Estimating Ultimate Recovery

In this lecture and exercises, you will estimate the ultimate recovery (EUR) of a hydrocarbon prospect. Once a prospect has been identified, the major business question is what will be the profit. The EUR is the amount of oil/gas that can be produced and sold. This material will help provide a step-by-step in how to obtain an EUR.

The class should be divided into four (4) segments. The first should be a review of the previous exercise (Exercise 29), which has seven (7) slides and should take approximately 10 minutes to explain. The second segment of this lession should be an introduction to the lecture, which contains twenty (20) slides, and should take approximately 20 minutes to explain. The last two segments should be an introduction to parts A and B of the exercise. These two (2) parts have eight (8) and five (5) slides, respectively, and should take ten (10) and eight (8) minutes to explain. In total, this unit should take ~50 minutes to explain.

Exercise Part A has the students make three (3) estimates of ultimate gas recovery: (1) the most-likely estimate; (2) an estimate of the minimum gas volume; and (3) an estimate of the maximum gas volume. The instructions (in the slides) step the students through the calculations and fill in a computation sheet with their numbers. This exercise should take about 15-20 minutes, and should be completed separately from this unit.

For exercise part B, each team will select two (2) locations to drill development-stage wells. They want locations that will maximize the information on the field, and minimize the risk of making bad business decisions. There are two (2) basic parts: (1) consider what is not known (uncertain), and (2) select well locations that can answer the biggest questions. Each team is to propose two (2) locations and be ready to explain why they choose each location, and what they hope to learn. For the review, they will move colored circles onto the map to show their locations. This exercise should take about 20-25 minutes, and should be completed separately from the unit.


At the end of this lesson, students should be able to:

  • estimate the ultimate recovery of hydrocarbons from a prospect
  • follow the step-by-step process to make an estimate
  • describe the main factors that determine the recoverable volume of hydrocarbons from a propsect

Total Time: 48min
Level: Advanced

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