Book review: Fundamentals of Reservoir Engineering

I worked for a long time for the seismic department of my company, and switched to the reservoir department only last year. The problems that are tackled are quite different, and the way they are solved as well. So nothing to do with the book I reviewed a long time ago. So after 2 trainings in reservoir simulation, I also read this book that a colleague of mine labeled as the reference book.

Content and opinions

The book has a nice progression in complexity. Although it won’t tackle anything like model generation (it is someone else’s job after all), it tackles the basic questions that a reservoir engineer has to ask himself. The progression is also close to what I had during my reservoir engineering training.

The first four chapters are an introduction to the basic physics, namely how to compute the volume of oil in the reservoir, how does it work, how much can you get out of it, basic thermodynamics of oil (black oil model), or the Darcy law.

Then, the four next chapters deal with wells, pressure, which are the most important things in the job. The main values you can get to describe your reservoir come from well tests and the analysis of the results. They may seem basic, with a lot of approximations, but they are still the first maths you do when appreciating a reservoir! 40 years later…

The last two chapters are a little bit different, but equally important. I didn’t think much of aquifers before I actually realized that they are the main way of recovering oil… Without them, you have to use quite rapidly enhanced techniques. And they behave quite differently depending on their size, their location. The last chapter deals with relative permeability. It’s something that I found “missing” int he previous chapters, as it was always mentioned during my trainings, and then I noticed that the last chapter tries to cover everything they knew about this topic in the last chapter.


Although the book is quite old and although reservoir simulation has made tremendous progress, the basic approaches are still used today, and this is what the book is about. The location of the exercises and the fact that they are solved just after is also well appreciated.

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