Best Practices in Portfolio Management

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        Aaron A. Zick, Ph.D. 
        Aaron A. Zick, Ph.D. 
PST0408-201701  13 Nov 2017  15 Nov 2017  Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia  USD 2895  Michael Naylor 

Portfolio Management is critical for exploration and production companies as it helps them to achieve maximum value from projects. Portfolio management allows companies to be more proactive and sensitive to the changes in market.

This training program will present the principles and best practices of portfolio management in the upstream E&P oil and gas industry. It will also examine how the downstream elements of a vertically integrated oil company can be treated in the total portfolio. The course content is equally valuable to small independents, large integrated international companies and national oil companies.

The course consists of a number of lectures supported by practical exercises and syndicate discussions. Particular emphasis is given to pragmatic portfolio management approaches and solutions which can be implemented swiftly without recourse to major investments in planning and portfolio management software. The course will draw on examples taken from the presenter’s 35 years’ experience in the oil and gas industry. Participants will gain proficiency in portfolio management techniques, understand how and why to undertake this activity and be able to apply key concepts directly in the business of their teams/ divisions.

DAY 1—Portfolio Management: Concepts & Principles

  • Participants’ Introductions and Goals Objectives & Benefits of Portfolio Management
  • Defining a Portfolio
  • Portfolio Segmentation

Exercise 1—The Relation between Strategy and Portfolio

  • Project Management and the Portfolio

DAY 2—Portfolio Assessment: Techniques and Tools

  • Risk Management

Exercise 2—Developing a Simple Risk Matrix and Risk Register

  • Portfolio Modelling

Exercise 3—Building an Optimized Exploration Business Plan

  • Modelling Production Profiles
  • Portfolio and Project Characterization in Charts

DAY 3— Portfolio Management: The Organization & Business Context

  • Decision Making in a Portfolio Context
  • The Portfolio Management Team
  • Value Assurance and Quality Control
  • Organizational Culture

Exercise 4—Cultures and Behaviours which help or hinder portfolio management

  • Venture Performance Plans—a Multi-year perspective
  • Annual Business Plans; Defining Performance Targets & Scorecards

Exercise 5—Setting Performance Targets for Different Types of Upstream Company


  • Be able to design a simple portfolio database and describe complex projects in a small number of objective metrics
  • Be able to segment the portfolio into meaningful units
  • Be able to use the portfolio data in making business choices and decisions at the strategic and tactical levels
  • Be able to make comparisons across different portfolio segments

Job Titles Include:
• Exploration and Development Geoscientists
• E&P Economists
• Finance
• E&P Managers
• Non-Technical Staffs

Aaron A. Zick, Ph.D.

Founder and President


President, Zick Technologies (Since 10/93).

Petroleum engineering consulting and software development, specializing in the area of reservoir fluid phase behavior modeling. References available on request. Key achievements:

-Developed numerous equation-of-state and black-oil fluid characterizations for various major oil companies and as a sub-contractor for Pera A/S.

-Recommended phase behavior experimentation and modeling guidelines for several major oil companies.

-Wrote PhazeComp, a new, state-of-the-art program from Zick Technologies for equation-of-state phase behavior modeling, reservoir fluid characterization, and the robust, efficient calculation of minimum miscibility conditions.

-Wrote Streamz, unique Petrostreamz A/S software for translating, manipulating, and managing vast quantities of fluid stream information.

-Designed and helped write Pipe-It, unique Petrostreamz A/S software for managing and manipulating petroleum resources, processes, and projects.

-Taught numerous industry courses on phase behavior, equations of state, reservoir fluid characterization, and miscible gas injection processes.

-Designed and helped implement a new set of equation-of-state routines for the in-house reservoir simulator of a major oil company.

-Advised the architects of a major commercial reservoir simulator on ways to significantly improve their equation-of-state routines.


Director of Research, Reservoir Simulation Research Corporation (6/91–10/93).

Responsible for the research and development of more efficient, accurate, and reliable techniques for modeling reservoir fluid phase behavior within MORE® (a fully-compositional, equation-of-state reservoir simulator). Also responsible for improving three-dimensional visualization of reservoir simulator output, and for occasional consulting work. Key achievements:

-Designed and implemented new equation-of-state solution algorithms for MORE®, improving both efficiency and robustness while using less memory.

-Developed a powerful and flexible interface between MORE® and TECPLOT™ (three-dimensional surface contouring software from AMTEC Engineering).


Senior Principal Research Engineer, ARCO Oil and Gas Company (9/83–5/91).

Developed expertise in reservoir fluid phase behavior, phase behavior modeling, compositional reservoir simulation, and relative permeability modeling.  Designed and analyzed PVT experiments. Created equation-of-state reservoir fluid characterizations. Developed ARCO’s phase behavior modeling software and relative permeability modeling software. Helped develop several of ARCO’s compositional and limited compositional reservoir simulators. Key achievements:

-Discovered the true, condensing/vaporizing mechanism of oil displace­ment by enriched hydrocarbon gases.

-Represented ARCO on the Prudhoe Bay co-owners’ Enhanced Oil Recovery Task Force for the Prudhoe Bay Miscible Gas Project.

-Designed and analyzed most of the PVT and slim-tube experiments for the Prudhoe Bay Miscible Gas Project.

-Created the equation-of-state reservoir fluid characterization adopted by the operating companies for the Prudhoe Bay Miscible Gas Project.

-Developed the miscibility pressure correlations used by the facility operators for the Prudhoe Bay Miscible Gas Project.

-Developed EOSPHASE, a then state-of-the-art program for equation-of-state phase behavior modeling, reservoir fluid characterization, and the robust, efficient calculation of minimum miscibility conditions.

-Developed SLIMTUBE, a special-purpose, equation-of-state simulator for slim-tube displacements.

-Developed new, compositionally-consistent, three-phase relative perme­ability models for ARCO’s compositional simulators and wrote data-fitting software for those models.

-Developed the phase behavior and relative permeability routines for a new, limited compositional reservoir simulator and assisted on other aspects of it.

-Continually added improvements to various in-house reservoir simulators.

-Regularly taught in-house courses on the phase behavior of miscible gas displacement processes.



A. A. Zick, “A Combined Condensing/Vaporizing Mechanism in the Displacement of Oil by Enriched Gases,” presented at the 61st Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, New Orleans, LA (October, 1986).

D. E. Tang and A. A. Zick, “A New Limited Compositional Reservoir Simulator,” presented at the 12th SPE Symposium on Reservoir Simulation, New Orleans, LA (March, 1993).