Oil and Gas

Oil and Gas | Unconventional Resources

Unconventional Resource Assessment and Valuation

Course Code: N406
Instructors:  Creties JenkinsMark McLane
Course Outline:  Download
Format and Duration:
4 days
8 sessions

Next Event

Location: Virtual
Date:  18th - 21st Mar 2024
Start Time: 14:00 GMT
Event Code: N406a24V
Fee From: USD $4,500 (exc. Tax)


Probabilistic techniques and a staged approach are applied to make good decisions about which projects to invest in and how to wisely spend limited capital. This is critically important, given the risks and uncertainties inherent in these plays, as well their technical complexities and limited datasets.

Business impact: This course provides the strategies, tactics, and tools needed to effectively assess and value oil and gas resource plays.

Please note this course is offered in partnership with Rose and Associates. They will deliver and provide all logistics for the course.


Event Code: N406a24V
Sessions: 8 sessions
Instructors: Creties Jenkins, Mark McLane
Dates: 18th - 21st Mar 2024
Start Time: 14:00 GMT
Location: Virtual
Fee From
USD $4,500 (exc. Tax)
Good Availability
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Duration and Training Method

This is a classroom or virtual classrom comprising a mixture of lectures, discussion, exercises, and a capstone project incorporating the course concepts.

Course Overview

Participants will learn to:

  1. Use probability as a language for communicating uncertainty, including the use of log-probability plots to effectively display distributions.
  2. Quantify the mean and variance of parameters such as in-place volumes, initial well rates, and ultimate recoveries.
  3. Understand the key risks and uncertainties inherent in appraising and developing unconventional reservoirs.
  4. Estimate the chances of geologic and economic success.
  5. Understand the impact of aggregation, the use of confidence curves, and the utility of sequential aggregation plots to assess project performance.
  6. Grasp the elements of probabilistic production forecasting, including the aggregation of production volumes to the project level.
  7. Understand the unique practices and pitfalls of estimating resources and Reserves in unconventional reservoirs.
  8. Use decision trees and value-of-information exercises to make better decisions about what data to acquire. 
  9. Use limited datasets and imperfect information to better quantify the range of possible outcomes.
  10. Apply a stage-gate process to maximize value by assuring focus on the right risks and uncertainties at each stage.

Day 1 focuses on the key risks and uncertainties faced in assessing unconventional reservoirs and then turns to the fundamentals of probability as a means of communicating uncertainty. Day 2 begins by improving our ability to estimate under uncertainty and then applies these techniques to estimate in-place volumes and the chance of geologic success.  Day 3 focuses on the principles of aggregation and applies these to production forecasting and resources & reserves estimation. Day 4 shows how decision trees and value-of-information approaches can help us, followed by discussions of how we can make better decisions with limited data and how projects should be assessed using a decision stage approach. The course concludes with a Capstone exercise that encompasses the concepts covered in the course.

Topic 1

  • Introduction
    • Determinism vs. probabilism
    • Failure to attain production and value in unconventional reservoirs
    • The need for a decision-stage approach
  • Work Processes and Deliverables in Unconventional Reservoirs
    • Key risks and uncertainties to consider
    • Data to gather and analyze
    • Work to undertake, associated deliverables, examples
  • Probability, Distributions, and Dependencies
    • Definitions and distribution types, measures of central tendency and dispersion
    • Use of log-probability plots
    • Correlations and dependencies

Topic 2 

  • Estimating Under Uncertainty
    • Use of probabilistic ranges
    • Impacts and mitigation of bias
    • Making multiple independent estimates
  • Estimating In-Place Volumes
    • Dealing with input uncertainty
    • Determining gas-in-place in a high-graded area (exercise)
    • Graphical, parametric, and Monte Carlo approaches
  • Determining Chance of Success
    • Geologic (Pg) and economic (Pe) chance of success
    • Determining key chance elements in a tight gas reservoir (exercise)
    • Determining chance of success for a shale play (exercise)

