Economics and Decision Analysis for Engineers (PET685)

This course teaches the skills required for a key component of an Engineer's job - creating value by making decisions that yield optimal returns on the allocation of human and financial resources.

Course description for study year 2023-2024. Please note that changes may occur.


Course code




Credits (ECTS)


Semester tution start


Number of semesters


Exam semester


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Engineers perform technical work to support the business objectives of the organization they work for (corporation, government). It is therefore important that they understand that business because it will influence the judgments they make.

Economic evaluations provide the main source of the organization's information by which investment and operational decisions are made regarding the most effective use of resources. There are many subtleties and assumptions that underlie the apparently straight-forward economic calculations that are often seen. Consequently, a fundamental understanding of the concepts behind economic evaluation and of techniques for performing them within a petroleum context, are essential skills.

The many uncertainties inherent to the offshore business create considerable uncertainty in the value that can be realized from resource-allocation decisions. Consequently, there will be a strong emphasis on evaluating the impacts of uncertainty, managing its resultant risks and planning to exploit its up-side potential.

Learning outcome

The course provides understanding and knowledge of economic and business concepts, time-value of money, discounted cash flow, cash-flows, net present value and other economic decision criteria, the decision-making process, multi-objective decision making, decision-tree analysis, and value-of-information & flexibility. Some of the psychological and judgmental aspects of how people respond to uncertain and complex decision situations will be discussed.

Required prerequisite knowledge


Recommended prerequisites

Bachelor degree in engineering.


Form of assessment Weight Duration Marks Aid
Digital school exam 1/1 4 Hours Letter grades All

The assessment consists of a digital on-campus exam.

Coursework requirements

Compulsory assignments

Portfolio containing five assignments that needs to be approved in to access the final exam.

The students may cooperate on the assignments.

Course teacher(s)

Course coordinator:

Reidar Brumer Bratvold

Course teacher:

Enrico Riccardi

Study Program Director:

Lisa Jean Watson

Study Adviser:

Karina Sanni

Head of Department:

Alejandro Escalona Varela

Method of work

Lectures, Interactive discussions, compulsory assignments, self-study or group work. Lecture language is English. Excel and Python will be used for assignments and tests. The course does provide a short introduction to Python but it is NOT a course in Python so the students will need to consult other resources for learning Python if they are not already familiar with it.

Open for

Admission to Single Courses at the Faculty of Science and Technology Energy, Reservoir and Earth Sciences - Master of Science Degree Programme Exchange programme at Faculty of Science and Technology

Course assessment

There must be an early dialogue between the course coordinator, the student representative and the students. The purpose is feedback from the students for changes and adjustments in the course for the current semester.In addition, a digital course evaluation must be carried out at least every three years. Its purpose is to gather the students experiences with the course.


The syllabus can be found in Leganto