With increasing exploration maturity, reserve growth is becoming an increasingly important component of petroleum resources worldwide. The U.S. Geological Survey has studied reserve-growth models for United States and foreign petroliferous basins for nearly two decades and has developed several reserve-growth forecast methodologies. However, no reserve-growth research has been carried out on Chinese basins, and it is not clear how much reserve growth contributes to the total petroleum resources of China. This paper uses the Bohai Bay basin, the largest petroleum basin in China, as a case study of reserve growth for Chinese basins. Of the 278 oil fields in the basin, 168 fields are chosen to develop the model using the modified Arrington method, and 121 fields are selected to build the model using the group-growth method. The results show that the cumulative growth factors (CGFs) calculated by these two methods are 2.41 and 2.44, respectively, in the 37-yr period after the first significant reserve-reporting year in the Bohai Bay basin. Reserve growth for global basins could be classified into four models, that is, the lowest growth (CGF < 1.5), low-growth (CGF 1.5–2.5), medium-growth (CGF 2.5–4.5) and high-growth (CGF > 4.5) models in light of their CGFs. The low-growth model fits for the oil fields in the Bohai Bay basin.

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