Exxon Mobil is targeting Southern and West Africa. The world's big oil explorer is scouring the globe for the next big find after its success in Guyana. Exxon "really loaded" its exploration portfolio recently by buying large positions in Ghana, Mauritania, SA and Namibia, and also Cyprus and Malaysia, as rivals pulled back, said Stephen Greenlee, Exxon's president of exploration. Exxon's buying spree targeted drilling concessions and seismic surveys, which are maps of the rock beneath the seabed that can indicate probable crude oil deposits. Bigger finds tend to generate bigger profits, and the ultimate prize is known in the industry as an elephant: a discovery that holds a billion barrels or more. "We're acquiring large amounts of seismic data with the idea that in the future one or two of those are going to turn out to be the next Guyana," Greenlee said. "These are large acreage positions and they're in areas that we think have promising opportunities for hydrocarbon systems." Gr...

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