The Petroleum Industry and its Technology: Focusing on Unconventional Resources for Young Professionals
Reservoir Descriptions and DynamicsReservoir Descriptions and DynamicsReservoir Descriptions and DynamicsProjects, Facilities, and ConstructionManagement and Information

Peter Behrenbruch


The course is designed for those individuals that recently joined the petroleum industry and who would like to obtain an overview of the diversity of challenges facing the petroleum industry. This course provides a summary of important reservoir, well and facilities concepts, and technologies, demonstrating various processes and techniques through numerous examples and case histories.

This course provides young oil and gas professionals with the necessary insight to the upstream industry from the point of exploration to production, covering field appraisal and characterisation, reservoir engineering aspects, well construction, and facilities concepts. You will understand the basic steps necessary before considering project management and field development. The course covers unconventional resources and summarises a number of LNG and CBM projects which are fast becoming major future concerns in this region.

Day One: Introduction and Management Overview: Subsurface

Session 1: Introduction to the Industry

  • The petroleum chain
  • Organisation
  • Processes and functions

Session 2: Managing the Business

  • Fuelling the business
  • Business and project drivers
  • Risks

Session 3: Field Appraisal

  • Key considerations
  • Technology
  • Examples

Session 4: Reservoir Characterisation

  • Challenges
  • Techniques
  • Examples: Case History I—Reservoir Characterisation

Session 5: Reservoir Performance and Recovery

  • Drive mechanisms and indicators
  • Fluid displacement
  • Summary of recovery factors

Session 6: Reserves and Resources

  • Definitions and probabilistic methods
  • Reserves metrics
  • Examples
  • Summary of recovery factors

Day Two: Wells and Facilities; Field Development; Unconventional Resources and LNG

Session 1: Well Construction (drilling and completion)

  • Introduction and advances
  • Horizontal wells and examples
  • Multilateral wells and example

Session 2: Project Management

  • Project phases
  • Costs and schedule
  • Processes:
    • Case History III: Well Construction
    • Case History IV: Field Development & Economics

Session 3: Introduction to Unconventional Resources

  • Overview
  • Coalbed methane (CBM)
  • Shale gas
  • LNG Projects (examples)
  • CBM Projects (examples)

Learning Level


Course Length

2 Days

Why You Should Attend

This two day course is designed to provide young oil and gas professionals with the necessary grasp of the upstream industry from the point of exploration to production covering aspects such as field appraisal and characterisation, reservoir engineering aspects, well construction, and facilities concepts.

You will also delve deeper to have a firm understanding on what are the necessary basic steps before considering project management and field development. The course then culminates with an introduction to unconventional resources and summarises a number of LNG and CBM projects which are no doubt fast becoming major future concerns especially in this region.

Who Should Attend

This course is intended for young petroleum professionals with limited petroleum industry and technology knowledge, and who would like to become more familiar with modern petroleum development concepts and techniques. The course is suitable for geoscientists and engineers who would like to acquire knowledge in developing petroleum discoveries, including unconventional resources.


Engineers are responsible for enhancing their professional competence throughout their careers. Licensed, chartered, and / or certified engineers are sometimes required by government entities to provide proof of continued professional development and training. Training credits are defined as Continuing Education Units (CEUs) or Professional Development Hours (PDH).

Attendees of SPE training courses earn 0.8 CEUs for each day of training. We provide each attendee a certificate upon completion of the training course.


Peter Behrenbruch is currently Managing Director of Bear and Brook Consulting Pty Ltd. His last (project) management position was Chief Operating Officer and Project Director for the Puffin project (Timor Sea) with AED Oil/ East Puffin. He has also held academic positions (2001-07), occupying the Santos Chair of Petroleum Engineering at the Australian School of Petroleum, University of Adelaide. As Head of the School of Petroleum Engineering and Management over the period 2001-03, he was instrumental in establishing a new Petroleum Engineering department at the University of Adelaide. Prior to his academic appointment in 2001, he has worked for 27 years in the petroleum industry, most recently as Chief Reservoir Engineer for BHP Billiton’s worldwide petroleum operations. Other positions with BHP Billiton involved mainly technical and general management, and project management positions. In the past he has also worked for Shell International in the Netherlands and in Australia, seconded to Woodside Energy. Behrenbruch started his career in Calgary, Canada, first with Hudson’s Bay Oil and Gas and then with Scientific Software Corporation.

Regarding education and professional membership, Behrenbruch holds a BSc in physics from the University of British Columbia and an MS in nuclear engineering from Stanford University.  He has been an active member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, most significantly as Director for the Asia-Pacific region (1996-98) and as a Board member. He was also a SPE Distinguished Lecturer for 2001/02, touring North America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific.

Career highlights were his position as Technical Manager for the Big Bear (Dai Hung) project in Vietnam, where first oil production was achieved in a record 18 months. Another challenge was his involvement in the North West Shelf gas development (first  Australian LNG project), and as project manager for the Skua and Griffin area oilfields. Behrenbruch enjoys education and training, and has spent two years in Shell’s training centre near The Hague, giving advanced reservoir engineering courses to petroleum engineers from all corners of the globe. He was also a visiting professor at Stanford University in 2000.

Professionally, his primary interests are the feasibility and optimisation of offshore petroleum development projects, and reservoir management, including uncertainty and risk analysis. His current research interests are in the area of reservoir characterisation and modelling, and special core analysis, aimed at better estimation of recovery efficiency.