Opinion

Exploration is a Business!

Posted by David Bamford

12-Dec-2016

petromall.org


This is a commentary on the US shale revolution, by a participant: “Geology is a science. Geophysics is a science. Exploration is a Business”

Given that, where do we go from here, what happens next?

This quotation is usually attributed to Albert Einstein: “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result!”

…'..so let's agree that a lot has to change?

Here are a few ideas:

Short-term (2-3 years)

Based on what the Majors appear to be saying, the focus will be on:
  • Existing provinces, many of them offshore
  • Exploiting discovered, or extremely low risk accumulations
  • Closeness to Infrastructure
  • Short times to 1st Oil/Gas
We might call this “Infrastructure-Led Exploration” but a more honest term might be “Infrastructure-Led Exploration Exploitation” or even “Infrastructure-Controlled Exploitation”……………which will not work for everyone.

And so…..

Longer-term (>3-4 years)

I predict that some companies (Majors) and NOCs will need new resources/reserves, requiring:
  • New Ideas
  • Low Cost Oil (we don't need any more Gas!)
  • Not Deep Water, not Arctic
  • Onshore
  • “Regional” approach
We might call this “Regional-scale Exploration”


How to do “Infrastructure-Controlled Exploitation”?
  • Geoscientists as part of Exploitation team(s)
  • Low overheads, low G&A; exploit cost leverage
  • Technology Innovation: Multi-component seismic; 4D when producing; Machine Learning - applied to subsurface interpretation; Production Analytics
How to do “regional-scale Exploration”?
  • Low overheads (especially Executive management!)
  • Low G&A; exploit outsourcing
  • Portfolio of opportunities (not just one play!)
  • Technology Innovation: Satellites; UAVs - manned aircraft only if no alternative!; “Boots on the ground”*; Wireless seismic; Integration: seeps, gravity (FTG), “The Rocks”*, seismic - preferably 3D
* I mean the ‘classics' = stratigraphy, sedimentology, structural geology, geochemistry, petrophysics 


Visit source site

petromall.org

More items from david


The Good, the Bad and the Ugly!

During my 20+ years at Beyond Prudence there were several people who helped me think about my career, what I wanted to do, what I wanted to achieve, how to do it. For example, I recall that Peter O'Brien, David Jenkins, Peter Hill, Chris Wright, John Browne, Rodney Chase, David Pritchard were all ve ...

David Bamford


Posted 9 days agoOpinion > PeopleActive Career ManagementCost cutting

New life for the North Sea!

Conventional petroleum provinces in the North Sea range from mature to very mature, and thus it seems that future will be defined in terms of  “marginal discoveries” - the OGA estimates that there are already  ~350 unsanctioned discoveries in the UKCS – and possibly shale oil/gas, with the intriguin ...

David Bamford


Posted 1 month agoOpinion > North SeaMarginal DiscoveriesUK Shale +1

The case for East Africa

East Africa still seems relatively unloved as a petroleum province and yet it has a number of positive aspects: There is a regional entity, the East African Community , which draws together Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania (but not Mocambique). There is a declared ambition to bring energy to the comb ...

David Bamford


Posted 1 month agoOpinion > East AfricaDIT

Joined-up thinking about the North Sea?

There seems to be a lot of thought going into the issue of Decommissioning in the North Sea, with companies perhaps beginning to realise that the traditional approach – to take a ‘finger in the air' estimate of the potential costs to put into their accounts and then breathe a sigh of relief when the ...

David Bamford


Posted 2 months agoOpinion > North SeaDecommissioningMarginal Discoveries +2

In praise of seeps?

I knew from early in my time at BP that the previous generation of explorers had used surface seeps to locate oil reservoirs in the Middle East – find a surface seep in the middle of a map-able anticline…….. Then when I was involved in BP's Gulf of Mexico exploration, I understood that you could se ...

David Bamford


Posted 2 months agoOpinion > SeepsGeophysicsSatellite Data +2
All posts from david