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Federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico, south of Louisiana, constitute, through the competitive bidding effort, an excellent case study of state of the art exploratory technology.
In order of increasing variability, the judgment-controlling parameters are: (1) cost of drilling and production, (2) revenue per marketable quantity, (3) reservoir
recovery efficiency, (4) entrapment history and area of accumulation, (5) functional reservoir thicknesses, and (6) the individual and group credibility of assigned values.
A precise combination of these parameters would establish an in situ reserve of hydrocarbons and its worth. Computers can minimize effectively the options for the involved disciplines excepting geology. The assignment of probabilities and values to multiple working geologic hypotheses continues to govern the assumed reserve and competitive bid. Expansion of measurement capability is probable, and its increased definition power will accentuate the role of conceptual geology.
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