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Oil and Gas Reserve Growth - A Model for the Volga-Ural Province, Russia

VERMA, MAHENDRA, U.S. Geological Survey

An understanding of reserve growth is critical when oil experts around the world are debating how much fossil fuel is left in reservoirs for recovery and how much longer we can depend on this source of energy. Because of the availability of excellent historical records of oil and gas production and reserves along with discovery years, extensive work on reserve growth for the US oil and gas fields has already been carried out and reserve growth models have been developed. For better understanding of the global resource base, however, it is necessary to develop reserve growth models for individual petroleum provinces or groups of provinces around the world. To this end, reserve growth was studied in the Volga-Ural province, the second most important petroleum-producing region of Russia. This study includes analysis of 24 oil and 6 gas fields. Although this number of fields is small, they are the largest fields containing 2/3 of the total oil and gas reserves of the Volga-Ural province. Understanding of reserve growth in this province is of special interest because reserve definitions and reserve booking procedures in Russia are quite different from those accepted in the West. Reserve growth occurs because of geologic, engineering and accounting factors. Tha data analysis shows that oil and gas giant fields of the Volga-Ural grew much faster during the initial 5-7 years of development and thereafter virtually ceased to grow, unlike the US oil and gas fields that continue to grow even after 70 years of production.



AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90911©2000 AAPG Pacific Section and Western Region Society of Petroleum Engineers, Long Beach, California