ABSTRACT

There is a common belief that we can expect to add value to a prospect or prospect portfolio by improving the prospect chance of success (Pg) as a consequence of acquiring information and doing work. Established laws of probability dictate that this is incorrect. We do expect new information to add value to the exploration cycle, but not by an expectation of improving the prospect risk. New information may result in an increase or a decrease of Pg, but the expected result (the average of all possible outcomes) is zero change. Moreover, for a typical exploration prospect (Pg < 0.5), we expect that new information will downgrade more prospects Pg than are upgraded. Real-world prospect data are neither suitable nor publically available to study this. Instead, the concept is explored using an analogous process (prenatal prediction of fetus gender) for which good statistics exist, and by creating a synthetic prospect that can be analyzed in a repeatable way. The results support the predictions made above.

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