Petroleum Geology Essentials II

This five-week Virtual Mentored Learning program, developed as the continuation of Unit I of Petroleum Geology Essentials, offers a deeper analysis of reservoir rocks, their properties and characterization. Guided by an experienced industry specialist, participants will cover a series of technical topics that offer a comprehensive understanding of hydrocarbon reservoirs. This program consists of further technical topics: characterization of clastic and carbonate reservoirs, sedimentology and subsurface facies analysis. The course also provides introductions to the common set of tools and methods used by petroleum geologists, including subsurface mapping, well log analysis, and seismic interpretation.

Additional information

Program Type



Full Program (Individual), Full Program (Team)


March 14 to April 15, 2022, July 11 to August 12, 2022



Subject Area

Petroleum Geology

Program Content

Sandstone Reservoirs; Carbonate Reservoirs and Evaporites; Cores, Sedimentology and Facies Analysis; Open Hole Well Logging; Mapping and Interpreting the Subsurface.

Target Audience

Oil and gas industry professionals looking to understand the characterization of reservoir rocks through exploration, appraisal, resources assessment and development of hydrocarbons. Management looking to better understand the roles and responsibilities of geologists in their organization. Any petroleum industry professional looking to refresh their geological competencies will gain a high level of value from this program.


3 hours self-study; 1 hour online virtual mentored session; an engaging assignment (1 hour to complete) with subsequent review of answers – each week for five continuous weeks.

Learning Formats

e-Learning self-study, practical assignments, virtual mentored learning sessions, including group discussions with participants.

  • The e-Learning self-study component uses IHRDCs award-winning IPIMS courses.
  • Practical assignments will be issued for the participants to complete in parallel with the e-Learning self-studies and before the associated mentor sessions. The assignment should be completed prior to the first Office Hours meeting, in line with the best practice flipped learning concept. Model answers to the assignments will be supplied after the course participants have completed their assignments, and in conjunction with the Office Hours sessions.
  • Virtual mentored sessions, allowing group discussions, will take place on a weekly basis.
  • All course materials will be available on the dedicated IHRDC learning portal.

Program Content

Week One

Sandstone Reservoirs

The first week starts with the e-Learning topic of non-marine sandstone reservoirs, covering alluvial fan, fluvial, aeolian and lacustrine depositional environments for clastic reservoirs. The second self-study course examines the sedimentological, depositional, and diagenetic processes of deepwater marine sandstone reservoirs. There are additional e-Learning opportunities in the topics of marginal and shelf marine sandstone reservoirs.

The weekly practical assignment will be on Sandstone Reservoirs.

Week Two

Carbonate Reservoirs and Evaporates

The second week starts with a self-study review of diagenesis and porosity development in carbonate reservoirs. This is followed by an e-Learning course on evaporites, reviewing sabkha depositional facies and reservoirs (eolian and tidal-flood deposits), subaqueous evaporites and salt structures, emphasizing their association with hydrocarbon accumulations. There are additional e-Learning opportunities in geostatistics and photogeology/remote sensing.

The assignment will be on Carbonate Reservoirs.

Week Three

Cores, Sedimentology and Subsurface Facies Analysis

The third week of self-study e-Learning starts with the topic of coring which covers both the borehole environment from where conventional, full diameter and sidewall cores are obtained, and describes their acquisition processes. This is followed by a review of the various laboratory analyses conducted on the acquired core, after it has been appropriately prepared, to establish the porosity, permeability, fluid saturation and special core analysis (SCAL) parameters, as well as enabling a comprehensive sedimentological description.

The assignments will be on Coring and Core Analysis, embedded within these two e-Learning topics together with knowledge checks and assessments for the program participants.

Week Four

Open Hole Well Logging

The fourth week of e-Learning self-study addresses the essentials of well log interpretation in the first self-study topic, covering quick-look interpretation techniques as well as porosity, lithology, shale volume and water saturation determination and field studies. The comprehensive dipmeter surveys topic covers the acquisition tools, data processing and computed data displays along with the uses of dipmeter data for both structural and stratigraphic interpretations, with several examples and case studies.

The assignments will be on Well Log Interpretation, Dipmeter Surveys, and Logging Tools and Well Logs embedded within the respective e-Learning topics together with knowledge checks and assessments.

Week Five

Mapping and Interpreting the Subsurface

In this final week of the program, you will apply your knowledge of geologic concepts to the development of subsurface geologic maps from well and seismic data. The material includes fault and horizon interpretation, well data and correlations between wells. You will learn about seismic stratigraphy and stratigraphic modelling. Seismic velocities will be discussed and the critical role of velocity in accurate subsurface imaging. Then, the subsurface mapping topic covers well-to-well log correlation, and the construction of structure and isopach maps.

The final two assignments are designed to integrate some of the major learnings from the entire five-week program. The first short assignment will require course participants to summarize the key elements required for a successful conventional resource exploration prospect. The second short assignment will be on the Petroleum Resources Management System (PRMS) for Classifying Hydrocarbon Resources and Reserves.