Oil & Gas Training
and Competency Development
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    Oil and Gas Training Courses SLB NEXT

    A Strategic Approach to Oil and Gas Exploration

    This course will provide knowledge and understanding of the use of strategic planning to optimise chances of success in oil and gas exploration. It will cover recognising the need for strategic change and how to develop options to respond to changing business environments. It will include implementation of new strategic directions and managing and monitoring performance.

    The course builds on a number of case studies from companies of various sizes, showing examples of strategic change and what can be learnt from these. The scope will include the technical, economic and political drivers that shape the performance of all oil and gas organisations. The course will cover the importance of strategic planning at all stages of the exploration value chain (access through to basin selection and exploration play testing).

    The participants will gain understanding of how to recognise the need for a strategic approach; how to develop a set of strategic options and then how to select and implement the appropriate strategy for a given situation.

    Some example attendee comments:

    “Great course! Lots of good examples, stories, and shared experiences.”

    “Would recommend to more managers and VP's for understanding the need for a deep balanced portfolio across the company”

    Day 1

    Strategic change

    • Super-major case study
    • Strategy introduction
    • Life cycles of organisations
    • Exercise – “strategic health check”
    • Oil industry landscape
    • Exercise – review the competitive forces affecting the oil & gas industry
    • Examples of strategic change

    Participants will learn how corporations evolve as they develop and how to recognise where an individual organisation is in its life cycle. This leads to a discussion of the major parameters that need to be assessed in order to evaluate strategic opportunities (technical, economic and political). Exercises will illustrate how to recognise the need for a strategic approach in response to new business opportunities and/or threats. A review of some case studies will identify the key ingredients for winning strategies.

    Day 2

    Strategic change (continued)

    • Strategic reviews
    • Creating a strategy
    • What makes winning exploration strategies

    Exploration life cycle

    • Exploration value chain and basin analysis
    • Introduction to exploration history analysis
    • Exercise – understanding basin “creaming curves”
    • Nova Scotia offshore play fairway analysis

    Formal approaches to conducting strategic reviews and developing strategic options are discussed. Participants will learn how different types of oil organisations (NOCs, super-majors through to independents) assess their business contexts and develop strategic options that are appropriate to their capabilities and capacities.

    The exploration life cycle is explained starting with identifying new country/basin opportunities and conducting thorough and robust play assessments. How companies assess the scale of opportunities and then rank these allowing for technical, economic and political risk is explained. The importance of an integrated approach to evaluation of these different types of risks is emphasised as well as its impact of how companies manage their portfolios to maximise success in a risked sense.

    Day 3

    Exploration process

    • Exploration workflow
    • Portfolio management – managing exposure
    • Exercise – portfolio analysis

    Delivery of an exploration strategy requires effective management of studies and physical programmes. Generic workflows covering the exploration segments of the “Exploration Life Cycle” are presented and discussed. Participants will gain an overview knowledge of the activities needed to access a new opportunity through to the work required to define prospects and drilling locations.

    A natural outcome of an exploration programme is acquisition of a variety of assets over time (exploration licenses in a variety of locations at various stages of exploitation). Managing such a portfolio of assets is a key part of an explorer’s role and here participants will gain knowledge of the approaches used to manage portfolios within the context of a company’s specific exploration strategy.

    Day 4

    Delivering change, Organisation and performance

    • Delivering strategic change (NOCs, super majors, majors and independents)
    • Organisation (structure, quality assurance, HSE, Licence to operate)
    • People development
    • Technology
    • Exercise – Assessing a company’s competitive position
    • Monitoring and reviewing performance

    Participants learn about the approaches to delivering strategic change and how they vary across different types of industry participants. The type and size of organisation has a major effect on how to approach implementation of a strategic plan, which will be illustrated with some case examples. The exercise will illustrate how a particular type of organisation develops and implements a new exploration strategy as an example of understanding how to develop a fit for purpose approach depending on a given organisational context.


    Geologists, geophysicists, team leaders and managers 

    Life-cycles of organisations

    Oil & Gas industry landscape

    Creating and reviewing a strategy

    Exploration value chain and history analysis

    Exploration workflow

    Portfolio management - managing exposure

    Strategic change

    Understanding the organisation - people development and technology application

    Some understanding of the process of Oil and Gas Exploration, especially the technical aspects.

    Currently there are no scheduled classes for this course.

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