"Again, this award is based on our industry survey. This year’s E&P Explorer of the Year is APA Corporation [Apache Corp.], following a string of big successes in Suriname and elsewhere," the energy industry intelligence group said.

"National oil companies are a large and growing part of our industry, having discovered half the resources found in recent years. The winner of NOC Explorer of the Year is Rosneft," Woodmac added.

Rosneft discovered more new field resources in 2020 than any other company and continues to drill wildcats in some of the world’s most prospective basins.

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