Richard Nolen-Hoeksema, Editor
Reservoir engineering is a discipline devoted to the ultimate source of value to E&P operators—the reservoir. Through reservoir modeling studies, reservoir engineers endeavor to increase hydrocarbon production and maximize exploration and production assets.
The volume of oil and gas produced from a reservoir ultimately determines the economic viability of the asset. Reserves calculations—a primary responsibility of reservoir engineers—predict the total hydrocarbons available for extraction.
After reservoir engineers calculate hydrocarbons in place, they apply recovery factors to determine the ultimate recovery potential. These calculations are performed throughout the life of a field to help engineers create field development plans, well proposals, recovery procedures and reservoir management programs.
When a field is appraised, the reservoir engineer is part of a team that evaluates geologic, geophysical, geomechanical, drilling, completion and well data, which are integrated into a plan to optimally produce the reserves. In addition, reservoir engineers model fluid dynamics in the surface piping networks that transport produced hydrocarbons from the wellbore to production facilities.
A Defining Series article “Reservoir Engineering” explains the basic concepts of reservoir modeling and describes the various rock, fluid, and production data that enable more accurate prediction and evaluation of fluid flow in reservoirs.