Petroleum Engineering for Non-engineers

Course Description

This course is designed to provide non-engineering petroleum industry technical professionals with a thorough overview of most key aspects of petroleum engineering technology and its applications for upstream, midstream, and downstream stages. surprisingly, nearly 70% of the staff of the oil companies are non-engineers (support staff) that have limited knowledge of what goes on the operation of exploration, development, and production. The course will allow the support staff to understand the tasks performed by the engineers and how to improve cooperation and efficiency of the operation.

The course addresses engineering issues ranging from initial involvement with explorationists, discovery evaluation and field development, production optimization, and all the aspects of well drilling. The use of seismic survey in the exploration stage will be explained how to locate oil and gas prospects and estimate expected reserves. The step-by-step process of drilling a well is discussed for onshore and offshore operations.

The sessions will focus on relevant and practical issues; including real case studies and presenting video clips to illustrate the process of decision making and the risks involved in each operational step. The impact of drilling for oil and gas and hydraulic fracturing on the environment and to mitigate risks will be discussed, which has been a concern in many parts of the world. A group discussion on this subject is usually of great interest to the attendees. During the production history of oil and gas fields, operational problems are frequently expected. It is the responsibility of the engineers to use proper diagnostic tools to define the cause of the problems and to device the remedial actions. The application of horizontal wells including Multi-stage Fracturing and the latest industry techniques of applications will be illustrated. Another tool to maximize production is the use of artificial lift (down-hole pumps).

A review of the different methods of artificial methods and applications will be discussed. Also, the techniques of Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) will discussed, including the screening of various EOR schemes and how it will be executed. The cost and benefits for EOR applications will be discussed. Well and field decommissioning, when operation is no longer profitable and described for onshore and offshore. It is critical that no negative impact on the environment as a result of decommissioning.

Finally, the process of economic evaluation is discussed including related risks (technical, economical, and political) and uncertainty for various projects.

Course Objectives

Upon successful completion of the course the attendants will have learned:

  • About an overview of the industry and how the roles of different professional disciplines are integrated to generate development plans
  • How a well is drilled and completed to have safe operation and well control
  • About production problems; diagnosis and remedy
  • About economic evaluation to justify field development

Course Outline

Day 1:

  • Overview; role of petroleum engineers and the main components of field development
  • Reservoir Geology 
    • Types of reservoir rocks
    • Main elements of petroleum reservoirs
  • The Drilling Rig; equipment and operation (onshore and offshore) Video clip
  • Well completion techniques including Hz wells
  • Formation evaluation techniques
    • Mud logging, coring, and open hole logging
    • Rock and fluid properties

Day 2:

  •  Porosity and permeability definitions & measurements and fluid sampling
  • Oil and gas reserves determination
    • Volumetric and material balance methods
    • Decline analysis and empirical methods
  • Reservoir delineation & development
    • Field development considerations (case study)
    • Types and applications of artificial lift
    • Horizontal well applications
  • Production operations and optimization
  • Well performance and well testing (video clips)
  • Operational problems; diagnosis and remedy
  • Enhanced Recovery Mechanism
  • Types of EOR schemes (video clips)
  • Planning and designing of waterflood projects
    • Unconventional Oil and Gas
  • Tight formations and the application of Multi-stage Frac of Hz Wells (MFHW’s) – video clips
    • Decommissioning and Related Environmental Matters
  • How wells are abandoned; on-offer and offshore
  • Case studies/video clips
    • Economic evaluation
  • Input data for economic analysis; risks and uncertainty

Participants’ Profile

This course is aimed at non-engineering professionals and most support staff involved in the oil industry and also for junior exploitation engineers/technologists, and geologists.


No prerequisites are required.

About the Instructor

Mr. Saad Ibrahim, P.Eng., an independent consultant and president of Petro Management Group Ltd., established in Calgary (1994). Graduated from the University of Alexandria (Egypt) with B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering in 1973. He also completed a post-graduate program with the University of Calgary, Canada, in Chemical and petroleum engineering in 1983.

Mr. Ibrahim has over 35 years of reservoir/production engineering experience in Western Canada (with Amoco, BP and Husky) and internationally in Yemen (with Nexen Petroleum International Ltd.), Algeria, Libya, Tanzania, Iraq, Egypt, Turkey, Venezuela, Argentina, Ecuador, Peru, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. The focus of Mr. Ibrahim’s experience lies in the area of reservoir management and well- test planning/analysis.

Mr. Ibrahim has lectured regularly for the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), in Calgary, Moscow and Muscat (Oman). Also Mr. Ibrahim has offered numerous public and in-house training course worldwide. Mr. Ibrahim published recently a technical paper titled “Performance Evaluation of Multi-stage Frac of Horizontal Wells MFHW’s”, for the Oil and Gas Expo & Conference in Calgary – June 2011. Mr. Ibrahim was on the Reserve Panel of the 4th International Conference in Calgary on Horizontal Well Technology. Mr. Ibrahim is a member with the APEGA and SPE.