Oilpatch 101


SPE has joined forces with JuneWarren-Nickle's (JWN) to offer a comprehensive overview of business fundamentals for non-technical oil and gas professionals, including those in administrative, accounting, marketing, sales, and other non-technical roles.

Developed with input from industry experts, this two-day course provides an introduction to Canada’s complex and exciting oilpatch.

The course fee includes continental breakfast and lunch on both days, workbooks, magazines, maps, charts.

What You Will Receive

  • Each day, attendees are entered into a draw for two Canadian Oilfield Atlas books and two Canadian Oilfield Atlas online one-year subscriptions—a value of CAD 250 for the book and CAD 199 for the online subscription.
  • Receive a one-year complimentary subscription to one or all of JWN magazines.
  • Non-member course registrants will receive a complimentary one-year SPE membership.*
  • The course fee includes continental breakfast and lunch both days, workbooks, magazines, maps, and charts.

*Must meet SPE membership qualifications. Visit www.spe.org/join to learn more.

Course Outline

  • Introduction to the Oilpatch
  • History of the Canadian Oilpatch
  • Geology and Exploration
  • Land Access
  • Seismic, Drilling and Well Completion
  • Production
  • Unconventional Gas
  • Unconventional Oil
  • Processing
  • Transportation
  • Marketing
  • Sustainability of the Canadian Oilpatch

Day 1 Overview

  • Global, regional and local dynamics
  • Geology: traps, core samples, and hydrocarbon regions in Canada
  • Land Access: surface and mineral rights, Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB) and public and aboriginal involvement
  • Seismic: surveying; 2-D and 3-D processing
  • Drilling: rigs, processes, personnel, bits and fluids, directional and multilateral wells, and Canadian well statistics
  • Well Completion: casing, cementing, perforation, abandonment, and reclamation
  • Production: statistics, crude oil, natural gas, and offshore

Day 2 Overview

  • Unconventional Gas: coalbed methane (CBM), tight gas, shale gas, gas hydrates, and protecting ground water
  • Unconventional Oil: Heavy oil and oilsands reserves, mining vs. in-situ upgrading and challenges
  • Processing: natural gas; oilsands; heavy oil and facilities
  • Transportation: pipelines, trucking and shipping
  • Marketing: supply and demand; commodity prices and price differentials
  • Sustainability: consumption forecasts, environment, labour, safety and technology

Why Attend?

Take this course if you want to:

  • Understand the basic steps, technology, and people involved in getting petroleum resources from the ground to the consumer
  • Connect the petroleum industry to regional and global events, issues, and economics, and explore how the industry affects all Canadians
  • Recognize the names and roles of various organizations working in the Canadian oilpatch
  • Recognize the value of your personal contribution to your employer and to the sustainability of the industry

Who Should Attend

This course is designed for those who:

  • Are new to the oil and gas industry and work in a technical or non-technical capacity (engineering, accounting, human resources, sales, etc.)
  • Provide services or goods to the oil and gas industry
  • Would like to take a refresher course
  • Require basic knowledge in other areas of the oilpatch


1.6 CEUs (Continuing Education Units) are awarded for this 2-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 sflaherty@junewarren-nickles.com; 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.


Frank Henderson has more than 35 years of experience across a broad spectrum of areas in the energy industry. Prior to starting his own company, he gained oil and gas experience in exploration, production, and marketing through employment at Amoco Canada, Drillwest Energy, and Chauvco Resources. He is currently involved in the many new opportunities that have evolved from the restructuring of the natural gas industry, the growing importance of oilsands, and the rapidly emerging unconventional natural gas sector. He is also actively monitoring issues affecting the restructuring of Alberta’s electric power industry and those of other Canadian provinces, as well as electric power restructuring issues in the United States and internationally.