Oil and Gas

Oil and Gas | Oil and Gas Fundamentals

Petroleum Geology for Non-Geologists

Course Code: N373
Instructors:  Jon Noad
Course Outline:  Download
Format and Duration:
2 days
4 sessions

Next Event

Location: Virtual
Date:  30th Oct - 2nd Nov 2023
Start Time: 14:00 GMT
Event Code: N373a23V
Fee From: USD $2,055 (exc. Tax)


Business Impact: Application of the learnings of this course will empower participants to actively contribute to discussions on the geology of oil and gas fields.

Petroleum geology is the study of origin, occurrence, movement, accumulation, and exploration of hydrocarbons. This course will introduce the participants to the concepts essential to understanding petroleum geology, including basic geological principles; depositional systems; the play elements required for the development of an oil or gas field; the oil field life cycle; characterizing the reservoir and estimating hydrocarbon volumes.


Event Code: N373a23V
Sessions: 4 sessions
Instructors: Jon Noad
Dates: 30th Oct - 2nd Nov 2023
Start Time: 14:00 GMT
Location: Virtual
Fee From
USD $2,055 (exc. Tax)
Good Availability
Please login to book.

Duration and Training Method

This is a classroom or virtual classroom course comprising a mixture of lectures, videos and live examinations of rocks and fossils, discussion, and practical exercises.

Course Overview

Participants will learn to:

  1. Recognize that Geology is a science that is based upon careful observation and interpretation.
  2. Describe the basic composition and structure of the Earth, how it has evolved through plate tectonics, and how these aspects continue to affect the Earth today.
  3. Identify the main types of sedimentary rocks, the depositional environments in which they form, and how this impacts reservoir properties and geometries.
  4. Use aspects such as grain size, sedimentary structures, and fossils to determine the environment of deposition.
  5. List the play elements required to generate, migrate and trap hydrocarbons.
  6. Discuss how to characterize your reservoir in the subsurface, and what techniques can be applied to facilitate this process.
  7. Understand how hydrocarbons are generated, explored for, and produced, and how geology shapes reservoir performance.
  8. Review the technical specialists needed to work in an integrated oil and gas team.

Section 1: Basic Geology and the Oil Cycle

  • Structure of the Earth
    • Core, Mantle, and Crust
    • Plate tectonics
      • Continental Drift; Major plates and plate boundaries
      • Earthquakes and volcanoes
      • Evolution of the Earth
    • Igneous, Metamorphic, and Sedimentary rocks; The Rock Cycle; Minerals
  • Sedimentary rocks
    • Clastic versus Carbonate reservoirs
    • Characteristics of Clastic sedimentary rocks
      • Depositional settings
      • Types of clastic rocks and grain sizes
      • Sedimentary structures
      • Grain size, sorting, shapes
      • Colour, texture, and mineralogy
    • Types of carbonate rocks
      • Depositional settings
      • Carbonate grains
    • Diagenesis
    • Sequence stratigraphy; the impact of changes in relative sea level through time
  • Structural Geology
    • Folds; Basins; Faults and fractures
    • Geological time
  • Fossils
    • Body fossils; microfossils; trace fossils

Section 2: The Five Play Elements; Reservoir geology

  • Play elements
  • Introduction to the five play elements; Reservoir, Source Rocks, Seal, Trap, Timing; Definitions
  • Reservoir
    • Volumetrics: the STOIIP equation and what information is required
    • Assessment of Porosity and Permeability
    • Net:gross
    • Oil shrinkage factor
    • Recovery Factor
    • Brittleness and rheology: fractures 
    • Conventional versus Unconventional Reservoirs
  • Source rocks
    • Types of hydrocarbons and geochemistry
    • Kerogen; Evaluation;
    • Source rock maturity and Vitrinite reflectance;
    • Formation of oil and gas; Biomarkers
  • Seals
    • Geology and lithologies
    • Effectiveness and why seals may be breached; Overpressure
    • Spill points
  • Traps
    • Structural: Faults and fractures; anticlines
    • Stratigraphic: Depositional; Salt domes; Diagenetic traps and karst
    • Idealized workflow to assess structure;
  • Migration pathways and barriers; Timing

