At a time when oil-finding costs are at record lows and good returns can be made from correct development drilling decisions, our industry is in a retreat mode of thinking—designed to avoid risks. Yet, paradoxically, simultaneous innovations in seismic technology (improved resolution, better interpretation methods, and more accurate data manipulation) have been made that can greatly reduce risk. However, to date, these techniques have been used primarily in exploration and rarely applied in the location of development wells where they can both improve drainage efficiency and reduce development risks and costs. This is especially important to US operators who frequently deal with fields of 2–5 wells (and the consequent economics which cannot survive repeated dry extension wells).

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