Slide background

Technical Certifications

Short Courses

Field Courses
Slide background

Masters of Science

Petroleum Engineering

Training, Certifications & Degree

The global experience, expertise and industry-relevant research conducted by EGI research scientists and engineers are the fundamental building blocks for the knowledge, design, and delivery of Field and Short Courses offered to CA members. Course participants are taught by thought-leaders in the energy sector who bring an independent perspective to the major challenges facing the industry today.

The Marcellus Formation & the Allegheny Structural Front

A 2-day geologic field excursion in Pennsylvania and Maryland for companies working the Appalachian Basin. View the complete stratigraphic sequence, Cambrian through Carboniferous, focused on the Marcellus interval. Compare deformation in outcrop with seismic, focused on how mechanical stratigraphy affects deformation style. Discuss the Marcellus Petroleum System and its relationship to regional tectonics. Share insights for seismic interpretation and sweet spot identification.

Instructor: Lansing Taylor

Concepts of Basin and Petroleum Systems Modeling

This two-day course will introduce major aspects of Basin and Petroleum Systems Modeling in exploration. The course includes an overview of sedimentary basins and their classification scheme as well as of the petroleum system classification approach. Additionally, the course introduces participants to the most prominent geodynamic, physical, and geochemical processes acting on sedimentary basins through geologic time. Chapter summaries and exercises will help to understand and apply the theoretical aspects in modeling sedimentary basins for petroleum exploration purposes.

Instructor: Matthias Greb

Rifts & Passive Margins

The short course aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of rifts and passive margins as a whole. The aim is to synthesize existing information devoted to specific aspects of these most important hydrocarbon habitats. The short course, in its full length, assembles this information in one volume, in a manner that permits the knowledge to be used to assess the risks of exploring and operating in these settings and development of systematic and predictive hydrocarbon screening tools.

Instructor: Michal Nemcok

Structural Geology Primer Classroom

This classroom course provides a comprehensive introduction to the principals and tools of structural geology commonly used in the exploration and development of hydrocarbon resources. The course is designed to provide familiarity with a range of related subjects rather than proficiency in any single type of analysis. Upon completion, participants should be able to recognize the characteristic structural styles that form hydrocarbon traps and identify which additional methods might be beneficial for reservoir characterization.

Instructor: Lansing Taylor

Techniques in Play Fairway Analysis

This three-day course, suitable for geologists, exploration managers, and others involved in the exploration process, will review key tools and techniques used at each stage of the exploration process from Gross Depositional Environment (GDE) mapping, to building play cartoons and tectonographic diagrams, through constructing a fully integrated play fairway analysis applying the industry standard approach. The course includes two days exploration of the practical application of techniques and tools, through a 2D seismic and well-based exploration exercise to work through a real-world example of regional basin evaluation leading to acreage and a subsequent drilling campaign.

Instructor: Alastair Fraser

Geologic Characterization & Production Properties of Shale Plays

This course is an integrated multi-scale and multi-discipline course covering geology, geophysics, geochemistry, petroleum systems, petrophysics, geomechanics, drilling, reservoir engineering, and production engineering. It begins with an introduction to shale geology source rock characteristics, and follows with shale reservoir characterization, sweet spot prediction, and production characteristics. The course focuses on and compares shales widely deposited in the U.S. and China in marine, transitional, and lacustrine settings spanning in age from Pre-Cambrian to Quaternary.

Instructor: Shu Jiang

Strike-slip Settings & Transform Margins

The short course strategy, in its full form, is to develop a new and better appreciation of the factors controlling structural architecture, basin development, and fluid flow in transform margin settings (Structural architecture). Synthesis of this knowledge is then used to tackle what is perhaps the most enigmatic aspect of these environments−the factors controlling thermal regimes and temperature peculiarities of transform margin settings (Thermal regimes). The final phase (Petroleum systems) is the interpretation of petroleum systems based on the results of the two previous phases. Special attention is given to the deep water portion of transform margin– the large frontier region, starting to become touched by exploration in 2007-2012. This short course is a resource for exploration geologists, exploration scientists, oil company managers and students.

