Traditional exploration prospect optimization is uncertain due to human factor, the primary reason of that problem is the complex nonlinear relationship between trap quality and related geological factors. Some researchers proposed use artificial neural network (ANN) to solve the problem of the comprehensive geological evaluation of traps, because ANN can describe the nonlinear relationship of multiple geological factors. Considering ANN has some drawbacks, such as it is need lots of parameters for training, and the learning process can not be observed. In this paper we proposed a combined optimization model to accomplish optimization of exploration prospects, and express the affinity order between the prospects and its related geological factors, also can provide the data support for exploration.

Based on trap data of an oilfield in Africa, there are 12 geological factors related to trap quality, including trap coefficient, trap depth, trap scale, trap area, Reservoir coefficient, Preservation coefficient, hydrocarbon source coefficient, resources etc.. The ant colony algorithm is used for feature selection, and irrelevant and redundant features are eliminated through multiple iterations, making it suitable for model processing and improving training speed. Based on ant colony algorithm, we get the key parameters for XGBoost model training, namely trap area, reservoir coefficient, preservation coefficient, resource, and the key features are used in XGBoost model for training and prediction. Finally, we compared our prediction results with expert prediction, the error is 0.

In this paper, we proposed a combined optimization model based on ant colony algorithm and XGBoost for exploration prospect optimization. We recognized the key geological factors and different characteristic rules for exploration prospect optimization, in the process of optimization, ant colony discards the bad features that interfere with classification and recognition, and retains the features that contribute greatly to classification. In comprehensive geological evaluate of trap, the proposed combined optimization model is suitable for complicated nonlinear geological relationship, and express the affinity order between the prospects, the proposed method can work as an auxiliary way in petroleum exploration, also the proposed method can provide decision support for exploration prospect optimization, and finally can fulfill cost decreasing and benefit increasing.

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