In the business of developing oil and gas production, myriads of engineering decisions must be made all seeking to accrue net economic value, the more so the better. Those aggregated decisions and that goal ultimately lead to the expenditure of a development cost, ℘, to attain a peak production rate, q, from a recoverable reserve, Q. The hypothesis is that ℘, Q, and q should, therefore, reflect present value maximization. Here we characterize and find evidence of such optimal decision-making. In addition, empirical correlations amongst ℘, Q, and q show oil/gas development project economics of scale.

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