prospect | Energy Glossary

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1. n. []

An area of exploration in which hydrocarbons have been predicted to exist in economic quantity. A prospect is commonly an anomaly, such as a geologic structure or a seismic amplitude anomaly, that is recommended by explorationists for drilling a well. Justification for drilling a prospect is made by assembling evidence for an active petroleum system, or reasonable probability of encountering reservoir-quality rock, a trap of sufficient size, adequate sealing rock, and appropriate conditions for generation and migration of hydrocarbons to fill the trap. A single drilling location is also called a prospect, but the term is more properly used in the context of exploration. A group of prospects of a similar nature constitutes a play.

See: amplitude anomalyanomalybasinexplorationfairwaygenerationhydrocarbonmigrationpetroleum systemplayreservoirsealsource rockstructuresubsalttrap

Structure map and cross section of a prospect.