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Oil Exploration and Production (E&P) and its Role in the Industry

Oil Exploration and Production (E&P) and its Role in the Industry

As one of the leading oil and gas investment companies in Texas, DW Energy has been committed to educating its partners and helping them maximize the potential benefits of direct participation in oil and gas production. 

Oil exploration and production is a particular sector in the oil and gas industry that is connected with the early stage of production. This stage typically encompasses looking for oil and gas and extracting the resource from the ground. An oil exploration and production company discover and take out the raw materials that are used in many products today. Generally, E&P companies do not produce or refine energy but merely obtain raw materials to be used and shipped to other oil firms within the production process.

Understanding Oil Exploration and Production

Oil exploration and production belong to the upstream segment of the industry, the earliest portion of the production process. E&P concerns itself with the phases of exploration, search, drilling, and extraction. Firms within this sector are mainly focused on detecting and extracting this valuable commodity from the underground.

The upstream industry is considered as the most multifaceted of the oil and gas sector. The resource operators and owners partner with many contractors, like joint-venture partners, engineering procurement and construction contractors, and oil field service firms. While in the process of discovering and extracting raw materials, exploration and production companies also gather substantial amounts of analytical data and build infrastructure.

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Kinds of E&P Companies

Below are the types of exploration and production oil companies.


Independents focus mainly on exploration and production. These companies are well known for their ability to move quickly and make decisions faster than any other industry participants. They are also able to adapt more innovative drilling and production technologies.

Major Oil Companies (IOCs)

Also referred to as Integrated Oil Companies, these companies have the advertised and more prominent brands that many are familiar with. They own assets in the downstream segment; the service stations and refineries that deliver the products to the consumers or end users.

National Oil Companies

These are industry participants that are not only owned but managed by governments. There are many oil and gas reserves worldwide that National Oil Companies own, making it quite challenging for Independents and Major Oil Companies to grow and sustain their operations.

Oilfield Services

This sector is composed of firms that provide specialized equipment, skills, and services, and build infrastructure in order to explore, test, drill, produce, maintain, and reclaim oil wells. They are considered a multi-billion-dollar industry worldwide. Firms that belong to this sector are typically the world’s largest.

Exploration & Production: Know the Difference

Oil exploration is the process of locating sites where abundant oil resources potentially exist. As soon as these potential sites are identified, oil production begins the process of collecting and extracting resources.

Oil discovery and extraction is a very complex process that requires a lot of resources. It is highly necessary, since without this resource, which is used to heat buildings, power vehicles, make everyday necessities, and produce electricity, life as we know it and the economy will grind to a standstill.

Take the Next Step

With the surge of oil and gas prices, direct participation in oil and gas investments can be a lucrative means for qualified investors to potentially benefit from returns that outpace most traditional investments.

In 2008, DW Energy was founded to bridge the gap between qualified private capital and the most promising oil and gas investment opportunities in the industry. View our portfolio of oil and gas investment partnerships here. We focus on proven oil-producing fields with documented successful production histories. Our portfolio includes non-operated working interest positions in Texas and North Dakota.

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“Upstream: Production and Exploration,” Library of Congress,
“Oil and Gas Companies,” Library of Congress,
“Overview of the oil and gas exploration and production process,” Environmental Management in Oil and Gas Exploration and Production,