Oil & Gas Training
and Competency Development
Competency Management system SLB NEXT

Finding the right prospects - Integrated Petroleum System-based Play-to-Prospect Exploration

This 5-day course is about finding prospects. It goes beyond “play-based exploration” and teaches how to use the play fairway mapping and petroleum system modeling, which identified the play as high potential, to identify the best prospects in the area, even in areas with sparse data. Once prospects are identified, the course teaches how to get map-derived geologically-based, consistent, and objective inputs for prospect volumetric and risking. These yield documented results that can be used to confidently rank opportunities, and thereby, make good business decisions.

This course is heavy on domain knowledge that relates plays, prospecting, petroleum systems, and probabilistic volumetrics and risking. This knowledge is mixed with lots of hands-on exercises that use it with the Petrel Exploration Geology tools along with GeoX.

Participants will identify the prospects in a play area using Schlumberger’s integrated Exploration work process. Starting with the initial, relatively-sparse exploration data, the participant will learn to create the maps and analysis they need from the available data and then make a thorough evaluation of the area.

They will see how to combine results from petroleum systems modeling with the play fairway maps and extract inputs for volumetrics and risking assessments for a group of prospects. They will gain better insights on how to use the results from this analysis to make probabilistic volumetric and chance of success assessment of their prospects that have a clear link back to the play evaluation and petroleum systems analysis. They will rank the prospects based on multiple factors that affect their relative prospectivity. Lastly, they will learn how to quickly update their prospect evaluation and keep them ‘live’ and usable whenever new understanding or data becomes available.

Day 1


  • The language of Prospecting: Defining the basic terminology – Play, petroleum system, lead & prospect
  • Chance Mapping: Making Common Risk segment maps for plays and continuous chance mapping for prospectso
  • TRCS chance mapping exercise – Basics for making continuous chance maps with Petrel Chance Mapping tool and extracting unique risk factors for individual leads, prospects, blocks and other opportunities

Learn basic terminology of prospecting. Learn how Integrated Petroleum System Play (down) to Prospect work process follows on from Play-based Exploration and connects the PBE analysis down to the prospect level. Learn to make Common Risk Segments maps and continuous chance maps in Petrel more efficiently than the old “light table” process. Learn how to extract risk factors for prospects from continuous chance maps.              

Day 2

Finding the best potential within the play - Identifying prospects and prospect risking using continuous chance mapping – Extracting geologically-based, objective, and consistent risk factors for input into prospect assessments

  • Reservoir: Reservoir presence and quality mapping and risking.
  • Seal: Seal capacity mapping from facies maps. (PSQL exercise). Risking Seal presence and effectiveness.
  • Trap (Structure): Mapping structural uncertainty. Creating chance maps with Petrel for direct input of chance into PCM. (Demo of techniques)
  • Charge: Defining Vertical and Lateral charge (PSQL exercise). Defining the Kitchen Area. Elements of vertical charge and vertical charge chance. Defining lateral charge risk – Distance from Kitchen & Distance from migration pathway
  • Extracting individual risk factors from continuous chance maps for lead and prospect risking (Exercise)
  • Revising chance maps for new information- keeping maps continually current

Make a complete Chance Mapping assessment over a play. Create continuous chance maps for Trap, Reservoir, Charge, and Seal       

Day 3

 Timing Risk: Seal and seal effectiveness and migration timing risk using Petroleum System 1D modeling and Quick Look seal capacity mapping

  • What controls seal effectiveness and charge timing risk? Calibrating of seal lithologies to well data and HC columns for prediction of seal effectiveness timing and risk. Making seal capacity maps for seal chance and estimation of HC columns for individual prospects
  • Post-well analysis on existing wells: Why did some fail and others succeed? What are the key risks in the area?
  • Evaluating seal effectiveness and charge timing risks on prospects using Petroleum System 1D modeling
  • Petroleum System 1D modeling and PS Quick Look exercises – Making calibrated PS1D models, Geological Timing Events Charts, & Seal Capacity Maps (Capillary entry pressure & HC column height)

Learn to make PS1D models and quick look seal capacity maps. Use them to assess the timing risk on prospects. Use them to assess trap fill uncertainty for volumetrics                

Day 4

 Probabilistic Volumetrics and Chance of Success for Leads and Prospects

  • The language of probabilistic volumetrics: Defining the basic terminology- Most-likely, Mean, P10, P50, P90, input distribution types (what to use), exceedance probability outputs
  • Things we do wrong when doing probabilistic volumetrics on leads & prospects: Common errors and what to do right
  • Odds, Chance of Success, and Uncertainty: The difference. What does COS mean?
  • Setting up risk models in GeoX, basic set up of GeoXplorer basin, play, sub-play, segment, prospect structure
  • Setting up segment analysis parameters
  • Extracting volumetric input ranges and Chance of Success inputs from Petrel
  • Volumetric assessment of two leads. (GeoX segment & prospect analysis exercise)
    • What do the inputs mean AND where to get good, geological/Engineering based numbers!
  • Prospect Assessment: Combining segments into a single prospect including setting dependencies

Learn the fundamentals of lead and prospect and probabilistic volumetrics and COS determination. Use GeoX to make assessments of volumes and risk on two prospects to see how using map-derived values for Petrel gives results that can be compared and used for ranking.

Day 5

Prospect Ranking - Beyond “Risked resources”

  • Using multi-criteria ranking process to rank prospects (and other opportunities) – The Schlumberger multi-factor ranking process
    • What is wrong with ranking on “risked” resources.”
  • Choosing ranking criteria that fit the decision
  • Scoring opportunities (Leads and prospects)
  • Final ranking
    • Displaying the results in Petrel

Learn to use the multi-factor ranking process to rank the prospects in the study area. Learn to display maps showing the ranking results in Petrel                

Learning activity mix

Exploration geoscientists, team leads, and managers. Very valuable if attended as a team


1) Using sparse data to do a quick look evaluation of prospectivity of an area, identify the areas of high prospectivity, and delineate the best leads and prospects
2) Using Petroleum System 1D models for post-well analysis of area discoveries and dry holes. Using Petroleum System 1D model to evaluate seal capacity, seal capacity effectiveness, hydrocarbon column height for volumetric input, and Timing Risk for individual prospects
3) Creating quick look petroleum system maps showing transformation ratio, vitrinite reflectance, HC generation mass, and migration fairway maps for generation and migration
4) Creating regional seal capacity and regional porosity maps calibrated to available wells
5) Creating continuous chance maps for calculating the chance factors for the risk elements: Trap, Reservoir Charge, and Seal and combining these to identify leads and prospects with highest chance of success
6) Extracting input values for volumes and risk from the rock property and chance maps and get “good” inputs for both volumetric inputs and risk factors while avoiding common errors that lead to overestimation of volumes and risk
7) Setting up and running prospect volumetric and risk assessments on key leads and prospects

  • Setting-up an analysis and basics behind the numbers
    • o What is the “right” distribution type to use? Stretched Beta, Uniform, Constant
    • o Why never to use Lognormal or Normal anymore! (or Triangular)
  • 8) Ranking leads and prospects using a multi-factor ranking system (beyond “risked resources”)

Ideally, participants will have attended the Petrel Fundamentals class, OG-SW0-SIS12520. But this is not essential. Basic prospect assessment skills are useful, but not required.

Currently there are no scheduled classes for this course.

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Client Testimonials

Fabulous course ! excellent instructor ! It's got a great number of reviews and updates of seismic inversion techniques as well as very practical Petrel exercises.
Fabulous course ! excellent instructor ! It's got a great number of reviews and updates of seismic inversion techniques as well as very practical Petrel exercises.

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