Half of oil and gas fields don’t meet expectations when they come onstream, a new report said.
Energy consultancy Westwood Global found that most of subsurface risks could be limited by more effective appraisal at an early stage.
But the study said a wide variety of appraisal practices were employed by industry and that there was still room for them to be improved.
Westwood said inadequate appraisal could have a catastrophic impact on production performance, reserves and value.
Forty-three of the 70 fields studied demonstrated deviations in reserves and/or production of more than 10% above or below the plan at project sanction.
The most common causes of non-performance were inaccurate predictions of in-place hydrocarbon volumes, of pressure support and of reservoir quality.
Well location, the type of data acquired and the timing of the data acquisition were found to have an impact on the effectiveness of appraisal.
Westwood’s Rhona McFarlane said: “Appraisal efficiency can be improved through an appraisal programme that addresses the key uncertainties that will impact development design and field performance.
“Historically the appraisal phase of E&P projects has not had the attention it deserves. This study shows that this must change.”