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Discovery process modeling—A sensitivity study

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Lognormal discovery process modeling characterizes oil and gas discovery as sampling from a lognormal parent distribution with probability proportional to size and without replacement. In this article, we present a sensitivity study that is based on simulated discovery sequences with different assumptions regarding discovery efficiency, exploration status, and the shape of the parent field size distribution. The results indicate that lognormal discovery process modeling provides good overall estimates of the lognormal parameters if the parent field size distribution is lognormal. If the parent field size distribution is Pareto, an underestimation of the play potential may occur if a lognormal discovery process model is applied. Failure of the likelihood value converging to a maximum is more frequent when sample size is small and/or discovery efficiency is low.

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Chen, Z., Sinding-Larsen, R. Discovery process modeling—A sensitivity study. Nat Resour Res 3, 295–303 (1994). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02256888

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Key words

  • Lognormal discovery process model
  • Discovery efficiency
  • Exploration maturity
  • Shape of parent population