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
- “Regional” approach
We might call this “Regional-scale Exploration”How to do “Infrastructure-Controlled Exploitation”?
How to do “regional-scale Exploration”?
- 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
- 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