Here is your big chance to make a lot of money in the oil business, at least virtually!

The game will give you mineral rights and access to an 8-mile-square piece of property. There is good reason to believe that somewhere beneath this property is commercial amounts of oil and gas. You can sample the activities that are conducted by an independent oil company, and if you are savvy and/or lucky you will win by "striking oil" or gas before your money runs out.

You have inherited $2,000,000 which is your budget. You can visit the library and study the basics of oil and gas exploration at no cost. All the other activities you will pay for from your virtual inheritance.

You can hire a consultant ($10,000 per visit) who will give you more specific information about techniques for drilling on your property.

You should also hire a consultant to prepare an environmental impact statement before you do field work.

You can "shoot" seismic lines in eight mile segments to image the structure of rock layers in the subsurface. The cost for seismic acquisition and processing is $20,000 per segment.

You can also hire a consultant to help you decide where to look - and what to look for - before you drill.

But, only the drill bit determines if there is oil! So when you are ready, select a surface location and locate your rig. Then select the drill tab, and commence drilling. You're crew will drill in 1000 ft increments. Drilling costs $150,000 per 1,000 feet, and the rig available to you will reach 8000 ft. If you want to go deeper, you will have to leave the game and enter the real world!

If you think that you have commercial amounts of oil or gas, you will have to do the engineering work to "complete the well" at a cost of $400,000 to convert a borehole into a producing well. If it produces commercial amounts of oil and gas, you will have to install pumps, build pipelines and other infrastructure at a cost of $100,000. In the game, as in real life oil and gas exploration, you will either have to be smart and lucky or go broke. So plan your strategy to win - the greatest chance for success is by using the resources available to you. Remember: in this game, as in the oil business, knowledge is the most valuable tool of all. Much of what you what you need to know is free!

So, here the basic rules:

You start with $2 million.

Except to the library (which is always free) money will be subtracted from your account each time you take action.

Again, here's what it costs:

Hire a consultant: $10,000 per visit

File an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS): $18,000 per location

Fail to File an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS): You Can't afford it !

Seismic acquisition and processing: $20,000 per line

Drilling for oil or gas: $150,000 per 1,000 feet

Complete the well: $400,000

install pumps, build pipelines and infrastructure: $100,000.

Final Rule: Have Fun!