Oil and Gas exploration is undoubtedly imperative to companies large and small, whether they are in possession of a prospect or a lead. Oil and Gas exploration involves a great number of technical processes and an even larger amount of identification, risking and ranking processes, but this article hopes to provide an overview of what exactly is done in order to properly identify prospects into leads, and eventually assets.
Initially, an oil and gas exploration company will perform a series of exploration evaluations. These are varied and numerous, and generally involve subsurface evaluation in order to identify prospective resources, which of course will influence a companies’ decision of whether or not to drill. These evaluations can include basin analysis, seismic processing, seismic interpretation, application of regional geology, as well as Play and Fairway analysis of the prospect. This will properly identify a prospect, and all of the risks that go along with it.
Should your prospect turn into a lead, appraisal evaluation is implemented. This process is essentially the evaluation of seismic, well and test data which was gathered throughout the exploration evaluation stage. The collected data is assessed and interrogated to get the full picture of the prospect. Should said prospect become a lead, this data is then applied to the decision to either drill more wells, or develop the initial one. In the case of collected data showing the cost of doing so outweighs what can be extracted, the decision can then be taken to abandon the project and the prospect – saving a company (depending on the project) from $10m upwards to excess of $100m per drill. Needless to say, knowing what exactly a prospect is worth is imperative.
In the case of a lead turning into an asset, field development is started. This process generates plans for the maximum amount of hydrocarbon recovery, and commerciality. Your asset is developed, and reserves are quantified. The process for field development is varied, with each and every government having their own sets of rules and own levies in regard to this. An Oil and Gas exploration company will take care of it all, preparing and delivering proposals, and the approval process falls to them.
Ongoing operations support then characterises varying activities (which of course vary, depending on what is needed for the project in itself) which can include drilling infill and extension wells, as well as the ongoing adaptation of operations to properly take advantage of production response.
As you can see, oil and gas operation work is crucial to all finds, whether it is within an old resource or a brand new one.