Exploration is in fact a scientific enterprise – as well as a business: we make predictions and then test them with the drill bit. And we aim to learn from these tests. And try again.
On a recent vacation one of my Kindle reading items was Matthew Syed's book “Black Box Thinking”.
In it he uses a variety of examples to illustrate how learning from failure is critical to ultimate success, drawing on examples ranging from a boy called David Beckham learning firstly how to get to over 2000 “keepy-uppies” and then to take bendy free kicks to James Dyson trying over 5000 versions of his revolutionary cyclone cleaner before he got to one that worked perfectly.
This set me thinking about whether we Explorers have a system within which we can truly learn from failures (also known as drilling dry holes)?
In principle I believe we do. We assess risks pre-drill against a range of possible key factors (source presence, migration, reservoir presence, trap etc) and post-drill at least engage in a narrative as to why the well failed if it did.
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