The Ten Habits of Highly Successful Oil Finders

Bob Shoup, SCA Chief Geologist

SCA’s founder, Dan Tearpock was fond of saying that it is highly trained geoscientists, not workstations that find oil and gas. Toward that end, Dan championed a Philosophical Doctrine for exploration and exploitation of oil and gas resources comprised of 10 industry best practices. These industry best practices are summarized below as the “Ten Habits of Highly Successful Oil Finders”.

SCA has been teaching this Philosophical Doctrine for over 20 years now. We have seen that those individuals, teams, or companies that adopt this Doctrine and make the 10 Habits part of their geoscience workflow experience a reduction in the number of dry holes and non-commercial wells they drill as well as improved accuracy of their reserve and resource estimations.

In other words, by adapting the 10 Habits, you will improve your bottom line.


Successful Oil Finders: 

1. Ensure that their interpretations are geologically and geometrically valid in three dimensions.

2. Have a strong background in geology, and a thorough knowledge of the tectonic setting and depositional environments for the area in which they are working.

3. Plan their time and work in order to ensure accurate interpretations and maps.

4. Use all of the data to ensure that they have a reasonable and accurate subsurface interpretation.