Detailed course guide
Semester 1: September – December, 4 mandatory courses
Semester 2: January – April, 4 mandatory courses
Semester 3: May – August, 2 projects (MSc students only)
Strategy and Planning
Managing the Wells
Field Management Project
Managing the Reservoir
Producing Field Practices
Individual Project (Dissertation)
Managing the Surface
'Cessation of Production?'
Strategy and Planning
The first course sets the theme for the programme: making value-based decisions in producing assets through iterative working of live data. Petroleum economics will be refreshed with a focus on incremental project economics, and followed by risk analysis specific to ranking mature field options: how to make optimally risked commercial choices.
Asset management requires a firm grounding in the three underlying components of reservoir, wells and surface engineering – an overview of the full producing system from the reservoir pore to the final flange on an export line. The aim is to create an understanding of the whole system rather than expertise in every sub-topic, and will be taught in three courses:
- dealing with the core issues pertaining to an understanding of the reservoir as a producing system: surveillance, characterisation, geochemistry, geomechanics, analytical reservoir engineering techniques, static modelling, dynamic modelling and history matching large data sets. Managing the Reservoir
- fluid fundamentals, drive mechanisms, lab & core work (SCAL), remaining oil distribution, enhanced oil recovery (EOR) options: polymer, gas flooding, water-alternating-gas (WAG), low salinity floods (loSal) Optimising Recovery
- what happens after the wellhead: fluid treatment (produced water, sea water, oil, gas handling), data gathering, specs, flow assurance, export, power generation, EIA, sub-sea technologies and optimisation. Managing the Surface Semester 2
Where are the technical limits and how can we do better? Taught in two modules: optimising what we recover from the reservoir, and optimising the productivity from wells. This includes an opportunity to access leading edge research at Heriot-Watt IPE.
- how do producing wells work dynamically and what are options in well construction. This is core production technology and will be delivered as a shared module with the Petroleum Engineering MSc programme (the only module shared with another programme) Managing Wells
- logging, monitoring, scale, SSSV, artificial lift optimisation, failure prediction, hydrate prediction, water shut-off, well start up, dynamic well modelling, smart wells. Optimising Productivity Production Field Practices
The practicality of implementing good ideas in the subsurface and at the surface. Includes infill drilling (sidetracks, multilaterals, jetting, managed pressure drilling), workover techniques, well control issues and hydraulic fracturing, and the practicalities of surface facilities modification. The topics are linked through Integrated Asset Modelling (IAM)
Cessation of Production?
The options for extending field life and a view of reservoirs and facilities in the post-carbon era: field extension opportunities, decommissioning and recommissioning techniques and post-carbon usage. The general issue of managing subsurface energy.
Field Management Project
Students work in teams and are provided with data from a mature field, similar to that which would be available to an operator prior to a re-development decision. Analysis of this data results in an assessment of the reservoir and definition of choices: the do-nothing option (the ‘NFA’), a collection of minor incremental projects or radical changes in production mechanism or field operations.
Students will work through the decision-making process following the Rail Bridge template and work out how these major decisions get made by making them themselves. Analysing, identifying, calculating value, risking and ranking.
During the project students have access to state-of-the-art computer technology and industry standard software. Assessment is by means of a written report and by group presentation. The development plan is presented to a group consisting of examiners, industrial experts, and government representatives.
Individual Project (Dissertation)
Students are required to carry out a detailed investigation of a topic related to mature field management. Projects are offered both by academics and by the industry, and normally include a wide choice of experimental research, computer modelling and real oilfield problems. Assessment is by means of a thesis and oral presentation.
Masters (MSc) level entry applicants must have one of the following:
Minimum of 2:1 honours degree or equivalent academic qualification in a related subject area.
For postgraduate conversion courses, non-related degrees will be considered.
Corporate (or chartered) membership of relevant professional institutions will also be considered
Candidates who do not meet the above entry requirements or have no formal academic qualifications will be considered individually based on their CV and possibly interview. Admission via this route will be at the discretion of the Director of Recruitment.
Recognition of prior learning
Heriot-Watt University is committed to providing opportunities to applicants who have a wide range of prior experiences through
Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). Prior learning at postgraduate level is normally recognised to gain exemption from individual courses within a course based on an existing academic qualification. Note that the prior learning must have been rated at the level of the courses for which RPL is sought, yet credits from an award already held by an applicant can only contribute to a higher award in the same discipline, e.g. from PG Diploma to MSc. If you believe that you qualify for RPL, please contact the Learning & Teaching Support Team via email@example.com, who will guide you through the RPL application procedure.
The school will only consider students' requests for RPL at the time of application for their course of study.
English language requirements
If English is not the applicant’s first language a minimum of IELTS 6.5 or equivalent is required with all elements passed at 6.0 or above. Please refer to
English language requirements for further details.
Some applicants may be asked for alternative evidence in line with UKVI recognised English speaking countries. Applicants who have previously successfully completed courses delivered in the medium of English language may be considered and will be required to provide documentary evidence of this. Examples would be secondary school education or undergraduate degree. A minimum of at least one year of full time study (or equivalent) in the medium of English language will be required.
All evidence of English language needs to be dated within two years of the commencement of study.
We also offer a range of
English language courses to help you meet the English language requirement prior to starting your master’s programme:
14 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.5 with no more than one skill at 4.5)
10 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.5 with minimum of 5.0 in all skills)
6 weeks English (for IELTS 5.5 with minimum of 5.5 in reading and writing and minimum of 5.0 in speaking and listening)
Tuition fees for 2019 entry (by residency status)
Online / distance learning**
Scotland / Non-UK EU
England / Northern Ireland / Wales
* If you are unsure which category you fall in to, you should complete a fee status enquiry form, which allows us to assess your fees. Additional fees information
**For Online\Distance learning Students the current fees are £1,180per course and £1,050 for each research project. This programme consists of 8 courses (modules) and 2 research projects (MSc only) and you pay for each course prior to studying. Therefore the total cost of studying a MSc Mature Field Management is £11,200. Please refer to the
Frequently asked questions for more information on fees and funding for Online\Distance learners.
All course costs are covered by the tuition fee. This includes full electronic versions of the course notes, core text books, field trips and any day trips arranged as part of the course.
Students should budget additional funds sufficient to cover living expenses such as accommodation, travel to and from the university, food, clothing and leisure pursuits.
Scholarships and bursaries
We aim to encourage well-qualified, ambitious students to study with us and we offer a wide variety of scholarships and bursaries to achieve this. Over £6 million worth of opportunities are available in fee and stipend scholarships, and more than 400 students benefit from this support.
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