University removes most reservoir engineering equations from courses


CALGARY, Alberta – University of Calgary’s Dean of Petroleum Engineering and Sewage Treatment, Dr. Detritus Dumpster, announced this morning that the Petroleum Engineering faculty has decided to eliminate most reservoir engineering equations from its curriculum. Dr. Dumpster explained,

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Dean Dumpster, P.Eng.

Most of those bullshit equations we’ve been teaching have a fudge factor built in.  The textbooks quibble and say that this ‘constant’, ‘coefficient’ or ‘factor’ has to be determined in a laboratory or by fitting data to the equation.  WTF?  If you have a bunch of laboratory data, you don’t need the damned equation to begin with.

In the real world, there are so many variables in an oil and gas reservoir that you can’t possibly account for all of them.  Reservoirs are never homogeneous.  Never.  You’re trying to describe something based on a sample volume of 0.0000001%.  Every old-time driller has a story about a dry hole drilled in the big fat middle of a producing oil field.

A classic example of an equation that should not belong in the curriculum. We’re pretty sure those rectangles and parallelograms are unnecessary.

Professor Locutus Pyliton, who teaches the very popular Geological Sorcery for Engineers, agreed with the dean and cited a couple of examples that he routinely comes across in his teachings.

“We begin with very simple equations like the ideal gas law.  But, there’s no such thing as an ideal gas so we complicate things and fudge it with the z factor.  Where do you get the z factor?  From empirical data, measured in a lab.  Formation volume factor for oil?  Ditto.  Then there’s Darcy’s Law.  To use it, you have to know the permeability and viscosity, again measured in a lab.  Getting the idea?  The truth is, we just try stuff until something works.”

In a survey of petroleum engineering students throughout the international WOOPS student membership, Mohammed M. Mohammed said that he was not surprised that most of the equations were being removed from the Petroleum Engineering program.

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Mohammed Mohammed

Back in my home country of Rhumwhiskeystan, it has long been suspected that such equations were the work of the Great Satan.  As my Kanaloa would say, العض الأرداف بلدي.  Oh, and by the way, Death to America.  Canada too, for that matter.  Got any Moosepeace?

However, Dr. Jeau Bleau at the Montreal Polyphonic Institute of Gallic Indifference espoused a somewhat different view of the controversy.  He said, “Those cynics at the University of Calgary want to graduate a bunch of know-nothings so the oil companies will have to hire the professors as consultants to get any meaningful work done.  I should know because I do the same thing.”