Technical Programme >Executive Sessions >Boldness versus Risk in Exploration

Executive Sessions


Add Event To


Member of  

Executive session on Boldness versus Risk in Exploration

Wednesday 03 June 2015, 09:30 - 12:40, Room N102

Chairmen: J.J. Biteau (Total)
  L. Bertelli (Eni)



More than it used to be in the last decades, Exploration today has to head towards new frontiers, needing more of a pioneer mind-set, like our forerunners, one century ago.
During recent years, many oil and gas discoveries have been made into new and unexpected structural settings in deep offshore environments such as highly steep dipping margin or outboard deltas toe Basins, but also in very recent grabens located onshore exhibiting very particular thermal regimes able to protect oils from biodegradation. At the heart of this recent successful HC Exploration, one most often finds boldness, interpreting weak signs, testing new concepts and managing new paradigms (e.g. unconventional), and one finds always risk taking often facing oppositions in the company organization.
Frontier exploration is about the word “frontier”, seen as a virtual and fluctuating limit. It is about attempts, about featuring the risks and uncertainties and being prepared to surprises and mistakes. For any normal human being, this is stressful and naturally comes with fear, nothing humiliating. Overcoming fears and readiness to face potential mistakes, require courage and are the proof of an inquisitive and entrepreneurial mind. Frontier exploration is therefore about courage, about growing whole areas of new knowledge, seeking and recognizing weak signals, cultivating breaks in previous thinking. It is also about collective patience, tenacity. How many non-discoveries results come from renouncements, impatience, lack of perseverance and of boldness? Developing this mind-set among their teams is a duty for exploration managers.
Some well-known senior explorationists will be invited to share their experience and views, illustrated from famous case studies, about High Risk High Reward Exploration strategies.
They will also discuss how does risk perception and mind-set evolve in their companies and impact the decision-making, or how living with multi-scenarios evaluations and how courage to move forward difficult dossiers are often required.
Certainly that on top of all this, risk taking in Exploration is about the duty and satisfaction to find … and the right to fail!


During this executive session of three hours each speaker will give a 20 minutes presentation, followed by a 50 minutes debate between a panel, the chairmen and the audience.

Presentations by

J.J. Biteau (Total)
L. Bertelli (Eni)
N. Maden (Statoil)
A. McCoss (Tullow)
M. Daly (Oxford University)
P. Carragher (Rose & Associates LLP)