Geology for Engineers

Reservoir Descriptions and Dynamics

Course Description

This three-day 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.  Topics include the 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 and a review of the unique properties of shale as source rocks and hydrocarbon reservoirs. Other topics include clastic and carbonate environments of deposition, reservoir quality and architecture and the lateral variability and heterogeneity of clastic and carbonate reservoirs as applied to the predictability of outcomes in horizontal drilling. Included are printed course notes and a half-day session at the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) Core Research Centre in Calgary to examine first- hand the rock properties of clastic and carbonate conventional and unconventional (i.e. tight and heavy oil) full-diameter cores from representative subsurface hydrocarbon reservoirs.

Learning outcomes would include the ability to communicate more effectively with the exploration geologist working within an asset or property development team.  Other learning objectives include gaining an understanding of the criteria used to rank hydrocarbon prospects and resource plays in terms of technical risk based on geological attributes.

Learning Level


Course Length

3 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 Attends

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 half-day session at the Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB) Core Research Center in Calgary is included.


2.4 (Continuing Education Units) are awarded for this 3-day course.

Cancellation Policy

All cancellations must be received no later than 14 days prior to the course start date. Cancellations made after the 14 day window will not be refunded.  Refunds will not be given due to no show situations.

Training sessions attached to SPE conferences and workshops follow the cancellation policies stated on the event information page.  Please check that page for specific cancellation information.

SPE reserves the right to cancel or re-schedule courses at will.  Notification of changes will be made as quickly as possible; please keep this in mind when arranging travel, as SPE is not responsible for any fees charged for cancelling or changing travel arrangements.

We reserve the right to substitute course instructors as necessary.

Full regional cancellation policies can be found at the Cancellation Policy page within the SPE Training Course Catalog.


Thomas F. Moslow 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 Alberta for eight years where he taught numerous courses including sedimentary geology, basin analysis and geology for engineering students. He 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 over a hundred technical presentations at national and international geoscience conferences, several of which have won awards.

Jean-Yves Chatellier has over 30 years of professional experience in the oil industry covering exploration and production. He worked for ten years around the world for Shell, first in Research on fields from New Zealand, Thailand and Gabon and then in the UK and in Brunei. He then joined PDVSA Research Laboratory as a senior research advisor for reservoir geology and led teams to the discovery of two giant oil fields. He moved to Calgary in 2003 and focused on structurally complex fields in the WCSB for Talisman. Since 2009 he has focused on shale and tight sands plays in Quebec, Western Canada and Texas. Most of his career has been integrating geosciences and engineering. He has a PhD in Tectonics from Paris and has been invited lecturer in many universities in Canada, Ireland, Belgium and Venezuela. He is a lecturer for AAPG and has given numerous presentations and posters with awards from AAPG, CSPG, CWLS and EMD. He has edited special publications and memoirs for AAPG, SEG, IAS and SVG and is presently co-chair of the AAPG Research Committee.