Oil and Gas

Oil and Gas | Oil and Gas Fundamentals

Petroleum Engineering for Non-Engineers

Course Code: N607
Instructors:  Detlef HallermannSaad Ibrahim
Course Outline:  Download
Format and Duration:
4 days


This course is designed to provide non-engineering petroleum industry technical professionals with a thorough overview of most key aspects of petroleum engineering technology and its applications. The course addresses engineering issues ranging from initial involvement with explorationists, reserves evaluation and field development, production optimization, and all the aspects of well drilling. The sessions will focus on relevant and practical issues; including real case studies.


This course is a very good overview of petroleum engineering, the drilling and completion processes and the work cycle from project inception to producing oil or gas. It is ideal for those without a technical background and limited knowledge of geology, land, and engineering. Those with a technical background and experience with geology and engineering will not see much value from this course.

Duration and Training Method

This is a four-day course, providing 3.2 CEUs (Continuing Education Credits) or 32 PDHs (Professional Development Hours).

Course Overview

Participants will learn to:

  1. Describe the responsibilities of petroleum engineers and other industry professionals in devising field development plans.
  2. Identify the geoscience products required by a petroleum engineer.
  3. Describe key rock and reservoir fluid properties.
  4. List the steps in drilling and completing a well.
  5. Discuss reservoir drive mechanisms.
  6. List several methods to determine reserve volumes.
  7. Discuss the various factors that influence field development decisions.
  8. Discuss well performance and challenges to optimizing production.
  9. List selection criteria for EOR projects.
  10. Discuss the challenges of developing unconventional resources.
  11. Explain the components of a field economic analysis.

Day One


  1. Overview
    • Oil and gas reserves breakdown
    • The main components of oil/gas field development plans briefing the role of each discipline (engineers, geologists, geophysicists, petrophysicts, landmen, etc.)
  2. Reservoir Geology
    • Geologic cycle
    • Depositional environment
    • Types of reservoir rocks
    • Main elements of petroleum reservoirs
    • Geological maps


  1. Rock properties
    • Types of rock porosity and measurements
    • Definitions of formation permeability and measurements
    • Rock wettability and effect on field performance
    • Capillary pressure
    • Case Study from Ekofish (Norway)
  2. Fluid properties
    • Hydrocarbon classifications and fluid sampling
    • Phase envelops description of oil and gas field
    • Physical properties of oil and gas fields
    • Methods of fluid sampling and PVT analysis

Day Two


  1. Well drilling and completion methods
    • Background history
    • Well construction/drilling
  2. Rotary drilling
    • Description of rotary systems
    • Hoisting system
    • Rotary system
    • Pipe connection, BOP, tubing and casing hangers
    • Top drive method
  3. Drilling fluids
    • Function of drill mud
    • Physical properties of drill mud
    • Water and oil base
    • Mud weight, viscosity, fluid loss
  4. Drill bits
    • Types of drill bits
    • Design and performance
  5. Other drilling equipments (drill collars, stabilizers, underreamer)
    • Drilling operation/problems
    • Stuck drillpipe (mechanical and differential sticking)
    • Equivalent circulating density (ECD)
    • Swabbing and surging
    • Well kicks and blowout
    • How to increase rate of penetration (ROP)
  6. Underbalanced drilling and coiled tubing drilling


  1. Horizontal/directional well drilling
    • Stages of drilling and types of Hz wells
    • Design considerations
    • Kickoff points
    • Types of casing
    • Rotary vs sliding drilling
    • Downhole motors and geo-steering technique
  2. Offshore drilling
    • Safety considerations
    • Types of drilling rigs
    • Differences between onshore and offshore drilling techniques
  3. Well completion techniques
    • Open hole, cased hole, and gravel pack
    • Process of cementing the casing
    • Well perforation
  4. Formation Evaluation Techniques
    • Mud logging
    • coring
    • Open hole logs
    • Logging while drilling (LWD) and measure while drilling (MWD)
    • Wireline testing

Day Three


  1. Reservoir drives and reserves determination
  2. Reservoir derives
    • Primary and secondary recoveries
    • Types of reservoir drives and impact on performance
  3. Reserves determination
    • Reserves classification and definitions
    • Volumetric and material balance methods
    • Decline analysis
    • Probabilistic method
    • Empirical method to estimate recoverable reserves


