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Comprehensive computer-supported analyses of the exploration histories of the main sedimentary provinces of the conterminous United States have led to the development of a large number of discovery functions by basins and depth zones. This paper extends the previously reported results by presenting frequency distributions of the amounts of hydrocarbon discoveries for successive increments of exploratory drilling density (ft/mi3). The manner in which these distributions vary with depth is illustrated by considering successive depth zones across all the United States sedimentary provinces. The analysis further distinguishes between frequency distributions of the discovery of oil and of nonassociated gas. These frequency distributions can be interpreted as represe ting the probabilities of discovering different amounts of oil and/or gas at different future stages of exploration, i.e., at different exploratory drilling densities.
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