Prospect Mapping

Date: November 9, 2015 50min Advanced

  • Exercise Part 1
  • Exercise Part 2
  • Introduction to Exercise
  • Lecture
  • Solution
  • Exercise Part 3
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This lesson is on Prospect Mapping, and directly departs from the information gathered in the previous exercise on New Ventures. The class should be divided into these main segments: conduct the lease sale from the previous exercise and show what was discovered, and introduce the lecture and the exercise. 

The Lease Sale takes about twenty (20) minutes. Slides 2 and 3 in this lecture can be used to type in team names and bids. Alternatively, you can do this on a white board. Open envelopes (if you use them) and write the bids from each team. Then go back and circle the highest bidder. In case of ties, the hydrocarbon (HC) volumes are split equally. In the solution, they will see the millions of oil-equivalent barrels (MOEBs) found on each block. If you want to have a winning team, it would be the one that gets the most MOEBs.

The review of what was discovered in the blocks takes about ten (10) minutes. The lecture has four (4) slides, and should be budgeted ten (10) minutes for discussion. The introduction to the exercise has eight (8) slides, and should take about ten (10) minutes to explain. The lecture sets up the exercise. 

The exercise is best done in teams of two or three students. The teams are given two (2) basemaps – one to keep track of their interpretation progress, and the second for a two-way time (TWT) structure map. The teams are given eleven (11) seismic lines, five (5) with interpretation.

There are two tasks: Complete the interpretation of the Top of Latrobe (TOL) unconformity on the other six (6) lines, and generate a time structure map. For measuring TWT to the TOL, the teams can use the time scale on the left or right side of any of the lines. The teams should measure TWT at the solid and dashed vertical lines marking intersects lines on each seismic line.

It is important for them to keep in mind what the time structure map is for. In the exercise that accompanies the next lesson, they will walk through an assessment of their anticline prospect and pick a location for their first (wildcat) well. The team time structure map will be critical for the next exercise.


The main objective for the lesson is to:

  • Review the exercise from the lesson on New Ventures
  • Find which team is the winning bid on the blocks
  • Learn how companies make decisions on which blocks to bid on

Related Courses

This course, based on teaching material from Dr. Fred Schroeder (formerly of Exxon/ExxonMobil), reflects on the geology and geophysics basics for the petroleum industry. General geology and basic geophysics are not required, but helpful with the material.

Course Advanced