Exploring for shallow targets onshore normally involves low drilling cost but higher seismic cost to illuminate objectives with desired resolution. However, in underexplored acreage, the area covered by 3D seismic becomes an issue and should be balanced against the resolution needed to identify drillable prospects. If the play concepts are not well understood, exploration expenditures should be focused on wide 3D seismic acquisition and on cheap exploration drilling. If an economic discovery occurs, more sophisticated seismic acquisition could focus on the discovered reservoir. A “focused on target” acquisition might increase cost and limit the area extent.

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