Forecasting Production and Estimating Reserves in Unconventional Reservoirs

Reservoir Description and Dynamics


This course provides participants with the skills and understanding required to forecast production and estimate reserves in unconventional (ultra-low permeability) reservoirs, both gas and oil. The course will emphasize shales and tight formations.


  • Basic fluid flow theory
    • Transient flow
    • Radial and linear flow
    • Constant rate and constant BHP production
    • Radius of investigation
    • Boundary-dominated flow
  • Type curves
  • Empirical production decline methods of forecasting production and estimating reserves in unconventional reservoirs
      • Arps decline model
      • Minimum terminal decline methodology
      • A priori determination of Arps decline parameter “b”
      • Advanced decline curve analysis and its limitations
      • Stretched exponential model
      • Blasingame modified power-law model
      • Long-duration linear flow model
      • Duong model
      • Comparison of models

Learning Level


Course Length

1 Day

Why Attend?

On completion of this course, and after applying the learnings in their projects, participants will be able to to forecast production and estimate and evaluate reserves for individual gas and oil wells and reservoirs using state-of-the art methodology.

Who Should Attend

The course is designed for engineers with interests in unconventional reservoir evaluation.


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


W. John Lee holds the Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Cullen Distinguished University Chair at the University of Houston’s petroleum engineering program. Prior to this, Lee held the L.F. Peterson Chair in petroleum engineering at Texas A&M University where he is now professor emeritus. He was the former executive vice president of S.A. Holditch & Associates, where he specialized in reservoir engineering for unconventional gas reservoirs. He served as an Academic Engineering Fellow with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in Washington during 2007–2008, and was a principal architect of the new SEC rules for reporting oil and gas reserves.

Prior to beginning his career in academia, Lee managed Exxon’s Major Fields Study Group. He has written many technical papers and three SPE textbooks: Well Testing, Gas Reservoir Engineering, and Pressure Transient Testing. Lee is an Honorary Member of SPE and a member of the US National Academy of Engineering. He received his BChE, MS, and PhD degrees in chemical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.