D316 Petroleum Geology for Non-Geologists

Course Facts

Course Code:
3 days
Virtual Classroom
2.4 Continuing Education Units
24 Professional Development Hours
Certificate Issued Upon Completion


Business Impact: This course introduces non-geologists to the vocabulary and methods used by geoscientists to explore for and develop hydrocarbon reservoirs.

Topics include an overview of geologic concepts and principles (e.g. geologic time, sedimentary rock classification, rock layering, plate tectonics, rock deformation); depositional systems; subsurface temperature and pressure; formation, migration and trapping of petroleum; exploration and production practices; reservoir characterization; and dealing with risk and uncertainty.

Duration and Training Method

A virtual classroom course divided into 6 three-hour long webinars sessions over a two-week period (equivalent to a three-day classroom course) comprising of lectures supported by hands-on exercises related to data interpretation, correlation, mapping and exploration strategies.

Participants will learn to:

  1. Describe the various components of geology, including the Earth’s crust, rocks and minerals, geologic time, stratigraphic relationships, plate tectonics and rock deformation.
  2. Identify geologic methods and data that are used to describe reservoir properties and geometry, and to monitor production.
  3. Discuss how the different depositional environments of reservoirs affect their geometry and quality.
  4. Recognize the usefulness of sequence and seismic stratigraphy in exploration and production.
  5. Explain the importance of porosity and permeability to the production of hydrocarbons and how geology controls porosity and permeability.
  6. Describe petroleum formation, with reference to organic matter, maturation, migration, preservation and alteration.
  7. List the essential elements and processes in a petroleum system.
  8. Recognize how an understanding of petroleum systems, and the geoscience that underpins our understanding of petroleum systems, helps to manage risk and uncertainty in exploration and production.
  9. Identify strategies for managing risk and uncertainty.
  10. Describe how geology impacts reservoir heterogeneity, sweep efficiency and ultimately the amount of hydrocarbon-in-place that can be recovered.

Participants will gain an understanding of key geoscience topics, including:

  • Nature of the Earth and Earth processes
  • The importance of recognizing the environment of deposition of source and reservoir rocks and how depositional environment affects reservoir quality, geometry and distribution
  • How oil and gas are distributed within the pore systems of rocks
  • The essential elements of a Petroleum System (source, reservoir, trap, seal and migration) and how they relate to each other and to the distribution of petroleum
  • How geoscientific data are used to understand, assess and predict the location of petroleum accumulations
  • How petroleum is produced

Topics covered:

1. Foundations of Geology

  • Why study geology?
  • Earth’s crust, rocks and minerals
  • Geologic time
  • Plate tectonics

2. Sediments & Sedimentary Rocks

  • Types and characteristics of clastic rocks
  • Types and characteristics of carbonate & evaporite rocks
  • Depositional environments

3. Rock Deformation

  • Fractures, faults & folds
  • Structural styles and plate tectonics

4. Geoscientific Data and Methods

  • Rock data
  • Geophysical data
    - Well logs, seismic, gravity & magnetics
  • Pressure data
  • Cross-sections & maps

5. The Petroleum System

  • Formation of petroleum
  • Migration and accumulation
  • Conventional trap accumulations
  • Unconventional accumulations

6. Petroleum Exploration

  • Methods
  • Risk and uncertainty

7. Petroleum Production

  • Reservoir drives
  • Improved and enhanced oil recovery
  • Reservoir characterization

Who should attend

Anyone who works in the petroleum industry and has little or no prior knowledge of geology (e.g., landmen, accountants, information technologists and secretarial staff).

Prerequisites and linking courses

No prerequisites and technical background needed. This course can serve as an introduction to many of the geoscience courses within the Nautilus Training Alliance. These are fully described on the website training.rpsgroup.com.

Click on a name to learn more about the instructor

Randi Martinsen

Related Subjects

Great class to learn about geology in 3 days.