Unconventional Reservoir Production (Rate-Transient) Analysis

Management and Information Reservoir Descriptions and Dynamics

Course Description

This course provides an overview of the state-of-the-art in unconventional gas (shale gas, tight gas, and coalbed methane) and light oil (shale oil, tight oil, and “halo” oil) well production analysis. Unconventional reservoir properties are first reviewed, followed by a discussion of production analysis in the context of a field development optimisation workflow. The concept of rate-transient analysis (RTA) is introduced, and example theoretical rate-transient signatures for fractured vertical and multi-fractured horizontal wells are reviewed.

An overview of analytical methods for RTA is then provided, including a discussion of how these techniques can be modified to account for unconventional reservoir properties such as multi-phase flow, non-static permeability, non-Darcy flow, and desorption. Empirical methods for production analysis are also briefly reviewed. Tight gas, shale gas, tight oil, shale oil, and coalbed methane field examples are provided to illustrate application of the techniques.

Learning Level


Course Length

1 Day

Why Attend

Unconventional gas reserves are transforming energy outlooks around the world. This course is a must for those who require background in the latest techniques.  

Who Attends

Engineers, geologists and managers in industry or academia involved in developing or evaluating unconventional gas reserves will benefit from a background in the latest techniques for production analysis of unconventional reservoirs.

Special Requirements

Participants should have a basic understanding of general engineering and geologic terms.


0.8 CEUs (Continuing Education Units) are awarded for this 1-day course.

Cancellation Policy

All cancellations must be received no later than 14 days prior to the course start date. Cancellations made after the 14 day window will not be refunded.  Refunds will not be given due to no show situations.

Training sessions attached to SPE conferences and workshops follow the cancellation policies stated on the event information page.  Please check that page for specific cancellation information.

SPE reserves the right to cancel or re-schedule courses at will.  Notification of changes will be made as quickly as possible; please keep this in mind when arranging travel, as SPE is not responsible for any fees charged for cancelling or changing travel arrangements.

We reserve the right to substitute course instructors as necessary.

Full regional cancellation policies can be found at the Cancellation Policy page within the SPE Training Course Catalog.


Christopher R. Clarkson is a professor and the AITF Shell/EnCana chair in Unconventional Gas and Light Oil Research in the Department of Geoscience and an adjunct professor with the Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering at the University of Calgary. His work focus in industry was on exploration for and development of unconventional gas (UG) and light oil (ULO) reservoirs. His research focus since coming to University of Calgary in 2009 has been on advanced reservoir characterisation methods for UG-ULO, such as rate- and pressure-transient analysis, flowback analysis, and core analysis.  He is also interested in simulation of enhanced recovery processes in UG-ULO, and how these processes can be used to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  Clarkson leads an industry-sponsored consortium called “Tight Oil Consortium”, focused on these research topics for unconventional light oil reservoirs in Western Canada.

The author of numerous articles in peer-reviewed scientific and engineering journals, Clarkson received the Rossiter W. Raymond Memorial Award from AIME and the Alfred Noble Prize from ASCE for his paper “Application of a New Multicomponent Adsorption Model to Coal Gas Adsorption Systems” published in the Society of Petroleum Engineers Journal (September, 2003). Clarkson was a SPE Distinguished Lecturer for the 2009/2010 lecture season.

Clarkson holds a PhD in Geological Engineering from the University of British Columbia, Canada.