Microcomputers and Petroleum Economics Software: A Purchaser's Guide
- W.C.R. Jewell (Jewell Technologies Inc.) | S.M.R. Jewell (Rainier Natl. Bank)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- March 1986
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 337 - 344
- 1986. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 6.4.3 Data and Communication Security, 5.5 Reservoir Simulation, 5.6.9 Production Forecasting, 5.5.11 Formation Testing (e.g., Wireline, LWD), 5.6.1 Open hole/cased hole log analysis, 5.6.4 Drillstem/Well Testing, 4.2 Pipelines, Flowlines and Risers, 7.2.1 Risk, Uncertainty and Risk Assessment
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Summary. Microcomputers with software designed specifically for the petroleum industry can provide a highly cost-effective alternative to petroleum industry can provide a highly cost-effective alternative to manual calculation and timeshare computer use in many applications. Understanding the types of hardware and software available and the limitations to their use is critical to the user. Software availability and limitations are often difficult to assess without insight into each alternative. Information that is important in the selection of a microcomputer system suited to the needs of any company can be identified through definition of the intended use and matching this use to the available systems.
With the advent of microcomputer technology, many hardware and software manufacturers have developed products to tap what appears to be a virtually limitless products to tap what appears to be a virtually limitless market of ideal applications. High on the list is the petroleum industry with its large capital outlays for technical petroleum industry with its large capital outlays for technical support, accounting sophistication, and need for managing and processing large amounts of data. To screen the market for the type of computer, peripheral equipment, and software to suit the needs of a specific peripheral equipment, and software to suit the needs of a specific company or individual requires some education on the capabilities and limitations of each product. The following discussion identifies the options available in purchasing these products with specific software emphasis on purchasing these products with specific software emphasis on petroleum economics. Included is a discussion of the petroleum economics. Included is a discussion of the advantages and disadvantages to the use of microcomputers in petroleum economics as well as a table outlining typical costs associated with such a system. A glossary of computer classifications and commonly used computer terms is also provided.
Petroleum Industry Petroleum Industry Microcomputer Applications
Microcomputers provide an ideal source of computer support for many petroleum applications, particularly for smaller companies, energy banks, petroleum consultants, and individual departments of larger companies. Their chief limitation relates to the speed at which they process certain types of information and their internal memory that is used to store the program and data in use at any given time. Current applications for microcomputers for which software is available are listed below. The degree of sophistication for some of these applications is substantially inferior to what may be obtained on a larger computer (i.e., reservoir simulation, computer-aided design, and production control). 1. Production accounting--storage of accounting information such as general ledgers, joint-interest billing information, and Windfall Profits Tax information. 2. Production data base--storage and organized retrieval of historical production information. May provide information directly on government reporting forms, graphs, or in tabular format. 3. Petroleum economics--calculation of typical profit indicators, cash flows, and other parameters on the basis of projected producing rates, taxes, operating expenses, and investment assumptions. Often used in acquisition evaluations, prospect reviews, reserve surveys, and bank loan reviews. 4. Reservoir engineering--basic reservoir simulation, material balance calculations, transient pressure analysis, log analysis, and subsurface mapping and contouring. 5. Computer-aided design--basic pipeline and plant design, subsurface equipment sizing, and production equipment selection. 6. Production control--physical control of minor plant process functions, well testing, and volume monitoring. process functions, well testing, and volume monitoring. 7. Other--microcomputer technology is improving very rapidly with new software applications emerging constantly to meet the needs of the petroleum industry. As the sophistication of the hardware improves, so will the number of applications expand.
In this section, hardware options available to the computer purchaser will be discussed with recommendations for those particularly useful in petroleum applications.
The Computer. Microprocessor. In the past, the vast majority of generic software was written for the Zilog Z-80 or Intel 8080 microprocessor under the Digital Research CP/M operating system. Since 1982, however, current business software, including that specific to the petroleum industry, has been written for the Intel petroleum industry, has been written for the Intel 8088/8086 (or 80286) series microprocessor under the Microsoft Corporation MS-DOS operating system. For this reason, computers that use the Intel 8088/8086 (or 80286) series are recommended in petroleum engineering applications.
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