training specialists to the upstream oil and gas industry

Petroleum Geoscience

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Course overview

This is a course for non-specialists and no prior knowledge of Earth sciences is necessary. The aim of the course is to cover the fundamentals of the Earth sciences, examine their role in controlling the occurrence, distribution and quantification of 'conventional' oil and gas reserves; review the 'non-conventional' hydrocarbon resources; provide an introduction to the 'peak oil' debate.

The course is designed for

Non-Earth scientists with little or no background in geology, geophysics or the processes that control the formation and distribution of oil and gas resources.

Learning objectives

The course presents the principles and practices underpinning the Earth sciences and demonstrates how they can be applied to hydrocarbon exploration and production. The participants will gain an understanding of the factors and processes involved in the formation of oil and gas fields and their worldwide distribution.

Course outline

Exploring for oil and gas

- Sources of data

Acquisition and interpretation of geological and geophysical data

- Seismic sequence stratigraphy

Subsurface mapping

- Various types of contour maps

Leads and prospects

Risks and risk analysis


Play fairway analysis



Identification of geological features and potential traps from a seismic section

Reserves estimation


Volumetric methods

- The deterministic method
- The probabilistic method

The unconventionals

- Oil shale
- Shale oil
- Shale gas
- Oil sands
- Coal bed methane
- Gas hydrates

Acquisition and intepretation of open hole logs

- Various types of well logs
- Acquisition of well log data
- Qualitative log interpretation
- Basic quantitative log interpretation


Qualitative log interpretation

The global petroleum industry

Some recent trends in the petroleum industry
Importance of oil in modern societies
Historical review of the price of oil over the past 150 years (since 1861)
The main events of the last decade
Review of the major players in the past 25 years - private oil company rankings in terms
of turnover and market capitalization
State oil company rankings
Biofuels – a panacea?
Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)
Global distribution of oil and gas reserves
Sources of information
Giant fields - definition and significance
The world’s top 25 oil fields – locations and reserves
Global oil and gas production
Oil and gas reserves/production ratios
Peak oil?
Selected recent publications

The Earth: Its properties, internal structure and age

Earth sciences: definition and overview
Various types of rocks, their origins and examples
Rocks associated with oil and gas:
- Sedimentary rocks: their origin, key features and associated terminology
- Depositional environments, processes and the concept of facies
- Classification of sedimentary environments
- Common sedimentary rocks: Their descriptions and origin

Introduction to Geologicla time, principles of stratigraphy and statigraphic relations:

- The concepts of relative and absolute time
- Measurement of geological time
- The Uniformitarian Principle
- The Law of Superposition
- The Principle of Original Horizontality
- Stratigraphic practice
- Unconformities
- Sequence startigraphy
- Establishing lithostratigraphic and biostratigraphic units
- Correlation

Principles of structural geology:

Various types of geological structures and their relationship to oil and gas occurence
- Folds
- Faults
- Thrusts


- Determination of relative ages of rock units and geological events
- Fault identification and estimate of magnitude of movement using a field photograph
- Simple geological map interpretation

Definition of oil and gas fields

Habitat of oil and gas and factor that control their occurrence

Processes that control the occurrence of oil and gas fields

Geological controls on oil and gas occurrence

Sedimentary basins:

- Definition
- Formation and development
- Global distribution
- Exploration status
- Production status

Association between sedimentary basins and oil and gas occurence

Overview of plate tectonics


Plate tectonics control on the formation, evolution and caracteristics of sedimentary basins


Chemical composition of petroleum substances

- Diagenesis

Petroleum system analysis in terms of elements and processes

- Source rocks: origin, burial history and maturation

- Generation of petroleum
- Migration of petroleum
- Petroleum reservoir rocks and their properties
- Oil and gas traps
- Seals

The petroleum play and petroleum events chart


Identification of petroleum elements and processes


Location Start Date End Date Cost Trainer Book
Upon request     £2,950 Jeff Johnson Make enquiry

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