New play assessment is technically demanding and expensive. Careful integration of all existing research is critical in advance of leasing and drilling. This paper examines the Lower Smackover Brown Dense as a resource play and then reviews drilling results to date in light of contemporary basin research. Deliverability is highly variable and appears to be a function of subtle changes in lithology, organic richness, hydrocarbon viscosity and natural fracturing. Contemporary exploration results appear largely consistent with predictions from recent and historical basin research and modeling. The apparent sweet spot is a function of favorable depositional setting, enhanced heat flow and tectonic history. Further exploratory drilling is needed to test the extent of the favorable geological conditions.

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