This paper analyzes the problem faced by an oil company with investment rights over the tracks subject to relinquishment requirements, which limit the time the company can hold the tract before developing it. Some concepts of the modem Real Options Theory are described briefly, with focus on the timing aspects: economic uncertainty and irreversibility incentive the learning by waiting, and delays the investment; technical uncertainty incentives the learning by doing, and generally speeds investment up. The technical uncertainty (existence, quality and volume of reserves) is dominant for the exploratory investment decisions, whereas the economic uncertainty (oil/reserves prices and costs) is dominant for the development decisions.

The arrival of technical information in the exploratory phase comes from two sources with opposite effects on the investment start up: information from the company itself exploration, and information from the neighbors tracts exploration. The second effect is one strategic aspect, and can be modeled by the Game Theory, usually as a non-cooperative game between the tracts owners, in the same geographical area. This non-cooperative game creates an another waiting effect: many companies can prefer to wait some of the neighbors investments (and get some "free" information) before start their own (and expensive) exploratory investment.

Some results for the development investment decisions are presented, using the Paddock, Siegel & Smith model, with the Barone-Adesi & Whaley analytic approximation, through an Excel spreadsheet. Also are presented some results from the interactions of two sources of economic uncertainty: the reserves value uncertainty and the development cost uncertainty. Although this effect can be small, the cost uncertainty lowers the total economic uncertainty (reducing the value of the option to defer), since the cost fluctuations are positively correlated with the oil/reserves prices, and the cost uncertainty is lower than price uncertainty. Some conclusions and suggestions are presented.

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