In the light of demands for enhanced performance in the oil industry, the Exploration and Production Phase Model (EPPM), which includes the activities of exploration, development and production, and the IT systems that support them, is scrutinized. It is concluded that despite its weaknesses, exploration and production activities in the foreseeable future will be performed within the framework of the EPPM, but development of procedures and support systems will be accelerated. This process will be influenced by, and influence, IT development in the oil industry. It is suggested that the support systems for the EPPM will undergo a process of integration. Simultaneously, the system itself, or modules thereof, will acquire the characteristics of knowledge-based systems, aimed at decision support. Disciplines such as fuzzy logic, image processing, pattern recognition and visualization will also influence its development to various degrees. The growing complexity of the system and the continuous need to update, change and add modules will call for an object oriented approach in the design of modules.