A forecast of the future rates of discovery of crude oil and natural gas for the 123,027-km2 Miocene/Pliocene trend in the Gulf of Mexico was made in 1980. This forecast was evaluated in 1988 by comparing two sets of data: (1) the actual versus the forecasted number of fields discovered, and (2) the actual versus the forecasted volumes of crude oil and natural gas discovered with the drilling of 1,820 wildcat wells along the trend between January 1, 1977, and December 31, 1985. The forecast specified that this level of drilling would result in the discovery of 217 fields containing 1.78 billion barrels of oil equivalent; however, 238 fields containing 3.57 billion barrels of oil equivalent were actually discovered. This underestimation is attributed to biases introduced by field growth and, to a lesser degree, the artificially low, pre-1970's price of natural gas that prevented many smaller gas fields from being brought into production at the time of their discovery; most of these fields contained less than 50 billion cubic feet of producible natural gas. ?? 1992 Oxford University Press.
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A petroleum discovery-rate forecast revisited-The problem of field growth