Production Decline Analysis—Vertical and Horizontal Wells

Reservoir Descriptions and Dynamics


Attendees of this course, offered in both 2-day and 3-day versions, will learn the Arps equations, the effects of layering and changing fluid properties on the Arps exponent, and comparing production characteristics of horizontal to vertical wells. Interpretation of performance curves to determine drive mechanisms, recovery efficiency, and effects of operations will also be covered.

Topics Include:

  • The utility of the quadratic equation
  • The Fetkovich type curve approach
  • The Blasingame type curve approach
  • The Poe type curve approach for horizontal wells

The participant will become acquainted with the Arps, Fetkovich, Blasingame, and Poe decline curve analysis techniques. Assumptions and limitations of each analysis method are covered. Example and work problems are included to amplify salient points.

Learning Level


Course Length

2 or 3 Days

Why Attend?

You will learn the meanings and limitations of the Arps exponential, hyperbolic, and harmonic equations.

Who Should Attend

Professionals who work in production data processing as it relates to reservoir description and dynamics.

Special Requirements

Basic math skills are required. Some higher-level math is helpful but all problems can be solved with a spreadsheet.


Steven W. Poston is a professor emeritus at Texas A&M University with over 45 years’ experience in the petroleum industry. His vast career includes reservoir engineering and decline curve analysis, teaching, and consulting in the US, Middle East, Africa, Latin America, and Russia.

Poston is a member of SPE and has served on numerous committees including the committee on rewriting the seven-volume Petroleum Engineering Handbook. He co-authored many technical papers and presented over 41 at various university and technical meetings. He is also co-author of Overpressured Gas Reservoirs with Robert R. Berg and Analysis of Production Decline Curves with Bobby D. Poe Jr.

Poston received his BSc and ME degrees in geological engineering and his PhD in petroleum engineering from Texas A&M University.