The role of the geophysicist in resource plays has been hard to define. There is obvious benefit to seismic structural interpretation for hazard avoidance and model building for geosteering applications, but when it comes to predicting optimal well placement, much of the industry still is struggling. Common applications of seismic attributes search for deterministic predictions using attributes such as rock strength and anisotropy. However, even with many claims of success and a rich base of literature, the value and use of these approaches are lacking in practice. A simple case study shows the value added by using a single seismic attribute, curvature, in the Barnett Shale. The key to understanding this value is the use of Bayesian statistics. For this case, controlling for just one seismic attribute is seen to increase the probability of a successful well by 10% or more, also leading to substantial increases in rate of return of 10 percentage points or more.

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