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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

Indonesian Petroleum Association


Proceedings of an International Conference on Petroleum Systems of SE Asia and Australasia, 1997
Pages 15-18

The Business Side of Petroleum Systems

Marlan W. Downey


The Petroleum System concept has great utility in providing a unifying concept for understanding the distribution of hydrocarbon accumulations. In addition, recognition of a petroleum system has a powerful influence on the assessment of risk in an exploration play. Plays that lack evidence of a petroleum system are very high risk, and exploration efforts in such risky plays should be re-focused to provide early information as to the presence or absence of a petroleum system.

For plays that have evidence of a petroleum system, exploration data will be available to judge geologic chance factor and the economic chance factor. Analysis of the factors affecting the likelihood of an economic discovery illustrate that contract terms, development costs, and oil/gas price are likely to be as important as exploration technology for exploration success.

Making sure your new exploration play is within a petroleum system is more than good science....it's necessary for successful business.

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