  1. Reservoir delineation & development
    • Structure of oil companies (past and now)
    • Field development considerations
    • Micro aspects (well design)
    • Macro aspects (number of wells, production profile)
  2. Types and applications of artificial lift
    • Impact on field performance
    • Different techniques (advantages and disadvantages)
  3. Horizontal well applications
    • Benefits of horizontal wells
    • Geological, completion, and drilling risks
  4. Well productivity and case studies 

Day Four


  1. Production operations and optimization
    • Methods estimating well performance
    • Operational problems (diagnostic and remedy methods)
  2. Well testing
    • Equipment used in well testing
    • Objectives setting of well testing
    • Types of well tests
    • Flow/buildup test and analysis
    • Formation damage
    • Drawdown testing and reservoir limit testing (RLT)
    • Case study
  3. Well stimulation methods (acidizing and fracing)


  1. Enhanced Recovery Mechanism
    • Oil recovery mechanisms
    • Types of EOR and screening
    • Planning of a waterflood design
    • Monitoring of waterflood project
  2. Review chemical and CO2 floods
  3. Unconventional Oil and Gas
    • Oil sands and thermal recovery (steam injection and in-situ combustion
    • Coal bed methane (CBM)
    • Shale gas and oil shale and the applications of horizontal wells with multi fracing
  4. Economics
    • Input data to economic evaluation
    • The concept of discounting cash flow
    • Various economic profitability indices
    • Example of running economics of well drilling
  5. Closing comments

This course is aimed at oil and gas professionals who interact with petroleum engineers. This would include geoscientists, technical assistants, drilling and operations engineers, finance and accounting staff, land and IT staff, and administrative assistants. The course would also benefit new-hire staff who are not familiar with the industry.

Detlef Hallermann

Detlef Hallermann earned an M.S. and a Ph.D. from the Colorado School of Mines, an MBA from the University of Denver, and a B.S. in Petroleum Engineering from Texas A&M University. He is currently Program Leader for the Reliant Energy Trade Center at Texas A&M University, and an Adjunct Professor for Rice University involved in their Continuing Education Programs.

Dr. Hallermann has created programs related to almost all aspects of front and mid-office responsibilities for energy trading, and is well versed in oil and gas acquisitions, energy trading, and risk management.

Affiliations and Accreditation
MSc & PhD Colorado School of Mines - Mineral Economics
MBA University of Denver  - Finance
BSc Texas A&M University -  Petroleum Engineering

Courses Taught
N604:  Introduction to Energy Trading and Hedging

Saad Ibrahim

Saad Ibrahim has over 35 years of diversified experience in the Petroleum Industry in Western Canada and internationally, including projects in Libya, Yemen, Iran, Kazakhstan, Venezuela, Colombia, and Argentina, with special expertise in reservoir engineering/management with emphasis on field development planning, evaluation of depletion strategies and production optimization of a wide spectrum of oil and gas fields.

Other interests include well test planning and analysis using state of the art commercially-available software; the implementation of secondary and tertiary recovery schemes; and technical and economic evaluations of oil and gas properties for acquisition and divestiture ventures. 

For the past 25 years, Mr. Ibrahim has been a worldwide recognized instructor covering a wide range of petroleum engineering topics. He graduated from the University of Alexandria (Egypt) with B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering in 1973, and obtained a post-graduate diploma from the University of Calgary in Chemical and Petroleum Engineering in 1983. Saad is a member of the APEGA, and the SPE.

Affiliations and Accreditation
Post-Graduate Diploma University of Calgary - Chemical and Petroleum Engineering
BSc University of Alexandria - Mechanical Engineering
Member of the APEGGA, SPE and CIM

Courses Taught
N607 - Petroleum Engineering for Non-Engineers (4 Day)
N614 - Fundamentals of Reservoir Engineering
N623 - Petroleum Engineering for Non-Engineers (2 Day)

CEU: 2.8 Continuing Education Units
PDH: 28 Professional Development Hours
Certificate: Certificate Issued Upon Completion
RPS is accredited by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) and is authorized to issue the IACET CEU. We comply with the ANSI/IACET Standard, which is recognised internationally as a standard of excellence in instructional practices.
We issue a Certificate of Attendance which verifies the number of training hours attended. Our courses are generally accepted by most professional licensing boards/associations towards continuing education credits. Please check with your licensing board to determine if the courses and certificate of attendance meet their specific criteria.