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For many oil and gas fields, estimates of ultimate recovery (the sum of cumulative production plus estimated reserves) tend to increase from one year to the next, and the gain is called reserve growth. Forecasts of reserve growth by the U.S. Geological Survey rely on statistical analyses of historical records of oil and gas production and estimated reserves. The preproposal in this Open-File Report suggests that this traditional petroleum–engineering approach to reserve growth might be supplemented, or at least better understood, by using geological data from individual oil and gas fields, 3–D modeling software, and standard volumetric techniques to estimate in–place volumes of oil and gas. Such estimates, in turn, can be used to constrain the upper limits of reserve growth and ultimate recovery from those fields.
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Geologic constraints on the upper limits of reserve growth
U.S. Geological Survey
Geology, Minerals, Energy and Geophysics Science Center