Calculating crude oil reserves I have been mystified by Shell's problem about reserves.In this day and age of secondary recovery, it must be very difficult to come up with good reserves figures. A great case in point must lie with the vast Kern River oil field just north of Bakersfield, Calif.Going back to the 1890s it was decided that this field of 13° API crude oil had some 4.5 billion bbl stock tank oil in place.Due to the viscous nature of the crude, it was decreed that the ultimate recovery with 21/2-acre spacing might be in the range of 5%. This would mean the recovery of only 225,000 bbl.Shell pioneered the use of what was called "huff and puff," where steam was injected i...

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