Instructor: Michal Nemcok

Structural Geology for Unconventional Development

A 2-day classroom course on two methods of structural geology for the characterization and development of unconventional resources.

Folding and faulting are two natural process that perturb subsurface stress, in uence the attributes of hydraulically-induced fractures, and impact reservoir quality for unconventional resources. This course covers two methods used to characterize changes in reservoir geomechanics caused by the geologic process of folding and faulting. The methods are: 1) curvature analysis and 2) discontinuity analysis. These techniques are used to transform geologic horizon maps and fault interpretations into spatial predictions of reservoir performance and completion quality.

Instructor: Lansing Taylor

Petroleum Geochemistry & Basin Evaluation

This three-day course is an introduction to petroleum geochemistry concepts and applications for basin-scale evaluations. The course is designed for petroleum geologists with little exposure to geochemistry, geochemists with experience in conventional, but not unconventional, petroleum systems, and geochemists and geologists new to basin modeling and regional exploration. The course begins with a review of source rock description using qualitative and quantitative methods. The main focus is basin-scale evaluation and students will learn to calibrate basin models, increase model precision, and integrate oil and gas data (i.e., biomarkers, isotopes). The class will conclude with an interactive working session to evaluate host company data collaboratively.

Instructor: David Thul

Shale Gas Resource Development

This two-day course provides a concise summary of the varying facets of shale gas development from resource identification and assessment, through production analysis, completion, stimulation technology, and environmental concerns. This course will emphasize describing and understanding the features of shale gas reservoirs that distinguish them from conventional gas reservoirs. This multi-disciplinary approach requires participants to think beyond their own specialties and apply lessons learned from conventional resource development while recognizing the need to develop new paradigms where needed. The course is presented as 1 ½-day theory with a half-day of discussion and further development.

Instructors: Ian WaltonJohn McLennan

Play Fairway Analysis for Unconventional Petroleum Systems

This three-day course focuses on exploration, delineation, and risk assessment of the unconventional systems commonly termed “shale plays”— often a misnomer used to describe petroleum systems characterized by short distance migration and tight reservoirs that require advanced drilling and completion techniques to produce economic volumes of petroleum. The course will cover regional and basin scale evaluation of source, seal, trap, and reservoir quality in these plays, using industry standard techniques modified for the unique characteristics of the unconventional petroleum system.

Instructor: David Thul


Thrustbelts are likely to be productive sources of hydrocarbons well into the future. Many new technical tools are enabling new discoveries, or the more efficient recovery of known reserves. The short course aims at providing a comprehensive account of thrust systems, including orogenic thrustbelts, transpressional ranges and accretionary prisms, and discuss both thin-skin thrust systems and thick-skin inversion structures. The short course, in its full length, includes major sections on the basic concepts, definitions and mechanics of thrust systems, the roles of syn-tectonic stratigraphy and fluid flow in determining structural style, the origins and nature of evolving thermal regimes in thrustbelts, and a thorough analysis of petroleum systems and hydrocarbon plays in thrustbelts. Case studies are presented with discussion of the potential applications of the technique, possible limitations and future developments. This short course is a resource for exploration geologists, exploration scientists, oil company managers and students.

Instructor: Michal Nemcok

Exploration for Unconventional Oil & Gas

This three-to-five day short course is intended for geologists, geophysicists, and engineers who desire a basic but comprehensive overview of current and emerging concepts, technologies, and processes related to shale gas and shale oil resource development. Examples are primarily taken from North American shale development, from the Barnett shale gas play to the Eagle Ford, Niobrara, and other liquids-rich shale plays. General learning and concepts are applicable worldwide.

