A petroleum reservoir engineering consultant concerns himself with three things:
◦ how much oil or gas will the reservoir produce,
◦ how much is that worth, and
◦ how can we profitably produce more.
The quality of predictions of the future can be tough to discern since anyone can post an opinion. The best predictions rely on a thorough understanding of the internal architecture and dynamics (what I call the unified theory of the reservoir) which make it possible to predict behaviors which may not be so obvious. Experience and understanding help to see the "black swans."But understanding the reservoir is only the penultimate objective of a reservoir engineering consultant; the ultimate objective is to manipulate the reservoir to get the best value from it. Trial-and-error is slow, costly, potentially inconclusive and, most importantly, irreversible. Analysis offers the best value when large capital is on the line, especially when commodity prices provide no cushion for error. Brief or poor analysis may be venial when prices are high, but it is potentially mortal today.