Case Studies

Exploration due diligence in Ghana


Our client was international company who were looking to farm-in to an exploration opportunity in Ghana. They asked RISC to provide an independent assessment of size and risk of the key prospect and leads.


The exploration opportunity was a new play within Ghana, which inherently carries a high exploration risk. But vendor carried relatively low risk for such a play, drawing on analogues to the nearby Jubilee field in Cote d’Ovoire, both on geological setting and seismic attributes.

Our challenge was to provide a technically sound assessment of the play and ensure that our client did not pass on an exciting exploration opportunity, while having a realistic expectation of risk.


Our review revealed an number of issues with analogue to the Jubilee field:

  • There was a difference in the tectonic setting, which set up different basin configurations and depositional environments and mixed lithologies at the reservoir level
  • The mixed lithologies will contaminate the seismic attribute response could lead to a wrong interpretation
  • The contractor seismic attribute reports were inconsistent with the interpretation by the vendor
  • We concluded the basin should remain a high frontier basin – none of the 17 wells drilled to date were commercial successful.


On the basis of our work, the client did not pursue the opportunity.

The key prospect was drilled, and was dry. It confirmed the seismic attributes were a response to lithology, not hydrocarbons.

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