International Petroleum Business Program

For more than twenty years, participants have consistently called this The BEST management program in the petroleum industry today! The four-week program provides learning in four key areas and includes compelling lectures by a strong and diverse faculty, as well as team participation in IHRDCs unique and challenging oil and gas business games.

Additional information

Program Type



Full Program, Unit One, Unit Two


May 16 to May 27, 2022



Who Should Attend

This program is intended for managers in the many functional areas of the international petroleum and natural gas industry, including exploration, production, refinery and petrochemical operations, marketing, law, human resources, accounting, and finance. More than 1,700 managers have taken this program, including individuals who hold very senior positions in the oil and gas industry.

Accordion Content

Lectures in Unit 1

Upstream Petroleum Business

Overview of the Energy Industry

Oil and gas measurements and units; the value chains; market structures; worldwide oil and gas economics; major players; evolution of the integrated oil and gas business.

Host Government Agreements

Typical host country exploration agreements: summary of the history and key provisions, including bonus payments, royalties, taxes; production sharing; participation arrangements.

Exploration Methods

The exploration process: petroleum geology, exploration geophysics, well logging, developing exploration prospects, preparing and interpreting geological maps; case studies.

Drilling and Well Completions

Planning the well; logistics; drilling functions; drilling procedures; formation evaluation methods; horizontal wells; improvements in drilling.

Field Development and Production Cycle

Onshore and offshore field development and long-term production subsurface design; reservoir fundamentals and reserves estimation: field development; inflow performance; integrated reservoir management; and enhanced recovery. Surface facilities design: design for both onshore and offshore operations; production operations and management; investment analysis and reporting of performance. Case studies.

Gas Processing and Marketing of LPGs

Properties of gas and gas liquids; processing of associated gas; markets for LPGs; economics of natural gas plants.

Crude Oil and Natural Gas Pipeline Systems

Introduction to crude oil and natural gas pipelines; design, construction and operation of pipeline systems; estimating project costs; pipeline contracts and tariffs; new pipeline developments.

Measuring Financial Performance

How companies report to their shareholders; GAAP principles; income statement; balance sheet; cash flow statement; equity statement; taxation and tax codes; preparing corporate financials; the audit; reading a major company annual report; measures of performance and the setting of company goals.

Petroleum Industry Accounting and Taxation

Successful efforts vs. full-cost accounting; corporate taxation; petroleum taxation; accounting for host government and joint venture agreements; supplemental reserves reports included in annual reports.

Unconventional Oil and Gas Resources

A comprehensive and practical understanding of the processes that are applied in the development of unconventional oil and gas projects, by looking at some active investment areas.

Energy Project Economics

Economic yardsticks; project cash flow before and after tax; tax expenses and benefits; net cash flow stream and payout; time value of money; opportunity cost and present value of net cash flow; discounted cash flow analysis and internal rate of return; risk assessment and sensitivity analysis; examples of the economic analysis of energy projects.

Lectures in Unit 2

Downstream Petroleum Business

Worldwide Petroleum Economics

Worldwide energy supply; demand; reserves; pricing: corporate strategy; recent history and prediction of future trends; how petroleum economists make predictions.

Markets for Associated Natural Gas

The natural gas value chain: industry structure and regional markets, interfuel competition; gas distribution; regulation and deregulation; economics and markets for gas, including combined-cycle power plants, LNG, ammonia, methanol, and gas-to-liquids.

Refining and Petrochemicals

Refining: capacity evolution; technological changes; capital and operating costs; profitability; netback estimation and recent trends. Petrochemicals in perspective: links to refining; key product families; industry drivers: cost of production, supply and demand; profitability and price forecasting.

Crude Oil Tanker Transportation

The tanker industry and market trends: an overview of the main characteristics of crude tankers; capital and operating costs; pollution at sea and new regulations; calculating tanker transportation rates; Worldscale and charter arrangements.

Marketing of Crude Oil and Products

Development of the free market for oil; current international market structure; regional markets: physicals, futures, forwards, derivatives, options; roles of participants, price formation, price volatility; price reporting; crude oil and product pricing; negotiating and pricing petroleum sales contracts; introduction to hedging and price risk management.

Petroleum Products Distribution

Distribution and retail marketing of petroleum products; structure of the margins realized along the distribution value chain; transitions in the marketing of transportation fuels; economics of the modern gasoline station.


International Petroleum Business Game: Sandland

This “business game” during Units One and Two is an integral part of the learning process. Participants, divided into teams, make real-life technical, financial, and market decisions that commonly confront managers in the international petroleum business today. Team performance is measured on a financial basis and is catalyzed by healthy competition.

The international petroleum business game takes place in “Sandland,” a fictitious country on the west coast of Africa. Team objectives are to develop oil and gas reserves and then decide on the optimal way to develop and market the production. During each workshop session, teams are provided with technical and economic background that serve as basis for decisions to be made during that session. Team decisions are made and require a commitment of both capital and operating funds and occur during the following intervals: three years of exploration, two years of development, and fifteen years of production.

Workshop Sessions Include:

  • Introduction to the Workshop
  • Negotiating the right to explore in Sandland
  • The exploration survey stage
  • Exploration and delineation drilling
  • Reserves estimation and field development
  • Gas processing
  • Oil and gas pipelines and port facilities
  • Sandland operations accounting
  • Combined-cycle power plants
  • Oil tanker charter decisions
  • Refinery development decisions
  • Financing the port expansion
  • Ammonia plants
  • Gas export pipeline decisions
  • Crude oil marketing decisions
  • Strategic planning and decision analysis
  • Evaluation of performance and
    presentation of results