Two Stochastic Models Useful in Petroleum Exploration1
Published:January 01, 1973
What probability law characterizes the spatial distribution of oil and gas fields in a petroleum province? How does the probability that a wildcat well will penetrate a reservoir change (if at all!) as the history of a basin unfolds?
The answers to these questions are important inputs to any model of the process of exploring for oil and gas. Some attention has been devoted to these questions, but there are deficiencies in the treatments of each.
Our objective is two fold: (1) to posit a reasonable model of the spatial distribution of petroleum reservoirs that conforms to several empirically observed facts about such distribution; and (2) to examine a simple first-order model of the exploration process that allows one to test empirically the hypothesis that, at an early stage in the exploration of a basin, the process behaves like sampling without replacement.
The techniques of inference outlined will be useful in predicting properties of an unexplored region.
Figures & Tables
Following the discovery of Prudhoe Bay oil field in 1968, much attention was turned to the Arctic in the search for giant hydrocarbon accumulations. The Soviets had already proved giant reserves in their West Siberian Basin, and exploration was moving ahead quickly in the Canadian Arctic. Plans were drawn up for an AAPG Symposium on Arctic Geology and held in February 1971. Papers were selected from the Symposium for this publication and cover seven topical groupings: Regional Arctic Geology of Canada, Regional Arctic Geology of the Nordic Countries, Regional Arctic Geology of the USSR, Regional Arctic Geology of Alaska, Comparisons in the North Atlantic Borders, Evolution of the Arctic Ocean Basin, and Economics of Petroleum Exploration and Production in the Arctic.