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Basic Reservoir Engineering for Non-Petroleum Engineers

Christine Ehlig-Economides, PhD

INSTRUCTOR: Christine Ehlig-Economides, PhD
DISCIPLINE: Multi-Disciplinary & Introductory
CEUS: 3.2
AVAILABILITY: Public, In-House, & Live Online

WHO SHOULD ATTEND: Geoscientists, landmen, attorneys, financial and accounting managers, support professionals, non-reservoir engineers, and non-technical personnel who require a basic understanding of petroleum engineering.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This 4-day course describes the main aspects of reservoir engineering. Reservoir engineering has been defined as “the art of developing and producing oil and gas fluids in such a manner as to obtain a high economic recovery” (Moore, 1955). The module begins with a broad overview showing how reservoir engineers assess the value of the reservoir from volumetric, fluids, flow, and investment perspectives. Next is an elaboration on how much oil can be recovered from various natural reservoir drive mechanisms. Next decline curves are used to explain how investors forecast well or reservoir production. Then we explore how key well and reservoir flow properties are quantified through formation and well testing. Finally, flow simulation modeling is explained as a way to rigorously forecast primary, secondary, and even tertiary or enhanced oil production.


  • Learn how reservoir engineers assess the value of an asset
  • Estimate primary reserves based on production and reservoir pressure data
  • Characterize well and reservoir performance using pressure transient data
  • Use flow simulation to forecast production
  • Facilitate communication between reservoir engineers and geoscientists



  • Overview – Assessing the Asset [general overview of key points to be covered in the course]
  • Static Reservoir Description [estimation of oil and/or gas in place mainly based on log data]
  • Reservoir Drive Mechanisms [estimation of oil and/or gas in place based on production data; recovery factors from primary production with or without gas cap and/or aquifer pressure support]
  • Decline Curve Analysis [empirical models used for reserves estimation]
  • Reservoir Testing [single phase single well transient flow and basic pressure buildup analysis as applied to appraisal and primary development wells]
  • Flow Simulation [introduction to multiphase multiwall modeling for reservoir management]

Optional Course Topics: (In place of above or for additional days)

  • Secondary Recovery Processes [introduction to waterflooding and gas cycling]
  • Enhanced Oil Recovery Processes [Description of recovery enhancement via CO2 injection, steam injection, surfactant injection, polymer injection]