For the purpose of maintaining pertinent Company reserve and reservoir information, we have recently converted a tape-storage batch processing system to an interactive data base system. The on-line interactive system features direct or deferred access to the stored data and allows for the ease of handling scheduled reports or ad hoc requests. In today's climate of increasing concern regarding reserve evaluations, immediate information updates and retrievals can be critical to the decision-making process.
We conclude that through benefits derived from greatly improved information handling, conversion to an on-line reserve information system can be attractive.
The petroleum reserves of the Company are assessed at each calendar year-end and are presented in the Company's Annual Report. The reserves as tabulated, therefore, become available to all stockholders or interested parties. The first Annual Report, prepared in 1948, entailed the analysis of about 200 reserve leases or leases for which there would be a reserve appraisal. Since the first report, the number of reserve leases increased markedly to the point where we appraised about 3500 reserve leases in 1976.
The history of the reserve system is illustrated in Figure 1. Initially, all the reserve information, appraisals and summaries were prepared manually. As the number of reserve leases increased, a computer was used to provide the summaries. This step relieved same of the workload; however, manual processing was still necessary in data preparation, calculation and input to the computer. As the workload continued to expand, computer facilities were incorporated which retained reserve information on computer cards or magnetic tape, prepared volumetric reserve calculations, and presented reserve summaries. This system operated in a batch processing environment which resulted in a fairly limited scope for its application.
The batch processing system was functional in its original concept; however, demands on the system continued to increase. By the end of 1976, the number of reserve leases had increased fourfold since the system was first implemented. Due to the large volume of data which required annual review, we became concerned both from a manpower and technical viewpoint with our procedure of assessing reserves. We could not expeditiously enter new data or update existing information as it became available. In addition to these conditions, it was found that our programs were approaching the state of obsolescence. We were not able to respond to demands in a manner that was satisfactory either from the viewpoint of spontaneity or manpower facilitation.
Computer technology has made significant advances in recent years. In the early part of 1976, we set out to evaluate the possibility of utilizing these advancements for our reserve report system. Based on our past experience and also on our feeling of what type of information would be of use in Company matters, it was established that the objectives would be:
to implement a system which could be developed and fully operational within a one-year time span;
to develop a system which would allow the user (primarily the engineering staff) to input new reserve data in an easy, efficient and undelayed manner;