Upstream Petroleum Business Fundamentals with a Challenging Learning Simulation Game

For six weeks, the participants will learn the essence of the Upstream Petroleum Business in weekly sessions that include three hours of individual e-Learning and one hour online with an IHRDC virtual mentor, who discusses the weekly topics and introduces the IHRDC’s West Africa petroleum business simulation session assignments. Participants then work with their teams to analyze and make decisions during the simulated exploration and development of a challenging petroleum prospect. The results of the simulation game are announced during a final Mentor session.

Additional information

Program Type



Full Program (Individual), Full Program (Team)


January 24 to March 11, 2022, April 18 to June 3, 2022



Subject Area

Petroleum Business

Target Audience

Technical, commercial, and operations personnel who seek an in-depth understanding of the Upstream Sector of the petroleum industry: technology, economics, project development process, markets and how it contributes to the broader industry.


3-4 hours self-study and 1 hour online virtual mentored session per week for six continuous weeks.

Learning Formats

e-Learning self-study, individual or team participation in a competitive simulation game with a virtual mentor

Simulation Scenario

Individuals/teams explore, develop and produce a challenging petroleum exploration opportunity through 20 years of production. Best performing team wins the Team Prize.

Program Content


Upstream Oil and Gas Agreements

Project Cash Flow Analysis

Week One

Petroleum Supply/Demand and Pricing

Introduction to Simulation Scenario; Select Concession or PSC Agreement

Week Two

Petroleum Geology and the Exploration Process

Design and Interpret Seismic Surveys; Identify Prospects

Week Three

Drilling and Well Completions

Drill Exploration and Appraisal Wells

Week Four

Resource Estimation and Oilfield Development Planning

Field Development: Design Surface and Subsurface Facilities

Week Five

Marketing and Trading of Crude Oil

Select Crude Oil Marketing Options; Submit Development Decision

Week Six

Mentor Summary of Petroleum Simulation Game Results