Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

Disciplines: Management

Course Description

This hands-on course shows participants how to choose among competing alternatives and to quantify the value of additional information. Typical applications include drill on or set pipe; fish or sidetrack; explore or divest; short or long test; buy information such as 3-D seismic or RFT survey. This is a seminar-style presentation with computers. Students are taught to apply classic decision tree methods to solve problems. Participants learn how to do sensitivity analysis and how a decision tree process helps to frame a problem. Several examples will be worked. Please note this course is hands-on computer training.


  • Node and Branch Types
  • Assigning Probability and Values
  • Expected Value Interpretations
  • Solving a Tree
  • Dependence and Conditional Probability
  • Sensitivity Analysis
  • Bayes' Theorem
  • States of Nature and Types of Forecasts
  • Sensitivity Tables
  • Perfect vs Imperfect Information
  • Examples and Problems
  • Software Demonstrations

Course Length

1 Day

Who Attends

The course is intended for engineers, geologists, geophysicists, managers, planners, economists, and technical support staff. Participants are expected to have experience applying models to solve problems such as production or economic forecasting, reserve estimation, or scheduling.


0.8 CEUs (Continuing Education Units) are awarded for this 1-day course.

Additional Resources

This course has a supplemental book located in our SPE Bookstore entitled Making Good Decisions. Please check out this valuable resource!

Cancellation Policy

All cancellations must be received no later than 14 days prior to the course start date. Cancellations made after the 14-day window will not be refunded. Refunds will not be given due to no show situations.

Training sessions attached to SPE conferences and workshops follow the cancellation policies stated on the event information page. Please check that page for specific cancellation information.

SPE reserves the right to cancel or re-schedule courses at will. Notification of changes will be made as quickly as possible; please keep this in mind when arranging travel, as SPE is not responsible for any fees charged for cancelling or changing travel arrangements.

We reserve the right to substitute course instructors as necessary.


Susan Peterson has more than 20 years of experience as a consultant, project manager/senior drilling engineer, and instructor. She specializes in the application of risk analysis and decision methods for full field development optimization and AFE time and cost models. As a consultant, she performs project specific risk analysis and provides training on decision and risk analysis. Peterson led a risk analysis and decision methods initiative, and has been responsible for the risk analysis on projects that ranged from fast-track remote gas field development to large capital expenditure oil development. She holds a PhD and MS from Texas A&M University, and a BS from Marietta College, all in petroleum engineering.

Other courses by this instructor

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