Written by Shaoqing Sun, David A. Pollitt, Shengyu Wu, and David A. Leary
DOI: 10.1306/10262019250
The American Association of Petroleum Geologists
AAPG Bulletin, V. 105, No. 5 (May 2021), P. 845-864


Global analogues are widely used across the exploration and production (E&P) life cycle. Analogues, used in conjunction with primary data, expand the knowledge of both the individual and team and develop insights that are not possible from using either local data or individual experience in isolation. Difficulties in the application of analogues arise when the analogues are not selected consistently, are too specific, or are in conflict with empirical local data. Most of these difficulties arise from the lack of a proper definition of analogues, absence of a systematic method of analogue selection, and poorly defined objectives for the use of analogues. Analogues are herein defined as comparable fields and reservoirs relevant to a specific question or set of questions. To select appropriate analogues, practitioners should focus on specific individual question(s) instead of “look-alike” fields.

A consistent global field and reservoir knowledge base with standardized and classified geological and engineering parameters form the basis for analogue selection and analysis. The ability to standardize knowledge on practitioners’ own E&P assets and conduct benchmark comparisons against applicable global analogues is critical to the identification of potential problems, mitigation strategies, and best practices. Appropriate application of global analogues to a local situation not only fosters creative thinking but also provides a way to quickly learn, increase confidence, and efficiently reduce risk for E&P decision-making.

Copyright ©2021. The American Association of Petroleum Geologists. All rights reserved. Gold Open Access. This paper is published under the terms of the CC-BY license.

Author Statement

Written by Shaoqing Sun and David A. Pollitt

“This article represents the culmination of years of dedicated study to mature from concept to completion. We hope that our efforts will help advance the scientific application of global analogues in exploration, appraisal, and development. Unrestricted access to analogue knowledge is something I strongly believe in and I am therefore happy to say that this study is available for all via open access.

Our article promotes a systematic, objective, and integrated methodology for analogue selection and application. This methodology advocates that the value of global analogues can only be realized through the development of a coherent and consistent knowledge base and within a structured and classified knowledge framework. It has wide-ranging application and brings standardization and objectivity to the practical use of analogues, something which, to date, has been lacking compared to other aspects of the exploration-production lifecycle.”

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