Project Risk, Uncertainty and Decision Analysis

Management and Information Projects, Facilities and Construction

Course Description

This course provides an introduction to the application of systematic risk analysis to identify, quantify, and manage the risks and uncertainties involved with modern petroleum field development.


  • Understanding probability and statistics as the language of uncertainty. This includes different types of distributions and when to use what, the central limit theorem, dependencies, and their impact
  • Decision analysis with a focus on the value of information
  • The application of Bayes’ theorem.
  • Geologic, non-geologic, and commercial chance of success plus multi-zone analysis
  • Exercises focused on developing better estimating skills with an emphasis on estimating in ranges, rather than single values

Learning Level


Course Length

1 or 2 days

Why Attend

You’ll learn tools and techniques for identifying which variables have the greatest impact on overall project value.

Who Attends

Petroleum engineers, geologists, geophysicists, managers and others involved in the design or implementation of risk analysis systems.


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


James (Jim) Gouveia, P.Eng. has a diverse technical, business, and operations background in the petroleum industry. He joined Rose & Associates in 2002 after 21 years with Amoco and BP Energy. Gouveia worked in a variety of technical and managerial assignments in exploration, production and reservoir engineering, strategic and business process planning, and portfolio and risk management. Prior to BP’s acquisition of Amoco in 1999, he was director of risk management for North America. In this role he was accountable for assurance of consistent project evaluation of all major capital projects. He was the recipient of the President’s Award for his work in developing Amoco Canada’s first major fractured tight gas play and the Chairman’s Award for his work in implementing project, risk, and portfolio management processes within Amoco Canada. Following the merger, he functioned as the risk and assurance coordinator for Canada. In his last roles with BP, Gouveia led and managed its strategic initiative into unconventional gas resources in western Canada. He was a member of a worldwide task force focused on growth initiatives in mature basins and on developing a portfolio management process for BP’s unconventional gas assets in North America.

Gouveia has co-authored and presented papers, most recently as a contributing author to the SPEE’s 2011 Monograph 3, “Guidelines for the Practical Evaluation of Undeveloped Reserves in Resource Plays,” and SPE 121525, “A Statistical Approach to the Effective Economic Modeling and Portfolio Selection of Unconventional Resource Opportunities,” at EUROPEC. He is a member of APEGGA, SPE, SPEE, and AAPG and a partner in Rose & Associates, LLP.

Gouveia earned a B.Sc. in chemical engineering from the University of Toronto.

Mark A. McLane is a partner in the international consulting firm of Rose & Associates (R&A). He was an SPE Distinguished Lecturer on the topic of “Reserve Overbooking—An Issue of Professional Ethics.” McLane has a broad technical, operations and business background spanning more than 30 years in the oil and gas industry. McLane joined Rose & Associates in January 2000 after three years with Pioneer Natural Resources and 17 years with Exxon Company. He has coauthored several technical papers and served on the Professional Ethics/Registration Panel at the 2003 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition in Denver, Colorado. He has taught courses for SPE, AAPG, and Houston Geological Society. He has also served as a Guest Lecturer for graduate petroleum engineering programs at Texas A&M University and The University of Houston. McLane holds a BS with honors in petroleum engineering from The University of Texas at Austin.

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