Production Decline Analysis—Vertical and Horizontal Wells

Reservoir Descriptions and Dynamics

Course Description

Attendees of this course will learn the the origin and utility of the Arps and quadratic equations as well as how to adapt the Fetkovich, Blasingame,, and Poe type curve approach to analyze production decline curves. Example problems will be reviewed for all cases.


  • Effects of layering, changing fluid properties and introduction of two phase flow on performance
  • Expected differences between vertical, fractured and horizontal well performance.
  • Normalizing time and production rate to obtain a more cohesive performance picture.
  • Developing methods to estimate reserves when transient conditions exist.
  • The utility of studying multiple plots when analyzing well behavior is discussed and illustrated.

Learning Level


Course Length

2 or 3 Days

Why Attend

Attendees will become acquainted with the basics of commonly available computer analysis methods.  Assumptions and limitations of each method are covered.

Who Attends

Professionals who work in production data processing and analysis as it relates to forecasting, reserves estimates and reservoir description.

Special Requirements

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


1.6 or 2.4 CEUs (Continuing Education Units) are awarded for this 2 or 3-day course.

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.

Full regional cancellation policies can be found at the Cancellation Policy page within the SPE Training Course Catalog.


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.