Risk is always defined relative to a reward. At the macro-scale, all parties with a role in the petroleum industry have a shared reward - the efficient exploration and development of resources in a safe, environmentally sound manner, to maximize return. That return comes in many forms and benefits all stakeholders - government, industry and communities. In the same way that these stakeholders share in the reward, they also share the responsibility for the risks. It is only through effective partnerships that the right environment can be created to tilt the balance in favour of exploring for the reward over the risks. Governments can reduce risk by providing:

  1. Predictability in investment climate and security of investment,

  2. Incentives that recognize financial risk and attract investment in a globally competitive marketplace, and

  3. Security, laws and stable regulatory processes that promote efficiency of operations.

In turn, industry provides:

  1. Global experience, best practices and technical experts to recognize the rewards,

  2. The best technology and processes to explore for, develop and produce hydrocarbons economically, and

  3. Large up-front investments to generate value for all parties in the future.

Scenario planning and early stakeholder alignment enables execution risk to be minimized and for exploration operations to progress efficiently. In a perfect world where the above ground risks have been addressed, the only remaining risks in an exploration venture would be technical. We mitigate technical risks by application of rapidly evolving technology and creative minds to define the potential subsurface prize, and employ leading edge drilling technology and processes to test those ideas. Some examples include: Advancements in seismic technology to enable us to image complex subsurface terrains previously unseen, and drilling technology to enable us to drill in harsher conditions and to deeper depths to reach previously inaccessible resources.

This content is only available via PDF.
You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.