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

    Volumes and Risks Assessment for Conventional and Unconventional Plays and Prospects

    The course enables participants to transform qualitative geological descriptions of plays and prospects into technically robust quantitative success-case and risked volumetric models. Obtained learnings will help participants to evaluate the geological probability of success (PoS) for exploration plays, segments, prospects, wells and portfolios and to assess the range of petroleum volumes in exploration projects. Examples and case studies come from both conventional and unconventional plays, prospects and wells around the world. The learning objectives are achieved through well-illustrated lectures, numerous hands-on exercises and active class discussions.


    By the end of the course participants will be able to:

    • Use Play Based Exploration approach and tools (e.g., Common Risk Segment mapping, Field Size Distribution analysis) to locate sweet spots in conventional and unconventional plays and assess remaining play/basin potential.
    • Calculate deterministic potential (success-case) petroleum resources in conventional prospects and in unconventional plays. Assess and justify the range and probabilistic distribution of input parameters used in volumetric calculations.
    • Assess geological risks and PoS for conventional and unconventional exploration prospects.
    • Use industry-standard software (GeoX, REP or both) and run Monte-Carlo simulations to estimate unrisked and risked probabilistic volumes for exploration plays, segments, prospects and wells.
    • Recognize biases and logical fallacies common in exploration assessments and know how to correct them.
    • Aggregate segments into a prospect and use risk and volumes dependencies between segments to estimate PoS and volumes for the prospect. Calculate PoS for wells.
    • Aggregate prospects and wells into exploration portfolio. Predict the outcomes of portfolio drill-out.
    • Evaluate drilling results to establish main reason(s) for well failure.
    Day 1

    Big picture trends in petroleum exploration. Play based exploration. Fundamentals of volumetric and risk assessment for prospective segments.

     The first day introduces the participants to global exploration trends and the concepts of Exploration Triangle and Play Based Exploration. You will learn the fundamentals of volumetric and risk assessment, the main definitions and the commonly used assessment tools (software).

    • Welcome and introductions
    • Global trends in petroleum exploration since 1900
    • Play Based Exploration
    • Common Risk Segment (CRS) maps
    • Field size distributions
    • Creaming curves
    • Yet-to-Find resources
    • Risk versus uncertainty
    • Deterministic and probabilistic volumes
    • Success-case and risked volumes
    • Software tools used in the assessment of prospective resources

     Day 1 exercises:

    • Evaluate the play fairway, make CRS maps, locate sweet spots in the play.
    • Build and evaluate field size distributions and creaming curves, define remaining play/basin potential.
    Day 2

    Basics of statistics, distributions and probabilities. Biases and fallacies in exploration. Volumetrics and risking for a segment of conventional petroleum resources.

     The second day starts with the discussion of statistical parameters, distributions and probabilities. Participants will use real-world data (area, thickness, Net/Gross, porosity, saturation, Formation Volume Factor, Recovery Factor) to build distributions as inputs into volumetric models. This will be followed by the discussion of biases and fallacies in petroleum assessments and the tools that help reduce them. We will finish the day by doing hands-on assessment of volumes and risk for a conventional prospect.

    • Meaning of basic statistical parameters (Mean, Mode, P10 etc.)
    • Distributions appropriate to use in petroleum exploration projects
    • Where and how to get data to build distributions
    • Main biases and logical fallacies common in petroleum exploration
    • Techniques to reduce biases (Risk Tables, assurance teams)
    • Assessment of volumes and geological PoS for a segment

    Day 2 exercises:

    • Build porosity distribution for a segment.
    • Calculate volumes and evaluate sensitivities to various inputs for a conventional oil segment.
    • Assess success-case volumes, geological PoS and risked volumes for a conventional oil segment (real prospect from offshore West Africa).
    Day 3

    Volumetrics and risking for unconventional plays. Aggregation of segments into prospect. Portfolio analysis. Post-drilling analysis.

     The third day will start with the discussion of volumes and risk assessments for unconventional oil and gas plays (tight, shale, CBM). After that, we will discuss aggregation of segments into prospects and prospects into a portfolio. We will finish the course by studying how to do post-mortem analysis, learn from exploration successes and failures and become better explorers.

    • Assessment of volumes and risks for unconventional plays
    • Aggregation of segments into prospect, with risk and volume dependencies
    • Aggregation of prospects into portfolio
    • Learnings from discovery wells
    • Learnings from dry holes

     Day 3 exercises:

    • Assess in-place and recoverable volumes in unconventional shale gas and shale oil plays (real plays onshore Australia).
    • Assess recoverable volumes for small(ish) acreage of unconventional tight oil in the USA (real play in the Powder River basin).

    Exploration geoscientists and managers


    • Play Based Exploration.
    • Assessment of success-case volumes for plays (conventional and unconventional), segments, prospects, wells and portfolios.
    • Assessment of exploration risks and probabilities of success.
    • Post-mortem analysis.

    Basic knowledge of Petroleum Geology

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