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Leads and Prospects? 
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Joined: Wed Jun 09, 2010 4:15 pm
Posts: 4
Post Leads and Prospects?
Hello experts!

I'm rather new in the exploration business (now interning at a oil and gas company) and have had a hard time getting my head around the definition for Leads and Prospects. What defines Lead and what differentiates it from a Prospect? Also aren't Leads the same as the initial stage of "Prospect Generation" and isn't the actual process of gaining insight in the risk and probability of finding oil in your prospect the process of "Prospect Evaulation"?

I find it very confusing? Any clear definition out there?



Wed Jun 09, 2010 4:20 pm

Joined: Wed Jun 09, 2010 1:45 pm
Posts: 12
Post Re: Leads and Prospects?

Good question. I had trouble understanding the concept at first too. Here's my explanation:

In general a "Lead" is any indication or hint of the presence of a trap in the subsurface which may allow explorationists to explore it further. Usually a portfolio is made which holds some basic characteristics the interpreter can write down pretty quickly. From this portfolio the leads that are thought to have the highest potential are selected for further investigation.

At this stage these leads become prospects which will be further evaluated. Like further 2D or 3D seismic and well-log interpretation. All this is done to get insight in the effectiveness of the Trap, presence and quality of reservoir and effectiveness and thickness of overlying and lateral seal. Larger scale basin analysis usually gives insight in the existence of mature and rich source rock and the timing of generation and expulsion of hydrocarbon from this source rock and time of trap formation. This can all be fitted in the "Prospect Evaluation" phase. Usually estimates of volumes and a risk assessment is also incorporated to get initial insight in economic viability of the prospect.

The process of selecting leads from the Lead portfolio for further investigation may be deemed what you refer to as "Prospect Generation".

You might want to read Basin Analysis by Allan and Allan and "A Process for Evaluating Exploration Prospects" by R.M. Otis I believe from the AAPG Bulletin, 1997.

Hope this helps!

Wed Jun 09, 2010 4:42 pm

Joined: Wed Jun 09, 2010 4:15 pm
Posts: 4
Post Re: Leads and Prospects?
Thanks Patjang!

I bought the book and had a read. Some very interesting stuff in there. Definitions explaining risk in geology are so subjective in my opinion. I just guess it will take a lot of experience in getting this risk across to management (with less geological knowledge) and understanding it all.

Next question I'm dealing with:
How can I quantify risk of seal as I am currently doing a prospectivity study in a very sandy basin (seal is paramount). I want to generate a play fairway map based on seal risk (traffic light maps may be another way of describing this). Any ideas on how to tackle this? I don't want to do a full petrophysical study on sealing potential and data is scarce anyways.

Hope you guys can help. (great forums btw)

Tue Sep 07, 2010 11:31 pm
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