Source: US Energy Information Agency.
Cost of Finding Oil, 1981-2006
The cost of finding new oil and gas reserves has declined significantly
since 1977. A new barrel of oil that cost about $15 to find in 1977,
costs about $6 to find today. Reserve cost reductions occurred primarily
because of significant improvements in exploration and development technology.
Still, it is expected that exploration costs will increase significantly
in the years ahead as the locations and the conditions where oil is
found are getting more marginal.