In Tertiary age sediments, P-wave seismic amplitudes are generally regarded as the most robust direct hydrocarbon indicators. Exploration prospects based on a sound geologic model and supported by seismic amplitude anomalies are highly prospective and are usually assigned a high probability of success. However, a fraction of such prospects, perhaps 10–30%, result in dry holes. Postdrill appraisal can usually assign these results to one or more of the following factors:

When a dry hole cannot be explained by any of these causes, the seismic amplitude anomaly is often ascribed to low gas saturation in the reservoir. Seismic amplitudes are strong...

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