Basic Petroleum Technology PRINCIPLES

This program will be delivered virtually through PetroAcademy™ providing participants with the knowledge they need at their convenience. All learning activities are self-paced and can be completed at any time. PetroAcademy™ FAQ


LEVEL: Basic

DURATION: Approximately 20 hours of self-paced work


DESIGNED FOR:  Those who need to achieve a context and understanding of E&P technologies, and the role of technical departments in oil and gas operations. An understanding and use of oilfield terminology is developed.

ABOUT THIS COURSE: This course provides the participant with an understanding of basic petroleum technology in the context of the Petroleum Value Chain, from exploration to abandonment. The participant will understand how and when geoscience and engineering professionals use technology to find, then determine and optimize the economic value of an oil and gas field. This enables the participant to maximize their professional and administrative contribution in their organization.

This course is comprised of the following skill modules (approx. 4 hours each)

  • E&P Industry and Asset Life Cycle
  • Petroleum Geology
  • Hydrocarbon Reservoirs
  • Rock and Fluid Properties
  • Surface/Subsurface Exploration
  • Drilling Operations and Well Completions
  • Production Operations

In this module you will learn about asset life cycle economics and the phases of the asset life cycle, including: exploration, appraisal, development and production, including mature production and enhanced oil recovery. You will also learn about the historical, geographical, and modern context of the petroleum industry; its organization, the petroleum value chain, and economic drivers.



  • Historical petroleum occurrences and usage
  • The phases of the E&P asset life cycle
  • The objectives and processes of the exploration phase of the E&P asset life cycle
  • The objectives, processes, and economic metrics of the appraisal phase of the E&P asset life cycle
  • The objectives and processes involved in the development and production phase of the E&P asset life cycle
  • The objectives and processes involved in the mature production phase in the E&P asset life cycle
  • Basic reserves and production value concepts

In this module you will learn about Earth structure and plate tectonics; types of rocks, the rock cycle, clastic, biogenic, and chemical source sedimentary rocks. Historical geology depositional environments and global vs. regional stratigraphy.



  • The Earth's structure
  • The Earth's structure, continental drift, and plate tectonics role in oil and gas exploration
  • Rock types and classification in an oil and gas context
  • The relationship between depositional environments and geological settings
  • The importance of historical geology to finding oil and gas accumulations
  • The relative age of rocks and how we date the rocks and understand the paleo climate
  • The relationships between global and regional stratigraphy


In this module you will learn about basins and plays, unconventional resources, and petroleum systems. You will also learn about structural stratigraphic traps and reservoir mapping.



  • Exploration concepts
  • Elements of a successful petroleum system
  • Key differences between unconventional and conventional petroleum systems
  • Different types of structural traps
  • Different types of stratigraphic traps
  • Features of structural contour and isopach maps

In this module you will learn about reservoir rock properties: porosity and permeability, grain size, distribution, and sorting. You will also learn about reservoir fluids, physical and chemical properties, and the impact on these properties at reservoir and surface conditions. Reservoir classification and phase diagrams are also discussed. In the Hydrocarbon Recovery section you will learn about primary recovery drives such as dissolved gas (solution gas) drive, water drive, gas cap expansion drive, and combination drives. You will also learn about enhanced oil recovery, including secondary and tertiary recoveries such as water flood, miscible flood, steam cycle, and steam drive, along with expected recovery efficiencies.



  • The basic reservoir rock properties and the significance of core samples
  • The factors that affect porosity and how it is measured
  • The factors that affect permeability and how it is measured
  • How grain size, distribution, and sorting controls reservoir quality
  • How to estimate reservoir economic potential
  • The fundamental classification of hydrocarbons as paraffin, naphthene and intermediate series
  • API gravity classification and nomenclature for different crudes
  • Reservoir conditions and stock tank conditions, and their effect on reservoir fluids
  • The relationship between fluid properties and phase behavior
  • The importance of phase diagrams to understanding reservoir behavior
  • How to differentiate conditions expressed on a phase diagram
  • How to relate fluid properties and phase diagram conditions to "our reservoir"

In this module you will learn about basins, plays and risk analysis, mineral ownership and contracts; surface exploration technologies, such as gravity, magnetic and geochemical surveys, and seismic imaging and interpretation. Subsurface technologies such as mud logging, appraisal wells, coring, well logging, and drill stem testing.



  • The roles involved in exploration
  • About basins, plays, leads, prospects, and geological risk
  • Different types of oil and gas contracts
  • The purpose and types of surface exploration technologies
  • The purpose and function of seismic surveys
  • The basic structural information from a seismic survey
  • The role of exploration and appraisal wells
  • Formation evaluation tools used during the exploration phase including mudlogging and LWD, well logging and cores, and well tests (DST)

In this module you will learn about well function, onshore and offshore drilling, drilling programs, drilling rig components, and drilling systems; including drilling, rotating, fluid, and blowout prevention systems. You will also learn about casing and cementing, wellhead installation, types of well completions, formation damage, well perforation, sand control strategies, and well stimulation.



  • The advantages and disadvantages of early and modern types of drilling styles
  • Rig type classification and selection for onshore and offshore drilling
  • Types of platforms and techniques used for offshore rigs
  • The purpose and function of non-vertical drilling, including directional and horizontal drilling
  • The components of a drilling system
  • The components of a drilling rig
  • The drilling systems of a rig
  • The purpose and function of the rotating system
  • Drilling fluid properties and function
  • Purpose and function of blowout preventers
  • Purpose of casing and cementing
  • Purpose and function of the wellhead
  • Overview of different types of well completions
  • Formation damage
  • Methods of well perforation
  • Sand production problems and control strategies in reservoirs
  • Common well stimulation strategies

In this module you will learn about production roles; artificial lift, including beam pumps, gas lift, and submersible pumps. Production logging and workover operations. You will also learn about the integrated production system, fluid separation, emulsion breaking, crude products, gas separation and natural gas processing, NGL usage, and natural gas conversion to LNG and GTL.



  • The contrasting roles of reservoir and production engineers
  • The different types of artificial lift
  • The purpose of production logging and workover operations
  • How the integrated production system prepares hydrocarbons for transportation
  • About oil separation and processing
  • About gas separation and processing
  • How natural gas is distributed


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