Geology for Engineers

Reservoir Descriptions and Dynamics


This course presents the basics of petroleum geology with an emphasis on unconventional oil and natural gas reservoirs of clastic and carbonate origin. Lectures are supplemented with case examples from classic resource plays in western Canada. This class will also examine carbonate and clastic cores from conventional and unconventional (i.e. “tight” and heavy oil) reservoirs. A one day field trip in the Front Ranges of the Canadian Rockies to observe outcrop equivalents to subsurface formations of economic significance will conclude the course.

Attendees will learn the basics of petroleum geology as applied to hydrocarbon exploration and reservoir development in both clastic and carbonate formations. Emphasis is placed on the tight, or permeability challenged, reservoirs of oil and natural gas that have become the emphasis of horizontal drilling and resource play development in most of North America’s onshore basins.

Topics Include:

  • Fundamental principles of sedimentary geology as applied to hydrocarbon exploration and reservoir development
  • The stratigraphy of western Canada
  • The origin and heterogeneity of conglomerate, sandstone, siltstone and carbonate reservoirs
  • Review of the unique properties of shale as source rocks and hydrocarbon reservoirs

At the end of this course, participants will:

  • Communicate more effectively with the exploration geologist working within an asset or property development team
  • Gain an understanding of the criteria used to rank hydrocarbon prospect and resource plays in terms of technical risk based on geological attributes

Learning Level


Course Length

5 Days

Why Attend?

The information from this course will provide participants with knowledge of the fundamental geologic parameters of hydrocarbon plays that determine reservoir quality, variability, heterogeneity, predictability and economic viability.

Who Should Attend

This course is designed for reservoir or completions engineers, geophysicists, log analysts, technologists and non-technical professional managers who need to understand the fundamentals of petroleum geology and/or reservoir geology. A knowledge of geology as a pre-requisite to this course is not necessary. 

Special Requirements

A full day session at the Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB) Core Research Center in Calgary and a field trip to the Kananaskis-Canmore area to examine clastic and carbonate successions in outcrop are included.


4.0 CEUs (Continuing Education Units) will be awarded for this 5-day course.

Cancellation Policy

To receive a full refund, all cancellations must be received in writing no later than 14 days prior to the course start date. Cancellations made after the 14-day window will not be refunded. Send cancellation requests by email to; by fax to +1.866.460.3032 (US) or +1.972.852.9292 (outside US); or mail to SPE Registration, PO Box 833836, Richardson, TX 75083.


Thomas F. Moslow, PhD, P.Geol., has over 30 years of professional experience in the fields of petroleum, exploration and reservoir geology, both as a university professor and also as a chief geologist and geoscience executive in the oil and gas industry. He was an assistant professor in the Department of Geology and Geophysics at Louisiana State University for five years and an associate and full professor in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Alberta for eight years where he taught numerous courses including sedimentary geology, basin analysis and geology for engineering students.

Moslow has been an adjunct professor in the Department of Geosciences at the University of Calgary since 1997, during which time he has worked in several executive and senior technical positions with oil and gas exploration and development companies with operations focused in western Canada. He has given dozens of technical presentations at national and international geoscience conferences, several of which have won awards.

Jean-Yves Chatellier, PhD, P.Geol., is a geologist with 30 years of worldwide experience in the oil industry. He is highly skilled in integrating geoscience and engineering disciplines (e.g. structure, sedimentology, geochemistry, seismic, and production data analysis).

He is co-editor of AAPG Hedberg Memoir on shale gas and co-editor of CSPG book on geological hikes and two published core workshop manuals. He has given hundreds of geoscience and engineering presentations around the world and has been convener of five major conferences. He is a member of AAPG, SPE, SEG, CSPG and APEGA and has received awards from AAPG, CWLS, and EMD for his presentations. He is an instructor giving courses for AAPG and SPE.