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Oil & Gas Exploration & Production Fundamentals

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Key Learning Objectives

  • Review the global make-up of the oil and gas industry, its jargon and its challenges
  • Gain awareness of basic petroleum geoscience, petrophysics and field appraisal
  • Discover petroleum exploration, drilling and evaluation/testing techniques and methods
  • Appreciate reservoir engineering and the uncertainty surrounding  resource/reserve estimation
  • Understand field development planning techniques, economic assessments and reservoir management
  • Determine the basic components of production engineering, managing field decline, processing and refining
  • Appreciate the balance between commercial and technical risk , uncertainty and opportunity in a project lifecycle
  • Review the design, construction, commissioning and decommissioning of facilities

About the Course

This intensive 2-day course will provide participants with a solid all round grounding in the technologies, concepts, methods and language used in upstream oil and gas projects.

The technical and commercial building blocks of oil and gas projects will be examined, and how a venture progresses; from the point of acquiring a license, through exploration, appraisal, concept selection and the development phase, into production, late field life and finally decommissioning.

The link to downstream is bridged with a discussion on refining and the LNG business.

Participants will learn to appreciate the impact of geological and reservoir uncertainty on concept selection and production management, and how the right combination of technology,business processes and decision making can improve project value.

Towards the end of the program, the critical roles of the many different disciplines and stakeholders involved in upstream projects will be discussed.

The commercial aspects of how oil and gas fields are evaluated and which profitability indicators are used to screen and rank projects will be analysed.

Who Will Benefit

This course is not a basic level introductory course. It has a specific techno-commercial focus for technical and business oriented professionals who are either new to the upstream oil and gas industry or experienced in one part but could benefit from a wider perspective.

  • Technical (exploration and production, geoscience and engineering)
  • Non-technical (commercial, finance, marketing and legal) backgrounds
  • Those who have recently joined an petroleum market development/project


Industry knowledge, ability to translate difficult concepts into layman terms and relevant experience (Australia Woodside) so able to give recent examples. Overall, really enjoyed the course and will apply daily in my role. Peter Moore exceptional choice of instructor..”
Associate, CT Partners

Great overview with enough detail to explain the concepts even if you have no technical background.”
Information Officer, NOPSA

Very knowledgeable, good ‘on the ground’ experience, kept the presentation moving along, very approachable.”
Divisional Manager, Aon Risk Services Limited

Everything – excellent balance of technical and commercial overview – enough detail, but none redundant.”
Stream Leader – Flow Assurance, CSIRO


Global energy context: oil and gas supply and demand

  • Main producing countries and regions – OPEC vs. non OPEC
  • Main consumers now and in future – can we deliver?
    – Money and muscle – the increasing power of the national oil companies
    – The exploration and production value chain – an overview of the asset management cycle

The petroleum system

  • Basins, basin formation, plate tectonics
  • Components of oil and gas accumulations – source, seal, reservoir, trap
  • Petroleum provinces of the world – geological framework
  • Gaining entry: exploration license types and agreements
    – Production sharing contracts vs. tax and royalty systems

Exploration methods

  • Gravimetry
  • Magnetometry
  • Seismic – 2D and 3D onshore and offshore
  • How much oil or gas to be found?
  • Valuing a prospect – risked volumes and expected monetary value
  • Outcrops and analogues
  • The environmental impact of exploration (EIA)

Practical activity: Country entry problem – to go or not to go

Drilling systems & techniques

  • Types of drilling rigs – onshore and offshore
  • The rotary system – conventional, top drive, rotary steerable
  • Drilling fluids, types and functions
  • Automated rigs
  • Well planning considerations
  • Site preparation
  • Drilling a well
  • Casing and cementing
  • Things that can go wrong – stuck pipe, overpressures, lost circulation, kicks
  • Well control
  • Mud logging

Reservoir description

  • Reservoir rock types
  • Depositional environments – the role of heterogeneity
  • Structures – faults, folds, fractures
  • Diagenesis and reservoir property modifications
  • Reservoir fluids and composition
  • Drive mechanisms – how does a well flow
  • Volumetric estimates and reserves classification
  • Well testing and reservoir surveillance – data gathering activities
  • Reservoir modelling and simulation

Field appraisal

  • Role of appraisal and uncertainty
  • More data vs. a more flexible concept
  • Appraisal planning
  • The value of information

Practical activity: Designing an appraisal strategy

Concept selection and field development planning

  • Defining requirements and specifications
  • HSE requirements in field development
  • From reservoir to surface – well completions and artificial lift
  • Basic processing equipment
  • The process flow scheme – from well head to refinery
  • Facilities options and concepts – onshore/offshore
  • Evacuation options

Petroleum economics

  • Elements of a project cash flow and commercial indicators
  • Discounting
  • Production profiles into revenue
  • Commercial risks, uncertainties and opportunities
  • Oil vs. gas
  • Profitability indicators used for oil and gas projects
  • Project screening and ranking
  • Economics vs. strategies – publicly traded companies vs. national oil and gas companies

Managing production

  • Managing the subsurface
  • Managing surface facilities and maintenance
  • De-bottlenecking
  • Managing the external factors

Managing field decline

  • Infill drilling
  • Workover activities
  • Facilities and process integrity issues
  • Enhanced oil recovery techniques
  • Incremental projects and near field opportunities

Refining and LNG

  • Review how crude oil is refined via a short movie
  • Understand the physical separation of crude via fractionation into the main fractions required for market ie gases, gasoline, diesel, kerosene, residue/heavy fractions
  • The LNG business; basic plant/process, separation into gas components and contaminants, and commercial impacts


  • Legislation
  • Economic vs. technical lifetime
  • Decommissioning funding
  • Decommissioning methods

On-site & in-house training

Deliver this course how you want, where you want, when you want – and save up to 40%! 8+ employees seeking training on the same topic?

Talk to us about an on-site/in-house & customised solution.


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