Fundamentals of Reservoir Simulation

Disciplines: Reservoir

Course Description

This course is a fast-paced, lecture-style overview of the fundamental concepts and elements of reservoir simulation. No equations are used. Instead, we discuss various phases of reservoir modeling, including when to use reservoir simulation, the use and misuse of reservoir simulation, elements of a reservoir simulation model, the types of reservoir simulators and their features. The course also covers coordinate geometries and types of models, managing a simulation run, defining initial conditions, history matching and prediction.


  • The sources of data
  • The facets of the study
  • Exposure to our reservoir simulation ‘jargon’

Upon completion of this course, participants should:

  • Have an understanding of the ‘elements’ of a reservoir simulation model
  • Understand how models are built
  • Gain an appreciation for the fundamental concepts of reservoir simulation
  • Gain a view on the tools used in the industry

Learning Level


Course Length

1 Day

Why Attend

If your career is in the upstream side of the business, you need a working knowledge of reservoir simulation. Upon completion of this course, you’ll know the basics, such as why and how a model is built, the various sources of data, how wells are modeled, and what to look for in a reservoir simulation study.

Who Attends

This course is intended for those who need a quick start to their learning curve. It is designed for recent university graduates, early-career professionals, earth scientists, and anyone who requires a high-level introduction to reservoir simulation.


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 Reservoir Simulation: Problems and Solutions. 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.


J. Robert Gochnour is the manager of Advanced Reservoir Simulation Development and Deployment for BP Exploration and Production Technology (EPT) in Houston, Texas, USA. He is responsible for the development and delivery of new reservoir simulation technology to BP reservoir engineers worldwide. Previous roles in BP included reservoir simulation Community of Practice Leader, Manager for BP’s Reservoir Management Research Program and Organizational Capability Manger for Subsurface Technology. Gochnour mentors many BP reservoir and petroleum engineers and is extremely active in campus recruiting for specialist reservoir engineers.

Gochnour earned his BS (1973), MS (1975) and PhD (1976) in petroleum and natural gas engineering from Pennsylvania State University. He has been a member of SPE since 1973 and has taught some 200 industry short courses as well as graduate petroleum engineering courses at the University of Pittsburgh, West Virginia University, and the University of Houston.

Gochnour is a current member of Penn State’s College of Engineering Diversity Program Board as well as a member of the Foundation CMG Board. Previously he sat on The University of Texas Board for the Institute of Computation and Engineering Sciences as well as the Board of Visitors for the petroleum engineering program at The University of Texas at Austin.

Gochnour has been associated with the research, development, and application of reservoir simulators, reservoir engineering, and production technology throughout his career with Gulf Oil Corporation (nine years), Chevron (six years), and Scientific Software-Intercomp (two years), Tigress (five years), and for the past 17 years with BP.