Oil and Gas

Oil and Gas | Oil and Gas Fundamentals

Petroleum Geology for Engineers

Course Code: N913
Instructors:  Randi Martinsen
Course Outline:  Download
Format and Duration:
5 days


This course introduces petroleum engineers to the vocabulary, tools and methods used by geoscientists to explore for, evaluate and develop hydrocarbon reservoirs. Topics include depositional setting (clastic and carbonate reservoirs), trap development, the type of oil and gas charge and reservoir heterogeneity. Reservoir characterization is covered to describe how geology is used to build a high-resolution geological model that can be upscaled for reservoir simulation.


Great presentation from a knowledgeable tutor! Tutor kept the class moving & interesting! Very passionate about geology!

Duration and Training Method

A five-day classroom course comprised of lectures supported by mapping and seismic exercises. Participants work in groups on some exercises.

Course Overview

Participants will learn to:

  1. Categorize various components of geology, including the earth’s crust, rocks and minerals, geologic time, stratigraphic relationships, plate tectonics and rock deformation.
  2. Examine geologic methods and data that are used to describe reservoir properties and geometry, and to monitor production.
  3. Differentiate depositional environments of reservoirs and relate how environment affects reservoir geometry and reservoir quality.
  4. Illustrate the usefulness of sequence and seismic stratigraphy in exploration and production.
  5. Examine the geologic factors that control porosity and permeability.
  6. Analyze petroleum formation, with reference to organic matter, maturation, migration, preservation and alteration.
  7. Categorize the essential elements and processes in a petroleum system.
  8. Demonstrate how an understanding of petroleum systems helps to manage risk and uncertainty in exploration and production.
  9. Relate how geology impacts reservoir heterogeneity and sweep efficiency.
  10. Demonstrate the value of high resolution geologic models (HRGM) in reservoir simulation.

Participants will gain an understanding of key geoscience topics, including:

  • The importance of recognizing the environment of deposition of a reservoir and how it affects reservoir geometry and quality;
  • The sedimentary properties of clastic and carbonate pore systems;
  • How seismic techniques are applied to describe reservoir geometry and properties and to monitor producing reservoirs. Examples are shown of the impact of 3D seismic surveys on production geology;
  • Core lab methods that provide data to evaluate and characterize reservoirs; and
  • How reservoir characterization leads to full-scale dynamic model for efficient reservoir management.

Topics Covered

1. Foundations of Geology

  • Geologic Time
  • Plate Tectonics
  • Sedimentary Rocks
  • Rock Deformation
  • Geoscientific Methods and Data

2. Depositional Systems

  • Clastic Continental
  • Clastic Shallow Marine
  • Clastic Deepwater
  • Sequence and Seismic Stratigraphy
  • Carbonates

3. The Reservoir

  • Porosity
  • Permeability
  • Reservoir Fluids
  • Subsurface Conditions

4. The Petroleum System

  • Formation of Petroleum
  • Migration and Trapping
  • Petroleum Systems: Managing Risk and Uncertainty 

5. Conventional Hydrocarbon Traps

  • Structural
  • Stratigraphic
  • Hydrodynamic and Combination

6. Unconventional Resources

7. Reservoir Characterization and Modeling

  • Heterogeneity
  • Nugget Case Study
  • Building the 3D HRGM

Petroleum and reservoir engineers with 0 to 10 years of experience who have a limited understanding of the methods geologists use to quantitatively describe reservoirs and their behavior during production.

Randi Martinsen

Randi is a certified petroleum geologist with 35 years experience (domestic and international) working in industry, consulting and teaching. She started her career with Cities Service Company, Denver, CO.  Subsequently, she became a consultant and has worked for numerous companies including Shell, BP, Cities Service, ARCO, Norsk-Hydro, Gupco, Anadarko and Baker Hughes as well as Nautilus, and has provided expert witness testimony on several occasions. She has also been a Lecturer in Geology and Geophysics at the University of Wyoming for more than 30 years and has taught courses in petroleum geology and engineering, stratigraphy, reservoir characterization and introductory physical geology, conducted research and supervised graduate students. Her research focuses on developing and improving geologic models useful for hydrocarbon exploration and production and she has numerous publications in this area.

Currently, she is transitioning to retiring from UW so as to be able to commit more time to her newly formed company, Hydrocarbon InSight, LLC. She has received several best paper awards, including the AAPG Levorsen Award. She was a member of the National Research Council Panel on the Review of the Oil Recovery Demonstration Program of the Department of Energy,

Affiliations and Accreditation
MSc Northern Arizona University - Geology
BSc S.U.N.Y (Stony Brook) - Earth and Space Science
AAPG President (2014-2015)
AAPG Associate Editor and Treasurer
Board of the Petroleum Technology Transfer Council (PTTC)

Courses Taught
N244: Clastic Reservoir Prediction Using Advanced Sequence Stratigraphic Interpretation (Wyoming, USA)
N316: Geology for Non-Geologists
N451: Practical Oil-Finders Guide to Siliciclastic Sequence Stratigraphy (Wyoming)
N463: Geological Drivers for Tight-Oil and Unconventional Plays in the Powder River Basin and Applications to Other Basins (Wyoming, USA)
N913: Petroleum Geology for Engineers

CEU: 3.5 Continuing Education Units
PDH: 35 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.