Fundamentals of Petroleum Geology For Non-Geologists (2 days)

For personnel who need to communicate or work with geologists.

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Target audience

This course is designed for people who need to communicate or work with geologists on a regular basis, such as petroleum engineers and geophysicists. It is also useful for project managers who have geoscientists in their team but do not have a geological background themselves.

Course objectives

The course examines the tools and methods used by the petroleum geologist and provides an understanding of the technical terminology and jargon used. It also examines sources of error and uncertainty which might lead to costly problems.

Outline of course

Occurrence, distribution, and nature of petroleum
  • History of petroleum exploitation
  • Worldwide distribution of petroleum
  • Essential characteristics of Oil and Gas
Basic rock forming processes
  • Classification and origin of rocks
  • Burial, lithification and diagenesis
Geological time and dating geological events
  • How rocks are dated (absolute and relative time)
  • Importance of time in rock formation and deformation
  • Lithostratigraphy and chronostratigraphy
  • EXERCISE: Dating and sequencing structural and stratigraphic events
  • EXERCISE: Understanding a stratigraphic column
Fundamentals of maps and sections
  • Concepts of strike and dip
  • Isochores and isopachs
  • Key characteristics of maps and sections
  • Mapping structure and stratigraphy
  • EXERCISE: Construction of simple maps and sections
Characteristics of petroleum accumulations
  • Nature and origin of traps, source, seals and reservoirs
  • Structural and stratigraphic traps
  • Petroleum systems
  • EXERCISE: Generating leads and prospects
Sedimentary depositional environments
  • Types and origins of sedimentary rocks (clastics and carbonates)
  • Major depositional environments and their importance to exploration
  • Characteristics and distribution of source rocks, reservoirs and seals
  • Facies mapping and palaeogeography
  • EXERCISE: Application of palaeogeographic principles to exploration
The process of petroleum exploration
  • Basin, play and prospect analysis
  • Remote sensing and the basics of seismology
  • Generating and evaluating prospects
  • EXERCISE: Converting seismic sections from time to depth
  • EXERCISE: The 'Exploration Game'
Geological information from wells
  • Brief overview of drilling and well completion procedures
  • Sources and reliability of well data (mud logging, well logging, testing)
  • Role of the well-site geologist
  • Coring and core analysis
  • Working with well logs
  • EXERCISE: Reading and understanding a geological report
  • EXERCISE: Simple well log analysis and correlation
Fundamentals of production geology
  • Role of the production geologist
  • Sources and reliability of information
  • Reservoir geology and approaches to reservoir modeling
  • EXERCISE: Multiple map manipulation
Field development concepts
  • Reducing uncertainty through appraisal drilling
  • Key features of producing reservoirs
  • Leakage: spill points, vertical and lateral seals
  • Identifying contacts and fluid levels
  • Horizontal and multi-lateral completions
  • CASE STUDY: Review a field development program
Reservoir drive mechanisms
  • Types and characteristics of drive mechanisms
  • Enhanced oil recovery
  • Well intervention and workovers
  • Concepts of reserves
Definitions: technical, proven, probable and possible
  • Approaches to reserves estimation
  • CASE STUDY: Interpreting press releases
  • EXERCISE: Beans, beans and more beans! – illustrating uncertainty