The paper discusses the use of computers for the analysis of well tests. A survey of available technical and commercial publications indicates that computer usage to-date has generally been limited to reproducing manual interpretation processes or to performing parameter estimation based on some fit of observed data with a preselected interpretation model. In other words, computers have mainly been used to solve the easiest part of the interpretation process. The most difficult parts, namely, the identification of the applicable interpretation model and the validation of the analysis, have received little attention. As a result, computers still do not help the practicing engineer to do better interpretations; they only help him to do his usual interpretations faster.
Theoretically, identification of the interpretation model applicable to the test data is an artificial intelligence problem, requiring an expert system which is not available to-date. Yet, as discussed in the paper, it is possible to combine a systematic methodology with the use of interactive graphics to enhance considerably the interpretation capability of an average interpreter.