Petroleum Geology for Non-Geoscientists

Course Details

Course Description

This is a comprehensive course that exposes participants to the different facets of petroleum geoscience and its relationship to other disciplines. The course assumes no prior knowledge of geology and methodologically introduces the origin, migration, storage, and eventual extraction of oil and gas from the sub-surface.

Several exercises throughout the course create a ‘hands-on’ awareness of data used by geoscientists such as seismic, well-logs and core. Engineers will begin to understand the origin of the data they use in running simulations and creating well designs. Petroleum economists and finance personnel will develop a thorough understanding of the costs of data acquisition and processing. Managers will not only learn what costs are necessary and others that are not, but will also learn to gauge the quality of the work performed by their geoscientists.


This course is geared towards managers, engineers, IT personnel, geotechs (aka ‘data managers’), petroleum economists, HSE personnel, and petrophysicists. Participants will be not only get a broad overview as to what geoscientists in their teams do, but also what their capabilities are.

Course Outline

Day 1

The origin and accumulation of hydrocarbons: Organic matter and its preservation, Bitumen and Kerogen, Diagenesis, Catagenesis and Metagenesis, the Oil and Gas Window, Van Krevelan Diagrams, Measures of source rock quality (%TOC, Hydrogen Index, Pyrolysis Yield), source rock quantity (Vitrinite Reflectance), Primary and Secondary Migration.


From sediments to Reservoirs: Igneous, Metamorphic and Sedimentary Rocks, The rocky cycle, Gross Depositional Environments vs Environments of Deposition, Clastic Lithologies, Eolian Systems, Alluvial Fans, Fluvial Systems, Deltaic Systems, Shorefaces and Barrier Islands, Deepwater channels and lobes, Carbonate lithologies, platform types and facies, Evaporites and their role as seals.

Exercises on core-data

Day 2

Stratigraphic Principles and the Geological Time Scale, Lithostratigraphy, Sequence stratigraphy and its applications in the oil and gas business


Tectonics, sedimentary basins and structural styles, an introduction to faulting and folding, and structural traps, movement of salt and shale and the creation of traps

Global oil and gas field and the factors that control their geographic location and production

Day 3

Subsurface datasets and their use in oil and gas exploration and development: seismic data, well logs: Gamma Ray, Spontaneous Potential, Caliper, Resistivity, Porosity, Bulk Density, Borehole Image Logs, Core data and Thin-section data.


Exercises on Log Interpretation

Day 4

Reservoir Characterization of sandstone and carbonate reservoirs: Factors that control Porosity, Permeability, Net:Gross, Recovery Factor


Development and Production: Steps in operations geology, reservoir management, geomodeling, well planning and field development

Day 5

The business aspects of petroleum geology: The Exploration and Production Cycle, Leads vs Prospects, Plays and Play Elements, Risking and Probability of Success, Resources vs Reserves, Exercise on the deterministic method of reserve calculation.


Workshop on participant data

This course is conducted by request only and requires a minimum of 10 participants