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Course Comparisons and Selection Guide

PetroSkills® Decision Analysis Courses
by John Schuyler and Tim Nieman

PRD= Petroleum Risk and Decision Analysis
Advanced Decision Analysis with Portfolio and Project Modeling

These courses are fast-paced. Participants need strong English listening skills.

Petroleum Risk and Decision Analysis (PRD) is our foundation course. We expect no special background except 1) familiarity with the petroleum industry and 2) competent in using a hand calculator. Any prior experience or training in economic evaluation or statistics is helpful though not required.

For learning modeling and probability concepts, we work primarily with decision trees and solve them with hand calculators. A simulation exercise with hand calculators demonstrations the principles of Monte Carlo simulation. Probability concepts are explained with Venn diagrams, probability trees, and joint probability tables. This course offers the easiest way to solve Bayes' theorem, central to value of information problems.

PRD Course Description (pdf file)


Advanced Decision Analysis with Portfolio and Project Modeling (ADA) is the follow-on course to PRD. This is intended for evaluation professionals who develop or work with project and portfolio models.

This is a computer-aided course, with each pair of participants sharing a PC and working as a team.

The main themes of this advanced course are:

  • Review and practice of the concepts learned in PRD. Working with software is a very different environment than developing hand-solutions on paper, and the contrast reinforces understanding. We review and practice value of information problems.

  • Extending decision policy, statistics, finance, economic evaluation, and portfolio management concepts. Framing and structuring are essential to developing good decision models. Risk policy and optimization are key topics.

  • Hands-on detailed portfolio modeling in MS Excel with add-in Monte Carlo simulation and optimization software.
    Participants should come to the course already proficient in Excel, especially in the use of If statements.

            ADA Prerequisites and Self-Assessment Quiz      ADA Course Description (pdf file)

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