Explorers are frequently faced with assessing amplitude-bearing, multiple-zone prospects, especially when exploring in Tertiary basins such as the Gulf of Mexico. Some or all of these zones are often incorrectly described as “direct hydrocarbon indicators.” In this paper, we deal with best practices of consistency, calibration, and measurement for amplitude anomalies to ensure appropriate valuation of such prospects.

When a zone is identified as “amplitude-bearing,” a series of questions about the anomaly's attributes and data quality helps address the appropriate range of uncertainty associated with productive area, average net pay, and recovery factor. Discussion should focus on the anomaly's (1)...

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