Instructor: To be determined

Introduction to Geomechanics in Low Mobility Plays

This four-day course covers historical background and impact of stimulation decisions, along with Key Formation Properties of Low Mobility Plays, including storage, permeability, and stimulation requirements; Geomechanical Properties including stress, strain, strength, deformation properties, laboratory measurements, logging analyses, and field interpretation; and an Introduction to Hydraulic Fracturing & Implications for Low Mobility Situations with attention to principles for single, planar fractures, multiple interacting fractures, fluid requirements (volumes, sensitivity, etc.), geologic considerations, natural fractures, stress contrast, post-peak behavior, and lithologic considerations. The course also examines near-wellbore considerations for completing these types of wells. Additional issues to be addressed include wellbore integrity, reduced volumes, nonaqueous fluids, and air quality.

Instructor: John McLennan

Introduction to Petroleum Exploration & Production

This full-day course with an optional half-day workshop or evening activity is an introduction to key phases of the Oilfield Life Cycle, suitable for newly hired scientists and engineers, finance professionals, managers with backgrounds outside the petroleum industry, and support staff including geo-techs, engineering techs, data managers, and administrative support. Based on the model for the Oilfield Life Cycle, the course covers reconnaissance, prospect generation, discovery, reservoir delineation, facilities, primary production, enhanced recovery, and the acquire/divest phases. The optional half-day session includes hands-on simulation.

Instructor: To be determined

Petroleum Geomechanics: Fundamentals and Applications

As the industry moves from the era of easy oil/gas to challenging oil/gas, especially at the time of petroleum recession, lowering the operational cost, improving production, increasing the return of investment, and continued adherence to safety are becoming far more important than any time before. Thus a geomechanics specialist or engineer with a knowledge of geomechanics can play a significant role in improving field operations. However, petroleum geomechanics as an interdisciplinary course encompasses the fields of structural geology, logging interpretation, pore pressure prediction, rock-fluid interaction, rock mechanics, fracture mechanics, etc. Efficient integration of geomechanical fundamentals, laboratory testing and field observations, and proper interpretation and implementation of the results in the field are vital to assure positive outcomes. Therefore, we have tailored an in-house petroleum geomechanics course, and attempt to strike a balance between the theoretical and practical parts, and aim to maximize the practitioners’ benefits by properly implementing geomechanics techniques in daily operations.

Instructor: John McLennan, Ian Walton

Structural Geology Primer Field Course

This field trip compliments the 2-day Structural Geology Primer Classroom course by illustrating in outcrop many of the concepts discussed in the short course.

Located along the I-35 corridor south of Davis, Oklahoma, the Arbuckle Mountains contain excellent exposures of geologic structures at a wide range of scales. The Woodford and Caney Shales, as well as Oil Creek, Bromide and ‘big-four’ reservoirs are exposed. The Arbuckle Mountains consist of a meso-scale inversion structure reactivating the edge of the southern Oklahoma aulacogen and verging northward into a thin skin fold and thrust belt. Overprinting extensional fault patterns are well developed locally. At the outcrop scale, there are excellent examples of tectono-stratigraphy, folding and faulting process, hydrocarbon seeps, and analogs for fractured reservoirs.

Instructor: Lansing Taylor

Rocky Mountain Depositional Systems (Conventional & Tight) Field Course

This five-day Field Course offers an opportunity to observe and understand the sedimentology and tectonic evolution of several depositional environments in the middle Rocky Mountains of the western United States. It consists of a three-day field course from Denver to Salt Lake City with an additional one-day core workshop at EGI’s Core Repository and half-day lecture at EGI offices in Salt Lake City. The course begins with an overview of Jurassic-Cretaceous mountain building during the Sevier Orogeny on the west, and establishment of a foreland basin toward the east. During the Cretaceous, a clastic wedge of sediments was deposited eastward, ranging from coarse conglomerates near the mountain front grading into sands and shales, and including many prolific sandstone reservoirs known for oil and gas production. Farther east in quieter waters carbonate rocks are found. Interbedded in these sequences are several known source rocks, some of which have now been proven to be reservoir targets for unconventional resource development. On the road, participants will observe distal carbonates and shales to proximal mountain-front clastics. This course is available in either an east to west or west to east direction, depending upon CA interests and needs.