 Section 3: Evaluating Subsurface Sediments

  • Their importance in Exploration and Production
  • Remote sensing
    • Satellite imagery
    • Gravity and Magnetic data
    • Seismic data collection and interpretation; Fluid contacts
    • Seep data
  • Petrophysical well logs: Main types of logs and what they signify
    • Gamma ray
    • Resistivity
    • Spontaneous potential
    • Neutron density
    • FMI
  • Uses of well logs: correlation
  • Drill stem tests
  • Core, Chip samples, Cuttings
  • Volumetrics:
    • Critical economic questions
    • Mapping prospects
    • Dry well analysis
    • Volumetrics and risk
    • Field size distributions
  • Reservoir Geology
    • Building a picture of the reservoir; Archie equation; Reservoir drives

 Section 4: Applying Petroleum Geological Concepts

  • The Oil Cycle
    • Exploration, Appraisal; Production; Abandonment
    • Technical Roles and Responsibilities
      • Geologist
      • Geophysicist
      • Reservoir Engineer
      • Petrophysicist
      • Production Engineer
  • Exploration geology
    • Exploring for hydrocarbons
      • Overview of methodology; regional analysis; old datasets; remote sensing data; seismic stratigraphy; gross depositional environment maps; structure maps
      • Basin characterization
      • Tectono-stratigraphic framework
      • Play based exploration
    • Risk and Uncertainty; what we know and what we don’t
    • Examples of Standard plays; Extraordinary plays
  • Production geology
    • Mapping
    • Reservoir Evaluation and Reserves
      • Types of reserves; break even prices
      • Methods to estimate reserves: Material Balance; Decline curves; Reservoir simulation
    • Use of Well data
    • Enhanced oil recovery
    • 4D seismic
  • Final review: what have we learned?
    • Course summary
    • Further information sources

Anyone who works in the petroleum industry and has little or no prior knowledge of geology. The course will also provide a useful overview and refresher for those working in technical, non-geology related disciplines.

Jon Noad

Jon runs his own consultancy, monitoring construction projects as a Consulting Palaeontologist. He also leads Field Trips, Core Workshops and a variety of Classroom courses; teaches at several universities; and takes on a variety of consulting projects including core logging, Western Canadian oil, helium and mineral exploration; and sundry international assignments. Over the last two years he has added virtual field trips to his resumé, shooting hundreds of hours of videos in the field, many hosted on his own YouTube Channel.

Jon began his career in gold mining in South Africa, returning to the UK to work in marine cable laying. He completed a Masters in Sedimentology at evening classes, leading to a full time PhD, working in eastern Borneo, after which he joined Shell International working Middle East exploration and in several production roles. He moved to Shell Canada in Calgary in 2006, followed by senior geoscience roles at Murphy Oil Canada, Husky Energy and Gran Tierra Energy (Colombia).

He has more than 20 years of oil and gas related experience and specializes in clastic sedimentology (fluvial and shallow marine settings in particular), oil exploration and production, applied palaeontology and unconventional reservoirs. He continues to undertake fieldwork in western Canada and has published many papers and geological articles. His PhD. focused on the sedimentary evolution of eastern Borneo, while his Masters thesis examined the sequence stratigraphy of Cretaceous fluvial deposits in Dinosaur Provincial Park in Alberta. He was formerly President of the British Sedimentology Research Group (BSRG), the Petroleum Geology Circle of the Netherlands and was Director of CSPG. He has worked and run field trips in the UK, Malaysia, South Africa, USA, Canada and beyond.

Affiliations and Accreditation
PhD London University - Sedimentology
MSc London University - Sedimentology
BSc London University - Geology
P.Geo. Professional Geoscientist of Alberta
Consulting Paleontologist of Alberta
Natural Scientist (SACNAS, South Africa)

Courses Taught
N128:  Sedimentology, Stratigraphy and Reservoir Geology of Shoreline Clastic Systems (N Borneo)
N373:  Petroleum Geology for Non- Geologists

CEU: 1.4 Continuing Education Units
PDH: 14 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.