The Petroleum Industry: Upstream and Downstream is a 2-day course, powerpacked with a broad overview of the petroleum industry, that will start with earth structure and sedimentary rocks and will take you though the process of petroleum formation and accumulation, exploration, production into the realm of the economics and the business of petroleum.

Course subjects include:

  • Earth structure, plate tectonics and sedimentary rocks: An overview of the structure of Earth’s crust, plate tectonics, global tectonics through time and the formation and types of sedimentary rocks as pertains to the formation and accumulation of petroleum.
  • Origin and accumulation of petroleum: Chemical and physical characteristics of petroleum. An overview of source rock characteristics, generation, migration and entrapment of petroleum. An overview of trap characteristics, trap types, reservoir rock characteristics, seals and sealing surfaces, subsurface water and pressures. [Examination of reservoir and source rock]
  • Exploration: An introduction to gravity, magnetic and seismic surveying. An overview of seismic interpretation. Volumetric calculations. Maps and cross-sections. Land ownership, mineral rights and the legal subdivision of land. Oilfield economics and the ‘life-cycle of an oil field’. [Brief exercise on contouring and mapping]
  • Drilling the well: Rig types. Off-shore & on-shore. Rotary drilling. Down-hole motors and horizontal borehole drilling. Directional drilling. Drilling hazards.
  • Evaluating the reservoir: Formation evaluation from drill cuttings, through core to petrophysical logs. Testing the reservoir. Drill-stem analysis. Fluid analysis. Reservoir drive mechanisms. Natural drive v tertiary recovery. Types of tertiary recovery options. Artificial lift options. [Practical exercise: determining shale volume, depth of invasion and Sw from logs]
  • Casing and completion: Evaluation. Casing, cementing and production. Off-shore and on-shore comparisons.
  • Field appraisal and development: Decision tree analysis, field requirements: off-shore and on-shore comparisons. Surface facilities: requirements and equipment.
  • Natural gas: Types of gas (LNG, LPG & GTL). Brief history of gas usage. Field handling of Natural Gas. Processing and distribution of Natural Gas. Markets and market growth for Natural Gas.
  • Crude oil * refining and petrochemicals: Types of crude. Feedstock. Refining processes. Petrochemicals and products. [Demonstration of different crude oils]
  • Petroleum and the market: Crude oil as a commodity. Markets, pricing and OPEC. Historical market trends, supply, over supply and demand. Comparison with other commodities (e.g. whale oil & coal). Marketing of natural gas and petrochemicals. Resource trends.
  • Summary and overview

You will come from this short course with an enhanced, broad level of understanding of the petroleum industry. You will develop a solid foundation of understanding and skill development that will be easier to enhance at some later date.

If you already feel comfortable with this subject matter, please consider the others in your team or company who may be geoscientists, graduate students, geophysicists, finance, accountants, geotechs, land dept, operations managers, administrators.

The event is organized and hosted by AAPG, a worldwide geoscience organization, with more than 36,000 members worldwide, and will take place June 9-10, 2010, at the Table Mountian Inn in Golden, CO. Cost and registration information is available at the AAPG’s website. A preliminary agenda is available at

Hotel Information:

Table Mountain Inn

1310 Washington Ave.

Golden, CO 80401

(303) 216-8033

Get your accomodations for $149/night by mentioning AAPG when you call for reservations. ($149/night offer only good until May 21st)

More Information:

Vicky Kroh

Education Registrar

+1 918 560-2650

Debbi Boonstra

Education Coordinator

+1 918 560-2630

Education Department

Toll Free (U.S. and Canada) +1 800 364 2274

Last 5 posts by Susan Nash

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