88284 - Petroleum Reservoir Engineering

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Affordable and clean energy Industry, innovation and infrastructure Responsible consumption and production Climate Action

Academic Year 2020/2021

Learning outcomes

The Course is addressed to provide the basic knowledge of petroleum systems and petroleum engineering, with special reference to exploration, drilling and production engineering. These topics represent strategic elements as far as world energy supply is concerned. The Course is completed with an introduction to the study of petroleum economics, project management and engineering phases of the petroleum industry, with applicative exercises and laboratory practices.

Course contents

Part 1 (Prof. Paolo Macini)

Overview of Oil & Gas Exploration & Production industry (E&P, Upstream). Origin and geology of petroleum reservoirs. Short introduction to Oil and Gas exploration, drilling and production engineering. Petrophysical properties of petroleum reservoir rocks. Porosity, permeability, saturation, capillary pressure, wettability. Reservoir fluids distribution. Laboratory measurements and laboratory practice. Fundamentals of petroleum economics; resources and reserves; world production and consumption (Oil & Gas).

The above topics cover also the contents required for 78646 - LABORATORY OF OFFSHORE O&G EXPLOITATION - 3 CFU, Civil Engineering.

Part 2 (Prof. Villiam Bortolotti)

Thermodynamic classification of hydrocarbon reservoirs. Phase behavior and reservoir distribution of petroleum fluids. Fundamentals of fluid flow in porous media. Flow equations. Simulation of reservoir behavior using numerical modeling: basic concepts of discretization, numerical simulation of single-phase and multi-phase flow, model calibration and history matching. Laboratory practice (numerical modeling and reservoir simulation).


Lecture notes and selected study materials (available online)

Al-Awad Musaed: Petroleum and natural gas engineering overview, VDM 2010.

Enciclopaedia of hydrocarbons: Volume 1, exploration, production and transport, Treccani 2005.

Ahmed, Tarek H., Reservoir engineering handbook, Elsevier, 2010.

Supplemental material distributed during classroom hours.

Teaching methods

Classroom lectures, seminars and/or workshop by industry professionals, laboratory practice (in small groups). Possible field trips to rig sites or industrial plants. The lectures will focus on general aspects of oil and gas industry (upstream sector). The lectures will be supplemented with practical exercises and laboratory measurements. The practical exercises will be carried out to produce practical solutions to the theoretical problems outlined during lectures.

Assessment methods

Students must sit a written exam comprising of a series of questions that aim to ascertain students’ understanding of the theory of the technological and design principles presented during lectures, and a practical problem similar to the ones dealt with during the practical exercises related to the course lectures.

Due to the present worldwide health emergency situation (COVID 19 limitations), the exam modality could change, possibly turning the written test into an oral online exam (via Teams).

Moreover, the exam is aimed to assess the methodological and critical skills acquired by the student. The student will be invited to discuss the topics covered during the lessons and to move within the sources and bibliographical material in order to be able to identify in them the useful information that will enable to illustrate typical aspects of the course. The achievement of an organic vision of the issues addressed during the classes and their critical use, which demonstrate ownership of a mastery of expression and specific language, will be assessed with marks of excellence. Mechanical and / or mnemonic knowledge of matter, synthesis and analysis of non-articulating and / or correct language but not always appropriate will lead to discrete assessments; training gaps and / or inappropriate language - although in a context of minimal knowledge of the material - will lead to votes that will not exceed the sufficiency. Training gaps, inappropriate language, lack of guidance within the reference materials offered during the course will lead to failed assessments.

Teaching tools

Classroom presentations, laboratories.

Office hours

See the website of Paolo Macini

See the website of Villiam Bortolotti