An oil company is drilling a series of new wells on the perimeter of a producing oil field. About 20% of the new wells will be dry holes. Even if a new well strikes oil, there is still uncertainty about the amount of oil produced: 40% of new wells that strike oil produce only 1,000 barrels a day; 60% produce 5,000 barrels per day.
a. Forecast the annual cash revenues from a new perimeter well. Use a future oil price of $50 per barrel.
b. A geologist proposes to discount the cash flows of the new wells at 30% to offset the risk of dry holes. The oil company’s normal cost of capital is 10%. Does this proposal make sense? Briefly explain why or why not.