Quantifying the power of basin knowledge: the value and effects of petroleum systems information
The concept of value of information (VOI) was introduced to the oil and gas industry by Grayson (1960). Although the method is not limited to a specific kind of information, its thorough application is usually limited to seismic surveys, the most common source of geological and geophysical information in hydrocarbon exploration. According to Bratvold et al. (2009), 29 out of 30 reviewed VOI papers over 1962-2006 focused on valuing seismic information. A recent industry survey demonstrated that 10% of exploration wells fail due to a misinterpretation of a trapping structure; 15% fail due to lack of a reservoir or its poor effectiveness, 30% due to the lack of charge, and 45% due to absent or poor top or/and lateral seal (Laver et al., 2012). This means that analyzing the effects of information addressing the latter three geological risk factors should receive as much attention and study as VOI from seismic studies. We propose a new methodology to assess the value added to a prospect assessment through information provided by petroleum systems modeling (Hantschel and Kauerauf, 2009). The impact of a petroleum systems model (PSM) on a prospect assessment is usually more difficult to evaluate than the effect of a new 3D seismic survey because the information provided by a PSM has primarily a basin- or a play-wide extent.