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In petroleum exploration, an important task is to estimate both the reserves likely to be discovered in a prospect and the chance of success of finding them. Published advice on estimating reward and risk can be very misleading when applied to a prospect with a risk of membrane seal failure. The literature mostly recommends assessing the reward on the basis of the mean reserve volume of the mapped closure and the risk on the chance of finding a minimal amount of petroleum. This method breaks down for prospects where the perceived chance of success of the top seal being...

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