Shortly after the discovery of an oil and gas field, an initial estimate is usually made of the ultimate recovery of the field. With the passage of time, this initial estimate is almost always revised upward. The phenomenon of the growth of the expected ultimate recovery of a field, which is known as "field growth," is important to resource assessment analysts for several reasons. First, field growth is the source of a large part of future additions to the inventory of proved reserves of crude oil and natural gas in most petroliferous areas of the world. Second, field growth introduces a large negative bias in the forecast of the future rates of discovery of oil and gas fields made by discovery process models. In this study, the growth in estimated ultimate recovery of oil and gas in fields made up of sandstone reservoirs formed in a complex depositional environment (Frio strand plain exploration play) is examined. The results presented here show how the growth of oil and gas fields is tied directly to the architectural element of the shoreline processes and tectonics that caused the deposition of the individual sand bodies hosting the producible hydrocarbon. ?? 1994 Oxford University Press.