Reducing uncertainty and risk through field-based studies
Published:January 01, 2016
M. B. J. Bowman, H. R. Smyth, 2016. "Reducing uncertainty and risk through field-based studies", The Value of Outcrop Studies in Reducing Subsurface Uncertainty and Risk in Hydrocarbon Exploration and Production, M. Bowman, H. R. Smyth, T. R. Good, S. R. Passey, J. P. P. Hirst, C. J. Jordan
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Field-based studies, be they regional or basin-scale fieldwork, or the examination of outcrop analogues, have been an important component of petroleum system studies in the upstream oil and gas industry for many years. Recent technological advances, founded on traditional field methodologies, whether they are in digital outcrop characterization or developments in processing and computational capabilities, have fuelled a resurgence in such fieldwork. These studies enable the building of realistic models that allow the exploration or production geoscientist to navigate effectively from plate-to-play-to-pore. The interrogation of field data and resulting models provide a more informed means of benchmarking the subsurface, as well as a more realistic view of subsurface uncertainty and the management of associated risk in subsurface description and prediction.
This Special Publication records 12 papers given at a conference titled ‘Reducing Subsurface Uncertainty and Risk Through Field-Based Studies’ organized by the Petroleum Group of the Geological Society of London, and held in London from 4 to 6 March 2014. The observations drawn in this introductory paper reflect the authors’ experiences, presentations at the conference and manuscripts within this volume.
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The Value of Outcrop Studies in Reducing Subsurface Uncertainty and Risk in Hydrocarbon Exploration and Production
Field studies over a range of scales have been important in the upstream oil and gas industry for decades. Advances in digital outcrop characterization and data capture, coupled with increased computational capabilities, have resulted in a resurgence in fieldwork; these field studies are required to develop depositional, stratigraphic and structural concepts and provide the data which underpin the current generation of complex, computer generated, 3D subsurface models. These models provide an informed means of benchmarking the subsurface along with a more considered view of subsurface uncertainty and management of the risks identified. The papers in this volume cover safety in the field, frontier basin petroleum system assessment, field appraisal and development including unconventional resources, applications of techniques such as LiDAR and 3D photogrammetry, and uncertainty characterization. The studies were undertaken in diverse locations such as the Faroe Islands, Italy, Algeria, India, the USA and Trinidad; they represent a range of tectonic settings and a wide geological time frame. The spectrum of papers is testament to the value and integral position that fieldwork occupies within the modern hydrocarbon industry.