Constructing a framework for analyzing the reliability and value of uncertain seismic interpretations
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Exploration geology is built upon the use of seismic data to image strata of sedimentary rocks to search for hidden wealths of petroleum resources deep under the Earth’s surface. Although this method is ubiquitous, it is imperfect and inherent uncertainties arise from various sources including the acquisition, processing, and interpretation of such data. Making absolute assessments of such reserves is often difficult, and decisions to effectively manage these uncertainties are further complicated as a result. It is important to understand how uncertainties affect the exploration process, and how they can be evaluated, mitigated, or accommodated in order to optimize economic decision making to maximize value in these scenarios. An area in need of development in this optimization process is to quantify the reliability of seismic interpretations to measure how dependable this imperfect information can be. This study will include a review of work that has previously been done on the uncertainty and value of seismic information for exploratory purposes and a proposal of a framework by which these concepts can be used to guide decision making. Ultimately, this work will enable project managers and decision makers to make more informed choices in the face of uncertainty to optimize the success of future exploration projects.