A Lookback of Apache’s Exploration Program in Egypt: Results and Lessons Learned from Probabilistic Estimation and Portfolio Management
Thomas M. Maher1 and Mike P. Kochick2
1Exploration, Apache Egypt Companies, Cairo, Egypt
2Reservoir, Apache Egypt Companies, Cairo, Egypt
Since 1999 Apache Corporation has utilized throughout the company a probabilistic method of systematic risk analysis of exploration prospects to ensure consistency and standardization of estimating geologic risk and reserve distributions. Over the last few years this has become a best practice for most major and independent companies exploring for new oil and gas fields.
This paper summarizes results of Apache’s Egypt Region comparison (lookback) of post-drill exploration success rates, failure reasons and reserve estimates with pre-drill estimates. The database used in this study comprises pre-drill estimates and post-drill results for 128 new field wildcats drilled between 2001 and 2007 in Egypt. While the difference between pre-drill estimates and post-drill results in any one year is sometimes significant, the data summed over the seven-year lookback period demonstrate remarkable closeness between pre-drill estimates and post-drill results. This lookback also demonstrates the problem of measuring a business unit’s exploration reserve predictability over a short time period, such as following the completion of a one-year exploration program. A multi-year tracking of results is needed to better measure a company or business unit’s ability to estimate reserves from an exploration drilling program.
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