A probabilistic model describing the grid-drilling method of exploration has been developed and tested with specific application to the exploration for petroleum in the United States. It may also have application to non petroleum resources.This method of exploration is shown to be economically feasible when applied to fifteen test areas in the United States and to the United States as a whole.The objective of the analysis was to maximize the net value of petroleum located. The optimum grid spacings for each of the test areas and for the United States as a whole were determined subject to this criterion.

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