Today seal evaluations are commonly applied within the industry: during the prospect evaluation process of an exploration project it is essential to predict the probability of the hydrocarbon column height based on seal predictions. The introduction of various quantitative prediction algorithms and related software has opened the way for industry application; however the quality of seal evaluations in exploration projects is still varying from qualitative estimates over inconsistent applications to deterministic capacity estimates. Oversimplification and biased contact scenarios can result in misleading volume predictions and it may have additional negative impact on the prospect chance estimates. To enable consistent prospect evaluation concerning column heights, WINTERSHALL has developed a corporate standard for seal evaluations which is systematically applied to all exploration projects. The methodology integrates top and fault seal workflows resulting in structural related hydrocarbon column heights. Examples from various basins will be used to demonstrate the great potential of integrated quantitative seal assessment (QSA), its limitations in carbonates and the application and integration of QSA in play evaluations. The influence of comparative probabilistic assessment of top and fault seal capacities and proper statistical treatment of seal capacity results play a pivotal role in corporate exploration decision making.


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