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Natural Resources Research

, Volume 21, Issue 3, pp 301–309 | Cite as

How to Include Ignorance into Hydrocarbon-Resource Assessments? A Case Study Applied to the Presence of Source Rock at the Argentine Deep Water Margin

  • Sönke Rehder
  • Dieter Franke
Article

Abstract

The underexplored deep Argentine continental margin may be a prospective area for hydrocarbon resources. This study quantifies the degree of certainty about a fundamental part in a petroleum system, the presence of source rocks. Probability theory and, in particular, Bayesian networks provide powerful assessment tools based on incomplete knowledge. However, they should not be applied uncritically in cases where necessary assumptions like independence are not fulfilled or prior probabilities are not known. We discuss the difference between a low probability and the ignorance of a hypothesis, and apply an alternative method to the assessment of source rock presence. The results of this probabilistic argumentation system coincide with the intuitive judgement, stating that there is a quantifiable evidence for a source rock, but no evidence against it.

Keywords

Source rock Argentine deep water margin probability theory probabilistic argumentation system 

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Copyright information

© International Association for Mathematical Geology 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und RohstoffeHannoverGermany

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