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Fundamental Skills for Petroleum Geoscientists (GEO11)


    This introductory course is designed for early career geoscientists, technical assistants and petroleum engineers who wish to build a strong understanding of the fundamental elements of petroleum geology. It provides hands-on experience of typical oil industry data types and workflows for exploration and production, taught by a very experienced petroleum geoscientist.

    The course starts by placing hydrocarbons in a global context; the philosophy and structure of the oil industry; energy trends, future resources. The petroleum environment is then reviewed: source rocks, reservoirs, traps, seals and the timing of generation relative to trap formation. The course then examines the subsurface environments, subsurface temperature and pressure and the impact on petroleum systems, the usage and display of typical subsurface geological data, and gives an introduction to seismic and wireline logs. This is then developed into a definition of petroleum systems and an introduction to play fairway definition and finally leads / prospects.
    The course concludes by introducing the assessment of subsurface resources by calculating in-place reserves using deterministic methods.

    Course Level: Foundation
    Duration: 5 days
    Instructor: Jonathan Redfern

    Designed for you, if you are...

    • A new hire graduate geologist, geophysicist or an engineer with limited experience of hydrocarbon exploration

    Some basic geological knowledge is assumed, but no prior experience of oilfield data or techniques used to interpret these datasets.

    How we build your confidence

    The course will help you build a solid understanding of the elements of the petroleum systems, and introduce key data types and methods of analysis. You will understand key language used, workflows and the extensive practical exercises will give you the introductory experience of using and interpreting typical oilfield data. Examples are taken from global petroleum systems, drawing on the experience of the tutor.

    The benefits from attending

    By the end of the course you will feel confident in your understanding of:

    • The context of world oil, and a critical assessment of current estimates of remaining world resources
    • Typical workflows and drivers in the oil industry
    • The hydrocarbon habitat and basic techniques used in exploration, appraisal and production
    • The key elements of the petroleum system: reservoirs (including unconventional), seal, source and trap
    • The types, usage and display of subsurface geological data and its acquisition, and the limits on the reliability of such data
    • The qualitative interpretation of basic wireline log data
    • Basic facies interpretation from wireline data
    • The subsurface environment and the implications for the petroleum system
    • What causes variations in subsurface temperature and how to interpret temperature data from well data
    • How to calculate geothermal gradients and understand the control temperature has on hydrocarbon generation and reservoir quality
    • How pressure is developed in the subsurface
    • The interpretation of pressure data acquired from wells to assess overpressure and the fluids present in the subsurface
    • Seismic acquisition and processing and basic seismic facies interpretation
    • What petroleum systems are
    • How to map play fairways
    • Leads and prospect definition
    • How to calculate deterministic reserves


    • History of the oil industry
    • Future resources
    • The elements of the petroleum system
    • Source rocks, maturation and migration
    • Seals
    • Reservoirs
    • Traps
    • Timing
    • Data acquired from a well
    • Introduction to wireline log analysis
    • Introduction to seismic acquisition and interpretation
    • The subsurface environment; subsurface temperature; subsurface pressure
    • Petroleum systems
    • Play fairway definition
    • Leads / prospects
    • Calculating in-place resources

    Customer Feedback

    "Everything was relevant and very interesting. Practical things were taken care of, and the teacher was excellent." - Geoscience Assistant at Maersk

    "Very good course with good sharp quick practicals." - Geoscientist at Melrose



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