Study Resources

Chapter 6 Petroleum Economics – Uncertainty and Risk


*Explain the difference between uncertainty and risk, in the context of investment

Uncertainty relates to a lack of knowledge about future events. There’s a quote from one of the US presidents that goes “there’s things we know we know, there’s things we know that we don’t know, but there’s also things we don’t know that we don’t know”. It’s a pretty thick quote but illustrates a point in the final section. That’s where uncertainty is born from. (more…)

Chapter 1 Petroleum Economics – Introduction

*Describe general financial aspects of the petroleum industry

General financial aspects of the petroleum industry.

Basically there is an opportunity to profit. Companies are formed to exploit reserves, they perform due diligence, take into account risks and make a decision on whether or not to drill and produce. Investment can come from venture capital companies, private investment or equity raising. Petroleum products can be sold in several different markets such as options, futures contracts or directly through shares of a company. (more…)

Chapter 4 – Gridding and Well Modelling Learning Objectives

*Understand and be able to describe the basic idea of gridding and of spatial and temporal discretization

Gridding is the process of dividing the entire reservoir up into small spatial blocks which then compromise the units on which the numerical block to block flow calculations are performed. This is known more formally as spatial discretization.

There is also the process of dividing up blocks into time steps (Δt) and this is referred to as temporal discretization. (more…)

Chapter 3 – Reservoir Simulation Model Setup Learning Objectives

The textbook asks a few questions that aren’t directly answered  in material, so this section is complete. I’ll get to work on filling in the blanks but for the time being here it is.

*Identify what questions the simulation is expected to address


*Identify what data is required as input to perform the desired calculations

Most data files will be separated into the following areas:

  • Model dimensions
  • Grid and rock properties
  • Fluid properties
  • Initial conditions
  • Output requirements
  • Production schedule

Individual parts of the input data can also be setup by programs and this falls under pre-processing.

Pre-processing may be used to: (more…)

Reservoir Simulation Learning Objectives Chapter 2 – Basic Concepts In Reservoir Engineering

*Be familiar with the meaning and use of all the usual terms which appear in reservoir engineering such as , Sw, So, Bo, Bw, Bg, Rso, Rsw, cw, co, kro, krw, Pc etc.

  • Sw – water saturation.
  • So – oil saturation
  • Bo – oil formation volume factor
  • Bg – gas formation volume factor
  • Bw – water formation volume factor
  • Rso – solution gas oil ratio
  • Rsw – solution gas water ratio
  • Cwcompressibility water
  • Cocompressibility oil
  • Cfcompressibility formation
  • Krorelative permeability oil
  • Krwrelative permeability water
  • Pccapillary pressure


Reservoir Simulation Learning Objectives Chapter 1 – Introduction and Case Studies

*Be able to describe what is meant by a simulation model, saying what analytical models and numerical models are.

Simulation models are a representation of a real system and because of their simplified nature, allow calculations to be made giving insight into the real system.

Analytical Models are defined by their ability to be solved by using mathematical techniques.

Numerical Models are defined by the complexity in solving their equations and are usually carried out by a computer. Numerical models approximate the real model by carrying out a large number of calculations across unit steps of interest (time steps for example). (more…)

Material Balance Equations Exam Preparation

Limitations & Assumptions


The most significant limitation of the MB calculation is that there is no time factor included. That means that while a material balance calculation can tell us what happened, it can’t tell us when it happened. If we combine the material balance calculations with other methods it is possible to infer time information. The combination between the time information from well productivity equations and the pressure/production information from MBE can give time details. (more…)

Important Definitions For Petroleum Geoscience Exam

Half of the Petroleum Geoscience exam in the Msc Petroleum Engineering degree with Heriot Watt University is comprised of part A questions that ask you for definitions to different terminologies. That’s 50 marks. While it is difficult to know exactly what might be on the exam, the following is a list of what I think are indispensable definitions that you should have mastered before heading in. I found a great way to study for these is to print out several sheets of paper with the terminologies listed and draw mind maps out from the center of term. (more…)

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