The global natural gas and oil exploration sector had its strongest year in 2022 in a decade as national oil companies and majors focused on taking advantage of what might be a short-term window of opportunity.

The sector created some $33 billion of value at $60/bbl Brent prices last year, according to a report from Wood Mackenzie. 

“2022 was a standout year for exploration,” said Julie Wilson, director of global exploration research. “Volumes were good, but not stellar. However, explorers were able to drive very high value through strategic selection and focusing on the best and largest prospects.”

[Where are natural gas prices headed this summer? Understand current market fundamentals and what they might mean for prices down the road by watching NGI’s recent...