Instructor: EGI Research Staff and Affiliate Scientists

Utah Field Course

This five-day geological excursion through central and southern Utah offers an in-depth, on the ground look at the complex geological history of Utah and the Colorado Plateau from an energy and petroleum perspective. The course progresses from Provo, on Utah’s Wasatch Front, through Moab, Dalton Wells Dinosaur Quarry, Arches National Park, the Paradox Basin, Capital Reef National Park, Bryce National Park, and Covenant Oil Field and includes a one-day raft trip on the San Juan River. Participants may be exposed to varied geological concepts such as reservoir characterization research, landscape evolution, Utah’s oil-producing basins, stratigraphic succession of the Grand Staircase, and geologic history of an oil filed.

Instructor: EGI Research Staff and Affiliate Scientists

Colorado Plateau, Utah – Sequence Stratigraphy Field Course

This four-day Field Course with half-day Core Workshop offers an in-depth examination of stratigraphic core & outcrops in central & southern Utah. The Field Course begins with an overview of the principles of sequence stratigraphy, examining models of both siliciclastic and carbonate systems followed by a core workshop at the Utah Geological Survey Core Lab where participants will have the opportunity to study and recognize significant surfaces and parasequence-scale facies changes in cores of two significant formations.

Instructor: EGI Research Staff and Affiliate Scientists

Carbonate Sedimentology & Sequence Stratigraphy Field Course | Petroleum Systems of the Paradox Basin

This four-day Short Course is designed for geologists, engineers, and others who desire an on-the-ground examination of carbonate sedimentology and sequence stratigraphy. The program will begin at the Utah Geological Survey in Salt Lake City with a morning refresher course on sequence stratigraphy and carbonate depositional systems, followed by description and interpretation of core samples from the Middle Paradox Pennsylvanian Formation, Paradox Basin, UT. The field portion of the course will begin in Green River, UT and proceed through Paradox Basin with site discussions at Sinbad Limestone, San Rafael Swell; Upper Hermosa Outcrops, Potash, UT; Hermosa Group at Honaker Trail; production history at Aneth Field; and a float trip through Raplee Anticline including Desert Creek facies and cyclicity and Akah evaporates. The course will conclude with a summation of Paradox Basin stratigraphy and petroleum systems before participants return to airports for departure.

This course will conclude in Bluff, UT. Participants may return to Salt Lake City for outbound flights, or proceed on to Farmington, NM.

Instructor: EGI Research Staff and Affiliate Scientists

Masters of Science in Petroleum Engineering

EGI, in collaboration with the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Utah, launched a Masters of Science degree program in Petroleum Engineering in the 2013 fall semester. Understanding that one of the most significant challenges facing humanity is the depletion of natural resources we recognize the valuable contributions to be made by Petroleum Engineers to meet mankind’s energy needs while safeguarding the environment. Equally satisfying, petroleum engineers also gain responsibility faster and supervise important projects sooner than those in other engineering fields. Petroleum engineers currently rank #2 on the USA Today’s “10 fastest-growing jobs in the USA” and are some of the highest paid workers in the nation.

The flagship course of the degree is an eleven-day geologic and engineering facilities and operations field study. The purpose of the field study is first hand “exposure” to relevant geologic features and demonstration of how these relate to petroleum engineering operations and decisions. The instructors are EGI faculty with extensive geologic and engineering experience in the E&P industry.

In addition to students pursuing the M.Sc. degree through the Chemical Engineering Department, EGI also offers this field study program as a non-credit course to our Corporate Associate members.

Details for the full degree program are on the University of Utah’s Department of Chemical Engineering website.