The absence of evidence doesn't mean evidence for the absence
Mar 16, 2021

For companies contemplating a Basin Entry, whether it is a basin previously unexplored or a basin new to the company, a number of key questions come to the fore: Why? Does it fit with our corporate growth strategy and risk profile? Do we have a differentiated insight into the basin? Do we think it aligns with our capital exposure thresholds? How? Minimal Entry Cost/Later Expansion? Partner or Solo? How will we improve the likelihood of success (see “differentiated insights”)? What does success look like, or on the flip side When do we Know we have Failed? What is our dry hole tolerance? Basin and play exploration are inherently governed by the management of risk and uncertainty at the portfolio level. Exploration investment decisions biased by risk-averse teams are susceptible to first-order basin statistics which may reflect a historical “poor” exploration history and exhaustion of existing play concepts. New concepts, new models, new thinking, and consideration of alternatives often result in a paradigm shift despite previous negative results. We will review the Suriname-Guyana basin case study to discuss the required understanding of geology that leads to exploration success. We will share our experiences with acreage selection processes we have witnessed and participated in while working for a variety of E&P companies and examine how, by learning from the past as objectively as possible, we can improve the likelihood of a successful outcome.