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Assessing the world's future undiscovered hydrocarbon resources is important and requires the thoughtful use of extensive data being assembled by large numbers of earth scientists. The soundness of the assessment depends to a significant degree on recognition of the makeup and strengths of the people involved, and how they can most properly reinforce each other in the handling of data available at any given time.
Five factors warrant particular consideration to assure maximum success. One, is the relative dependence placed on effective judgments of experienced workers, as compared to that placed on any predetermined geologic models or apparent implications of data sets. Second, is having effective contributors who can properly apply newly-accepted or evolving geologic principles affecting hydrocarbon occurrence. Third, is the degree to which contributors identify and use geologic analogs properly or improperly. Fourth, is how correctly assessors view the exploration maturity for basins being studied. Fifth, is the manner in which members of an assessment team communicate with each other regarding such elements as geologic concepts and models, adequacy and significance of data bases, statistica approaches, and constructive criticism--"communicating" involves both transmitting and receiving.
Continuing to advance our science is paramount for preparing future and better resource assessments. Concurrently, correctly identifying, educating, organizing, and supporting the right earth scientists for the assessment task is of equal importance.
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