ZORBALAS, KONSTANTINOS, and RUDY E. ROGERS, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS
ABSTRACT: Resource Assessment and Profitability from Discovering Rate Forecasting
A partially explored basin, in trying economic times such as the present, experiences a slowdown in activity that leaves the state, industry, and all concerned questioning whether undiscovered fields of sufficient size and quantity remain in the basin to justify further exploration. Questions that need to be answered concern the finding costs, development costs, and ultimate profitability associated with potential discoveries.
A discovery process model was used to answer these questions by analyzing the Black Warrior basin of Mississippi for the number and size distribution of undiscovered natural gas fields remaining; an economic analysis then detailed costs and ultimate profitability of their development. Extensive historical data from the basin was analyzed and the log normal distribution of fields was categorized into nine class sizes. The Drew/Scheunemeyer discovery process model predicted 43 undiscovered fields in class sizes with economical potential for development having 150 bcf of gas reserves; approximately 300 exploratory wells could be drilled in the basin with expectations of attractive profitabilities from field discoveries. Rates of return were determined for four
gas-price scenarios, and the conditions were revealed for profitable development of the undiscovered fields.
By using the method in any partly explored basin, one can foresee the economic justification for further exploratory drilling and foresee economic benefits from eventual production of the potential fields. The analysis method is the most thorough and informative that can be made on a basin having the potential of additional gas field discoveries. As exploration becomes more selective, the technique could be a valuable tool to any exploration program.
AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90989©1993 GCAGS and Gulf Coast SEPM 43rd Annual Meeting, Shreveport, Louisiana, October 20-22, 1993.