N447 Workflows for Developing In-Field Opportunities

Course Facts

Course Code:
3 days
2.4 Continuing Education Units
24 Professional Development Hours
Certificate Issued Upon Completion


This course outlines a workflow based approach to creating value in existing oil and gas fields based on considering the overall recovery factor, breaking it down into discrete efficiency factors and then for each of these analysing why the current development is not delivering 100%. This is a tried and tested approach, although not widely adopted, and offers a fundamentally different viewpoint on how to describe and prioritise potential value-adding activities (‘opportunities’) that may be progressed into financially approved projects. The workflows described in this course lead to deep insights on what recovery levers should be targeted and what will be required to achieve optimum economic recovery.

Duration and Training Method

This is a three-day classroom-based course with lectures supported and illustrated by worked examples, case studies and hands-on exercises. The course includes many practical applications and group exercises to develop understanding.

Participants will learn to:

  1. Evaluate key elements of resource progression.
  2. Understand the technology, cost and organisational requirements for resource progression.
  3. Establish how to select the key efficiency factors that constitute the overall recovery factor.
  4. Appraise the potential for EOR activities and understand the cost and technology requirements.
  5. Develop principles for petroleum economic analysis.
  6. Evaluate the organizational impediments to moving projects forward.
  7. Verify opportunities using performance benchmarking.
  8. Learn how to build a coherent company strategy that is technically feasible, value enhancing and supported by all stakeholders.

Moving value-creating opportunities from the concept stage to financially approved projects is a key process in managing existing oil and gas fields. To make sound decisions in this area we need to define the technology, cost and organizational requirements and shape a coherent strategy that delivers value.

This course centers on discretizing the oil or gas recovery factor into various efficiency factors and then examining whether the current development is delivering optimally for each factor; thus identified potential prizes as opportunities for the field development. The opportunities are described and categorized systematically, so that they can be compared with each other and prioritized effectively. The opportunities are then reality-checked by benchmarking the anticipated increased recovery factor against analogous reservoirs.

The course is structured as follows:

• Introduction – High-level description of the process
• What is resource progression and why it is important
• The key elements of resource progression: opportunity screening, identification, description, categorization, verification, prioritization; creation of an opportunity progression strategy and identifying and implementing key actions
• Discovery of the barriers to implementation in the realms of technology, costs and organisation
• A technical, commercial and organisational framework to prioritise opportunities
• Breaking recovery factor into efficiency factors
• Generic types of activities and how they impact the efficiency factors
• Understanding the reservoir depletion plan: describing the “Base” plan
• Tools to pre-screen opportunities including EOR screening
• Screening exercise: Introduce a field case study, use a simple screening tool to establish potential EOR opportunities; Opportunity Identification, description and prioritisation
• Examples of how various companies tackle the issue
• Describe the structure of a opportunity prioritisation review
• Identify and describe opportunities in oil field case study
• How to deal with gas fields
• Simple petroleum economic tools for evaluation
• Verifying opportunities using performance benchmarking
• Building a coherent strategy that leads to action
• Resource Progression Exercise – prioritize opportunities with spreadsheet software to aid discovery of the optimum outcome
• Summary, group discussion, feedback and synthesis.

Who should attend

The course is designed for petroleum, reservoir and drilling engineers, geoscientists working in multidiscipline teams as well as those managing across this broad spectrum of disciplines.

Prerequisites and linking courses

There are no formal prerequisites for the class. However, participants are expected to have a basic understanding of petroleum economics and field development practices. There are a selection of courses that relate to this course including N412 (A Critical Guide to Reservoir Appraisal), N401 (Applied Field Development Planning), N995 (Managing Uncertainty and Risk in Appraisal and Development), N952 (Resource Assessment and Assurance), N954 (Advanced Recovery Methods).

Click on a name to learn more about the instructor

Craig Smalley

Pete Smith