Appraisal Excellence in Deepwater Reservoirs


In the Deepwater Oil and Gas Industry, wells routinely run over $100 million USD and developments in the billions of dollars. These high costs, coupled with the complexity of the discoveries, drive teams to employ a structured decision quality approach to their appraisal and development decision making. Key to success is a clear, dynamic appraisal strategy which may be revisited and modified as additional information comes in to ensure the right development decisions are made.

To meet these challenges, Decision Frameworks spent over two years developing a unique, yet practical methodology and training course, designed to train deepwater teams to use efficient workflows to frame and evaluate value adding appraisal strategies. In this workshop, participants frame appraisal options, forecast uncertainty reduction potential and develop the business case for discoveries at key points in time, always addressing the important questions:

  • What are the main uncertainties and how might they play out?
  • How would those uncertainties impact development decisions?
  • What appraisal information might we consider to reduce them?
  • How well will appraisal reduce those uncertainties?
  • Can a business case be made for that appraisal?

Four Stages of Deepwater Appraisal

As a best practice, deepwater appraisal planning is often conducted in the context of four key phases in the life of an exploration well and discovery. Each time frame addresses questions with supporting case examples to structure and clarify the deepwater appraisal process.


  • Time zero, prior to discovery - What is the best appraisal strategy in the event of discovery?
  • Case example - Discovery well scenario thinking - What are possible outcomes of a discovery well, what would those scenarios mean to development and what appraisal actions would make sense given they occur?

  • Time one, at discovery - What is the best appraisal strategy upon discovery?
  • Case examples - Appraisal well planning (order, locations, testing & coring)

  • Time two, prior to final concept select - Should information be gathered to finalize development concept?
  • Case examples - Interference testing, Early Production Systems & tie-backs

  • Time three, enabling appraisal during the producing phase - What data/equipment should we put in place at development to enable information gatherings during production to optimize recovery?
  • Case examples - 4D seismic, downhole gauges, test loops

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