Topic 3

  • Aggregation Principles
    • How aggregation works and its impact
    • Developing and using aggregation (trumpet) plots, confidence curves, and sequential aggregation plots
    • Modelling uncertainty around the mean initial rate (UaMIP)
  • Quantifying Production Forecast Uncertainty
    • Comparison of empirical and model-based methods
    • Steps for building production type-curves
    • Quantifying forecast uncertainty
  • Estimating Resources and Reserves in Unconventional Reservoirs
    • Resources other than reserves (prospective, contingent)
    • Reserves (PRMS, COGEH, SPEE Monograph 4)
    • Probabilistic methods for undeveloped reserves (SPEE Monograph 3)

Topic 4

  • Decision Trees and the Value of Information
    • Coin flip value of information (game)
    • Using perfect vs. imperfect information
    • Use of Bayes theorem and examples
  • Making Better Decisions with Limited Data
    • Building EUR envelopes using log-probability plots
    • Montney Shale and Permian Wolfberry reservoir exercises
  • Decision Stage Assessment
    • Project stages and relevance
    • Objectives and tactics associated with each stage
    • Economic modeling and portfolio ranking

Topic 5

  • Utopia Shale Capstone Exercise
    • Sweetspot mapping, petrophysics, and STOOIP estimation
    • Selection of completion techniques and production type curves
    • Using confidence curves to optimize the number of pilot wells to drill
    • Calculation of expected value and bidding for leases
    • Drilling of winning team’s wells and exercise debrief

This course is intended for geoscientists, engineers, commercial team members, business analysts, and managers charged with creating value from their unconventional resources.

Creties Jenkins

Creties Jenkins is a Partner with Rose and Associates where he specializes in the characterization of unconventional reservoirs including tight sandstones and carbonates, shales, and coals. Creties has conducted integrated studies, peer reviews, training, and resources assessment work for 50+ companies around the world and has conducted 100+ industry courses and workshops focused on the exploration, appraisal, and development of tight oil and gas reservoirs. Creties’ career has included stints at Tenneco Oil (1986-88), ARCO (1988-2000), and DeGolyer and MacNaughton (2000-2012).

Creties has served as a technical editor, distinguished lecturer, and distinguished author for SPE.  He is a past president of the Energy Minerals Division of AAPG and a recipient of AAPG’s 2017 Distinguished Service Award. Creties is also a co-author of SPEE Monograph 4: Estimating Ultimate Recovery of Developed Wells in Low-Permeability Reservoirs (2016) and led a Multi-Professional Society Summit: Building and Applying the Universal Workflow for Low Permeability Oil and Gas Reservoirs (2017).

Affiliations and Accreditation
MSc South Dakota School of Mines - Geology
BSc South Dakota School of Mines - Geological Engineering
Registered Professional Geoscientist (Texas)
Registered Professional Engineer (Texas)

Courses Taught
N313: Evaluating Resource Plays: The Geology and Engineering of Low Permeability Oil and Gas Reservoirs
N406: Unconventional Resource Assessment and ValuationN313: Evaluating Resource Plays: The Geology and Engineering of Low Permeability
N464: Fractured Reservoir Assessment and Integration to Full Field
N510: Mitigating Bias, Blindness and Illusions in E&P Decision Making

Mark McLane

Mark A. McLane is a Partner in the international consulting firm of Rose & Associates, LLP.

He has a diverse technical and business background spanning more than 25 years in the petroleum industry. He joined Rose & Associates in January 2000 after three years with Pioneer Natural Resources and 17 Years with Exxon Company, U.S.A. He has co-authored several technical papers, served on the Professional Ethics/Registration Panel at the 2003 SPE ATCE in Denver, Colorado, and was a Distinguished Lecturer of the Society of Petroleum Engineers on the topic of “Reserve Overbooking – An Issue of Professional Ethics” in 2004 and 2005. He has taught courses for the SPE, AAPG, EAGE, and the Houston Geological Society.

Affiliations and Accreditation
BSc University of Texas - Petroleum Engineering

Courses Taught
N406: Unconventional Resource Assessment and Valuation

CEU: 2.8 Continuing Education Units
PDH: 28 Professional Development Hours
Certificate: Certificate Issued Upon Completion
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