Basic Petroleum Engineering

Trainer(s): Edward van Riessen

Business context

Understanding the "upstream" part of the business will provide new staff with the necessary tools to do their tasks in this complex working environment. This course provides a full overview of exploration for hydrocarbons, field development, on- and offshore operations, processing and transportation of oil and gas.  The history of the business, project economics and global issues are also discussed.

Who should attend

New technical (non PE) staff, geologists and geophysicists in the "upstream"  oil and gas business.

Course content

History of the oil industry, current issues. geological concepts, global distribution of hydrocarbons, nature and geometry of hydrocarbon reservoirs. Methods and tools used for hydrocarbon exploration, including drilling. Reservoir properties, well log evaluation, static and dynamic models of reservoirs, assessment of hydrocarbons-in-place, reserves and its uncertainties. Field appraisal and development, flow models, production forecasts, surface engineering and field operations. Project - life cycle -economics. Environmental issues.

Learning, methods and tools

At the end of the course participants will have a good but general understanding of the 'upstream' oil and gas business: how hydrocarbons are found, developed, produced and treated prior to sales.

Participants will work in teams on an actual offshore field case, and will go through all steps that lead to an economic development.

Although the program is similar to that of the E&P Introduction course, the content of the sessions is more in-depth and designed for staff with a technical background.

Day by day programme

Day 1, Focus on the energy business, geology principles

  • Introduction of participants and trainer, course program
  • Scope of the energy / oil & gas business
    • History of the oil & gas business, technology breakthroughs
    • Major players in the industry
    • Activities in E&P
    • Global energy resources
    • Oil price review and scenario's
    • Global issues, PR and environment
  • General process of oil & gas development projects, project life cycles
  • Team exercise "The Texel Development Project" 1:  Commercial, Environmental and PR issues, Exploration bid proposal. Given a description of the project activities and the geographical environment, make an outline of a bid proposal, environmental and PR plan.
  • Petroleum geology principles: Global geology, cycles, sedimentology, structures and traps

Day 2, Focus on exploration, drilling, subsurface data collection and interpretation.

  • Recap day 1
  • Exploration, finding hydrocarbons: Hydrocarbon basins, plays, the origin of hydrocarbons.
  • Seismic acquisition, processing and interpretation
  • The Texel Development Project 2:  Volumetric uncertainty. Given the results of the exploration well and 3D seismic, estimate maximum and minimum volumes.
  • Basic drilling technology

Day 3, Focus on petrophysics, reservoir appraisal and volumetrics, reservoir engineering

  • Recap day 2.
  • Reservoir data gathering: well logging, petrophysical analysis, well testing
  • Static models introduction, volumetrics, uncertainty and appraisal
  • The Texel Development Project 3: Appraisal. Given the results of the exploration well and 3D seismic, make an appraisal plan.
  • Dynamic reservoir models introduction, reservoir engineering

Day 4, Focus on surface development options, production technology

  • Recap day 3
  • Well completion technology, horizontal wells, artificial lift, fracking
  • Development planning: team exercise subsurface development options
  • The Texel Development Project 4: Given the static reservoir model and well performance, select development scenario's. A production forecast will be prepared based on one of these scenario's.
  • Surface facilities and engineering: Oil & gas processing
  • Film: Troll  Field, "The last of the giants"

Day 5, Focus on surface development options, project economics

  • Recap day 4
  • Surface facilities and engineering: Production facilities, Field operations
  • The Texel Development Project 5: Select surface development options.  Given the production profile and facilities costs, prepare basic facilities design and a project schedule, and calculate the phased costs.
  • Basic project economics and financial performance indicators.
  • The Texel Development Project 6: Given phased project costs, production forecast and commercial and tax terms, calculate project economics and sensitivities using an Excel economics spreadsheet.    
  • Course review and round-up