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Geological Studies: Should I order À la carte or Table d'hôte?

No matter how good a cook you are or how well equipped your kitchen, going out to a nice restaurant is an important part of your dining mix. In some ways, being a great home chef allows you to better appreciate the efforts of a professional.

Excellent chefs have several modes to offer the fruits of their labour:

  • Table d'hôte: a menu set by the restaurant with limited substitutions

  • Buffet: here a number of dishes are laid out and the guest gets to choose as much or as little of each as they desire. Quite often a number of these dishes are low cost filler that have little value to the consumer.

  • À la carte: where the guest selects from an assortment of dishes so that they may have exactly the meal they want.

As long as the restaurant uses the finest possible ingredients and takes care in the preparation, the mode of service doesn't matter. It is all about what the client is in the mood for. At Enlighten Geoscience, we see a parallel between a Michelin three-star cafe and how we offer our regional studies.

As an exploration focused geologist, I love the numerous and obvious benefits to regional geological studies. The regional context is even more important in unconventional resource plays. These plays are the direct result of basin-wide factors. To realize the maximum value from unconventional plays it is necessary to come to grips with the reservoir characterization, hydrodynamics, geochemistry, geomechanics and numerous other facets of the play. Bringing together a number of participants to a a multi-client study is a very cost-effective way of developing an integrated geoscience understanding.

Most geoscientists understand the need for, and are interested in, regional work, but budgets remain tight and few companies are able and willing to purchase a study over an entire basin. The technical personnel at most operating companies are expected to focus on their company's Area Of Interest (AOI), and any external assistance is expected to directly contribute to maximizing the return from that asset. It is much easier to obtain approval for a study focused on the AOI. Yet it is still critical to understand how the asset fits into the regional context.

Balancing the thirst for regional technical assistance with a focus on the AOI is a fundamental consideration behind how Enlighten offers our studies:

  • Geology Table d'hôte: You buy a part of the study over the entire area (e.g., Hydrodynamics and Liquids Distribution of the Montney).

  • Geology Buffet: If you want the entire study over the whole basin (e.g., Duvernay - Phase Differentiation and Geomechanics).

  • Geology À la carte: You prefer to order parts of the study over a limited area (e.g., The Geothermal Gradient and Reservoir Characterization, or Upper Mannville Heavy Oil Project: Geothermics and Hydrodynamics, but only over 10 specific townships).

The need for the play insights will remain

. The choice of how to satisfy this requirement is yours.

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