Geology Plus! ™
For most years—like most companies that find and produce oil and gas—BWOC used a standard two-part method to evaluate a prospective oil field: 1) professional geologists studied the area’s trends and formations; 2) then they analyzed that information in terms of nearby production, seismic data (as appropriate), and in the case of re-entries, a well’s previous production.
With that data and analysis, BWOC would winnow to its best prospects to drill and develop. And for a long time, the standard method worked as well as could be expected. That is to say those results were good but production levels often fell below expectations.
Then, in early 2001, BWOC developed GEOLOGY PLUS: a one-two punch of standard geologic analysis and current high-tech scientific testing. Following a full year of intense testing—and trial and error—BWOC invested $1.5 million to incorporate a new means to both validate standard exploration and take it to the next level of accuracy.
What Do the New Technologies Measure ?
That new means was geochemical testing for hydrocarbons just below the soil’s surface. Hydrocarbons deep below the earth, you see, rise to the surface in detectable quantities. To find evidence of hydrocarbons and their alteration products—or not—is to gain understanding in what does or doesn’t lie in waiting much further below.
In 2000, Schumacher reviewed more than 850 wildcat wells—all drilled after surface geochemical surveys. The study found that that 79 percent of wells drilled after positive geochemical studies hit home runs. Only 13 percent of wells drilled without an associated geochemical anomaly resulted in commercial discoveries.
Are Hydrocarbons a Legitimate Indicator?
In its Memoir 66, the AAPG (American Association of Petroleum Geologists) summarized its consensus on the following points:
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