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Assessing reservoir management

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A reservoir management program will benefit from a periodic assessment by both the staff involved and the leadership team for the group. This page discusses a survey approach to this assessment.

Surveying performance

Two questionnaires have been designed to survey and measure the quality of reservoir management performance.

  • One is for reservoir management team (RMT) activities
  • The second is for reservoir management leadership team (RMLT) activities

Tables 1 and 2 show suggested questions for the surveys.[1] The questions are a guideline of what could be included in the surveys.

The surveys are self-assessment tools for the RMT and RMLT groups. The strengths of the surveys are:

  • Systematic consideration of all reservoir management activities
  • Improved communication and understanding of the multifunctional issues by the team
  • Identification of strengths to be sustained and areas for improvement
  • Method for measuring improvement with subsequent surveys

Conducting a survey

Participants. As dictated by the specific situation, operating, supervisory, and technical persons would be included in the assessment. In some instances, it may be desirable to have outside experts participate in the assessment to obtain different views on specific areas in which weaknesses are suspected.

Frequency. The size and importance of a resource affects the timing and frequency of surveys. Considering the effort and personnel required for an effective survey, annual or less frequent timing may be appropriate.

Questionnaire format and scoring. Fig. 1 shows the suggested format for capturing assessments as they are made. Only the section of RMT questions on database processes is included in this example. This form would be developed for each major process of the RMT and RMLT.

A performance rating for each question is to be judged on a four-point scale ranging from “seldom equals” to “essentially always equals” as compared with a best-practice standard that is determined by the group doing the assessment. Best-practice standards tend to be somewhat subjective, but experience has shown there is good agreement among knowledgeable persons participating in surveys. Best practice will depend on the field or fields involved. A prime asset that represents a significant resource with a long remaining life would be held to different standards than smaller resources or mature fields in an advanced stage of development.

The four-point scale should be adequate for differentiating the quality for various activities. Scales with five to ten increments were considered to be too fine and beyond the capability of this process, while fewer increments would not allow enough difference between poor and excellent.

Each participant rates each question, the scores are tabulated, and the team works to reach consensus on each question. While the scoring system could be viewed as a numerical result (1 to 4) to determine an overall outcome for each field or resource reviewed, the descriptions are intended to indicate qualitative results that are more appropriate for determining the following:

  • Strengths that are to be retained
  • Barriers preventing execution of the process
  • Areas that require improvement

Also, some questions would have more importance than others and should be weighed accordingly.

Evaluation and use of the score

The initial assessment of a resource establishes a baseline and highlights areas of good practices and activities needing improvement. Subsequent reviews will show if targeted improvements are being accomplished while maintaining strengths. Over time, reviews also indicate where changes in emphasis are appropriate considering the changing maturity and needs of a resource. Another use of the results is the exchange of results between different RMT and RMLT groups with a focus on:

  • How strengths were accomplished
  • What has been implemented to improve the process


  1. Holstein, E.D. and Berger, A.R. 1997. Measuring the Quality of a Reservoir Management Program. J Pet Technol 49 (1): 52-56. SPE-35200-MS.

Noteworthy papers in OnePetro

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External links

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See also

Reservoir management