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Post-traumatic efficiencies in order

In 2017, the E&P sector needs to sharpen its focus. A price recovery, when it comes, will only reward low-cost explorers

The exploration and production industry has faced a toxic combination of plunging oil and gas prices, a legacy of cost inflation, and high levels of debt, weak exploration performance, and low public trust. This should be plain to everyone. A trend of diminishing returns was already apparent in the $100+ era when the industry grew fat and happy. The excesses of the $100-plus oil era have left the upstream industry badly exposed in a $40-a-barrel world, with severe strain to company balance sheets and producer-country budgets. The UK is but one example. There, despite higher production, tax returns turned negative in 2015-16 as the government share of abandonment costs exceeded tax revenues f

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