Of particular interest to reservoir engineers is generating accurate reserves estimates for use in financial reporting to the SEC and other regulatory bodies. Other job responsibilities include numerical reservoir modeling, production forecasting, well testing, well drilling and workover planning, economic modeling, and PVT analysis of reservoir fluids.
Reservoir engineers also play a central role in field development planning, recommending appropriate and cost effective reservoir depletion schemes such as waterflooding or gas injection to maximize hydrocarbon recovery.
Reservoir engineers often specialize in two areas:
- Surveillance (or production) engineering, i.e. monitoring of existing fields and optimization of production and injection rates. Surveillance engineers typically use analytical and empirical techniques to perform their work, including decline curve analysis, material balance modeling, and inflow/outflow analysis.
- Simulation modeling, i.e. the conduct of reservoir simulation studies to determine optimal development plans for oil and gas reservoirs.
Almost any person with a basic or advanced degree in a pure or applied science can undergo on the job training to become a reservoir engineer, which normally takes five to ten years, although some universities in the USA, Europe, and around the world do offer specialized undergraduate and graduate degrees in petroleum engineering.
- Craft, B.C. & Hawkins, M. Revised by Terry, R.E. 1990 "Applied Petroleum Reservoir Engineering" Second Edition (Prentice Hall).
- Dake, L.P., 1978, "Fundamentals of Reservoir Engineering" (Elsevier)
- Frick, Thomas C. 1962 "Petroleum Production Handbook, Vol II" (Society of Petroleum Engineers).
- Slider, H.C. 1976 "Practical Petroleum Reservoir Engineering Methods" (The Petroleum Publishing Company).