TotalEnergies Crowned Most Admired Explorer, Wins Discovery of the Year Award

TotalEnergies used Maersk Voyager drillship to make Venus discovery offshore Namibia in 2022. Photo from Maersk Drilling (which has since merged with Noble Drilling)
TotalEnergies used Maersk Voyager drillship to make Venus discovery offshore Namibia in 2022. Photo from Maersk Drilling (which has since merged with Noble Drilling)

French oil major TotalEnergies has been named the upstream industry's most admired explorer and has received the Discovery of the Year award in Wood Mackenzie's annual Exploration Survey. This is TotalEnergies' third time winning the most-admired explorer award.

Dr. Andrew Latham, Senior Vice President, Energy Research, at Wood Mackenzie, said:"For the third time in our industry-leading survey, TotalEnergies has received the illustrious recognition of being named the most-admired explorer. I would like to congratulate the company’s long-standing head of exploration, Kevin McLachlan, and his team for a well-deserved win."

"The industry continues to admire operators who can not only open new frontiers, but also find large volumes of advantaged resources. TotalEnergies recent efforts and discoveries have been excellent examples of both trends.”

This is the 15th Wood Mackenzie Exploration Survey, which tallies views from across the exploration sector and asks respondents to identify which explorer – aside from their own company – they most admire.

Along with being identified as the most-admired company, TotalEnergies also received the Discovery of the Year award for Venus offshore Namibia, in partnership with QatarEnergy, Impact Oil & Gas, and NAMCOR.

“The Venus discovery made in 3,000 metres of water off of Namibia is truly a play opener that has the entire industry very excited,” said Latham. “If this project is able to move forward, it will establish an important new industry for Namibia.”

Two other awards were announced at the event:

  • E&P Explorer of the Year - Hess Corporation
  • NOC Explorer of the Year – Petrobras

This is the second year in a row that Hess has been recognized as E&P Explorer of the Year. The company has transformed itself with an enormous run of giant successes in Guyana since 2015, Wood Mackenzie said.

Petrobras has returned to operating high-impact deepwater exploration in Brazil and recent results include the giant Aram discovery found in 2022. Appraisal drilling at Aram could confirm around 2 billion barrels in Brazil’s Santos basin, Woodmac added.

“The exploration industry continues to see an excellent series of high-impact finds in many parts of the world,” said Latham. “The industry remains very dynamic and these recognized companies, as well as many others, continue to deliver advantaged resources that can displace less sustainable supply. Their development will reduce oil and gas emissions and provide cashflow to fund investment in low carbon alternatives through the energy transition.”

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