D316 Petroleum Geology for Non-Geologists

Event Facts

  • 5 Oct. 2021
  • 6 Oct. 2021
  • 7 Oct. 2021
  • 12 Oct. 2021
  • 13 Oct. 2021
  • 14 Oct. 2021
Half-day sessions, starting in the mornings for the Americas and afternoons for Europe, Africa and Middle East. Any variation to this will be communicated in advance.
Event Code:
6 sessions
Randi Martinsen
Booking Status:
Good Availability
USD $2,790 (Exclusive of tax)

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.

Randi Martinsen

Randi is a certified petroleum geologist with 35 years experience (domestic and international) working in industry, consulting and teaching. She started her career with Cities Service Company, Denver, CO.  Subsequently, she became a consultant and has worked for numerous companies including Shell, BP, Cities Service, ARCO, Norsk-Hydro, Gupco, Anadarko and Baker Hughes as well as Nautilus, and has provided expert witness testimony on several occasions. She has also been a Lecturer in Geology and Geophysics at the University of Wyoming for more than 30 years and has taught courses in petroleum geology and engineering, stratigraphy, reservoir characterization and introductory physical geology, conducted research and supervised graduate students. Her research focuses on developing and improving geologic models useful for hydrocarbon exploration and production and she has numerous publications in this area.

Currently, she is transitioning to retiring from UW so as to be able to commit more time to her newly formed company, Hydrocarbon InSight, LLC. She has received several best paper awards, including the AAPG Levorsen Award. She was a member of the National Research Council Panel on the Review of the Oil Recovery Demonstration Program of the Department of Energy,

Affiliations and Accreditation
MSc Northern Arizona University - Geology
BSc S.U.N.Y (Stony Brook) - Earth and Space Science
AAPG President (2014-2015)
AAPG Associate Editor and Treasurer
Board of the Petroleum Technology Transfer Council (PTTC)

Courses Taught
N244: Clastic Reservoir Prediction Using Advanced Sequence Stratigraphic Interpretation (Wyoming, USA)
N316: Geology for Non-Geologists
N451: Practical Oil-Finders Guide to Siliciclastic Sequence Stratigraphy (Wyoming)
N463: Geological Drivers for Tight-Oil and Unconventional Plays in the Powder River Basin and Applications to Other Basins (Wyoming, USA)
N913: Petroleum Geology for Engineers

Alternative Dates for this Course

Related Subjects

Great class to learn about geology in 3 days.