MSc Petroleum Geoscience for Reservoir Development and Production / Course details

Year of entry: 2021

Coronavirus information for applicants and offer-holders

We understand that prospective students and offer-holders may have concerns about the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. The University is following the advice from Universities UK, Public Health England and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Read our latest coronavirus information

Course unit details:
Reservoir Engineering Fundamentals

Unit code EART60012
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


The course is designed to make students aware of the work flows and skills required in the engineering aspects of reservoir appraisal, development and production.

This course unit detail provides the framework for delivery in 20/21 and may be subject to change due to any additional Covid-19 impact.  Please see Blackboard / course unit related emails for any further updates.


To introduce the geoscientist to the fundamentals of reservoir and petroleum engineering as they impact reservoir appraisal, development and production. This includes the tools and techniques used to manage reservoirs and to understand the dynamics of an oil or gas field. I covers the approaches used to assess the character of the subsurface reservoir and fluids, together with the pressure and temperature regime of the reservoir. It covers the basics of Reservoir Energy and Recovery Mechanisms, Geological Reservoir Modelling, Reservoir Simulation, and Well Testing.

The aim of the Petroleum Economics course is to show how an oil company can assign monetary value to a possible oil or gas accumulation allowing for uncertainty (in reserves, reservoir properties etc) under royalty-tax or production sharing contracts.

Learning outcomes

The student will:

  • Become familiar with the dynamics of an oil or gas field
  • Become familiar with the basics skills and principals of reservoir and petroleum engineering
  • Be aware of key datasets their acquisition and use
  • Understand hydrocarbon fluid properties, and measurements
  • Understand reservoir recovery methods
  • Understand reservoir simulation.
  • Understand the techniques and approaches used in resource rate and profile estimation for field development and production


• Introduction, the roles of the geoscientist and petroleum engineer, basic principles and terminology of oil production

• Rock properties, effective porosity and permeability, relative permeability, capillary pressure data, formation compressibility

• Understand the basis and significance of hydrocarbon resource estimation classifications Resource Assessment,

• use of different techniques to calculate the resource / reserve in an oil or gas field including the use and applicability of different data types.

• Hydrocarbon fluid properties, the nature of hydrocarbons, phase behaviour and PVT analysis, fluid types defined in terms of phase diagrams, reservoir fluid properties, the material balance equation

• Reservoir recovery mechanisms, primary recovery, secondary recovery, tertiary recovery

• Well performance prediction, Well testing, Well inflow performance, Artificial lift

• Reservoir simulation and performance prediction, Analytical models, Simulation models

• Fundamentals, Principles and Applications of Petroleum Economics as they are applied and used across the Exploration and Production value chain

• Basic grounding in Petroleum Economics, to assess the value of a prospect and a field Petroleum Economics and Risk Analysis, the value of money, calculate NPV, OPEX and CAPEX, assess the value of a project going forward

Assessment methods

100% Examination (each half module)

Recommended reading


Dawe; R. (Ed.) 2000. Modern Petroleum Technology, vol I; Wiley.

Towler (2004. Fundamental Principles of Reservoir Engineering; SPE

Jahn, Graham, Cook 1998. Hydrocarbon Exploration & Production; Elsevier

Archer & Wall (1986) Petroleum Engineering: principles and practice. Graham and Trotman Ltd., London


Dake, L.P. 1978. Fundamentals of reservoir engineering; Elsevier.

Papay, J. 2003. Development of Petroleum Reservoirs; Akademiai Kiado, Budapest.

Farina, J. 1984. Geological applications of reservoir engineering tools. AAPG Contin. Edu. Course Notes No. 28.

Chilingar, G.V 1972. Oil and Gas production from Carbonate rocks. Elsevier.

Craft & Hawkins 1959. Applied Petroleum Engineering; Constable & Co. London.

Amy, Bass, Whiting 1960. Petroleum Reservoir Engineering; McGraw-Hill.

Whitson, C. Well Performance Analysis;

SCHLUMBERGER Repeat Formation Tester.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 30
Tutorials 30
Independent study hours
Independent study 90

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Rufus Brunt Unit coordinator

Return to course details