Complex Horizontal Wells — What Does the Geoscientist Need to Know?

Oil and gas shale plays, coal bed methane, conventional marginal assets, and UTG, new technologies such as horizontal wells, multibranch wells, MPD, and other complex well exploitation technologies — are great for economics, but tough on geoscientists trying to keep up with the knowledge base.  Now there is hope, through a series of workshops, including one to be held May 21, at the Colorado School of Mines.  A longer one will be held in November in Dallas.

Horizontal / complex well expert Bob Knoll is sharing his experience and expertise with geologists who want to cross-train to play key roles in their teams.

Bob Knoll - Horizontal and Complex Well Expert

Bob Knoll - Horizontal and Complex Well Expert

In the complex world of unconventional oil and gas, the geologist be a functioning member of an asset team, and he or she must know  something about drilling, reservoir engineering, geophysics, as well as petroleum geology.  It is important for asset teams to receive cross-training on the reservoirs as well as the technologies.

The AAPG and PTTC are making Bob’s knowledge accessible through workshops to be held this summer and fall.  Bob Knoll is one of the world’s leading horizontal/complex well experts.

May 14:  Morgantown, West Virginia.   Shale Plays and Horizontal Drilling.

May 19:  Oklahoma City, OK.  Shale Plays and Horizontal Drilling.

Thursday, May 21, 2009:  8:30 am – 5 pm; Colorado School of Mines (Golden, CO).  Fee: $250.  Keys to Complex Horizontal Well Economic Success.

November2-6, 2009: 8:30 – 5 pm; Ellison Miles Geotechnical Institute (Dallas, TX). Fee: $2,500. Optimizing Horizontal Well Applications – The Asset Team Approach (Not a drilling course, but an intense cross-training course for drilling supervisors and all asset team members)

Last 5 posts by Susan Nash

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4 comments on this post.
  1. George Devries Klein:

    AAPG needs to rethink its strategy regarding Continuing Education Courses. The majority of North American members work for small independnets or are consultants. They can’t afford $2,500 for the five day course in Dallas.

    SO who is the Dallas course for? With such a high fee, it bars the very people who need to take it.

    The AAPG CE program would get my support if it were priced more reasonably. I can enroll in equally-high quality CE courses from the Houston Geological Society for $90/day, and from the Houston SIPES Chapter for $150/day. Hence, those groups get my support. They are able to offer reasonably-priced courses by cutting overhead.

  2. Susan Nash:

    Thank you very much for your comment. Yes, the 5-day course is one of our most expensive courses. It is, at $2,500, still significantly less expensive than a similar Petroskills course, which costs $3,475 in Houston. Please feel free to contact the instructor, Bob Knoll, for more information and an explanation of the value proposition in his course. His email is:

  3. George Devries Klein:

    Why contact Mr. Knoll? Why can’t the AAPG CE office provide the information? After all, they bought into the fee so must have heard Mr. Knoll’s justification and rationale for the high fee before deciding to offer the course.

    At any rate, Ms. Nash, you missed the point. I won’t be registering for the course because of cost. However, AAPG needs to re-evaluate its CE course market. AAPG’s CE marketing is NOT aimed at the small and medium-sized independents and consultants who comprise a significant part of AAPG’s membership. That’s why you never see me at AAPG coruses.

  4. Susan Nash:

    George, I completely understand your point. These are very tough times, and a $2,500 course, even it if is priced at a lower cost than its competitors, is very hard to swallow. I worked for years with independents when I started out as a petroleum geologist (my father and brother are both geologists and AAPG members, as well as independents). I always found geological survey courses, the local society courses, and the PTTC courses were always an excellent bargain.

    Please keep in mind that in the case of local societies
    * instructors are local (no travel costs);
    * instructors donate their time (no honoraria);
    * facilities are donated (no conference center costs);
    * audio-visual, computer, etc. are donated;
    * food for meals, breaks, and receptions are donated or sponsored;
    * the organizations tend to consist of volunteers;
    * no overhead (not global organizations).

    In the case of the AAPG, there are costs. However, there are always opportunities to do a better job. I’m exploring ways to offer lower cost courses — for example, web-based courses that combine synchronous and asynchronous delivery.

    Yes, it’s amazing to see how expensive courses can be. Over the years, I’ve seen huge escalations in the costs of all kinds of courses — when I was working on my master’s and my doctoral degrees, in-state tuition at the University of Oklahoma was amazingly affordable. Now, even college courses are expensive. The rapid rise in tuition has been the subject of heated debate in the Chronicle of Higher Education – not just in technical or scientific courses, but also in the arts and humanities. People are outraged, and yet the colleges and universities are unable to meet their budgets. The days when colleges were subsidized by federal and state tax dollars are long past. We’re also looking at a moment in time when the reserves (endowments, foundations) have been hard hit, and have lost up to 60 percent of their portfolio values.

    I want to return to your original comment. I believe your point is well taken, despite all the extenuating circumstances that may allow an institution to defend its high tuition. We will renew our commitment to finding affordable solutions so that we can offer high-value courses at prices that are affordable to independents and small producers. I am not sure that it would ever be possible to compete with the local societies, where services and facilities are donated or subsidized by sponsors. Nevertheless, it is an excellent goal.

    Thank you very much for contacting us.