Unconventional Reservoir Development

Drilling and Completions

Course Description

This course provides an introduction to the terminology, design concepts and status of unconventional reservoir development. The primary focus is on shale development but with coverage of the few select key elements of shale that are similar to coalbed methane, tight oil and gas, and even conventional reservoirs. Reviewing these similarities is useful in illustrating the concepts and in understanding the reliability of techniques that are new to shale but that have been tested for decades in other types of oil and gas resources.


  • Key events and technologies that sparked unconventional development
  • Essential geologic characteristics
  • Hydrocarbon processing
  • Unique tests and techniques
  • Petroleum systems
  • Critical log and core analysis

Upon completion of this course, participants should have an understanding of:

  • Drilling and completion options
  • Hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling basics
  • Cost-benefit analysis
  • Determining reserves
  • Key elements and steps in the development process
  • Skills and roles for an effective team
  • Environmental issues for hydraulic fracturing

Learning Level


Course Length

1 Day

Why Attend

Gain insights on how gas volumes and gas production rates are determined and factors controlling the value of unconventional gas prospects. This course includes an understanding of the different drilling and completion options and discussions on the current environmental challenges and apparent solutions.

Who Attends

This course is intended for those having some familiarity with the oil and gas industry but with little to no exposure to unconventional reservoir evaluation or development. The target audience includes engineers, geologists, technicians, sales representatives, investors, managers, government officials, planners, land specialists, and technical support staff.


0.8 CEUs (Continuing Education Units) are awarded for this 1-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.


Steve Hennings is the owner and principal engineer for Source Rock Engineering in Littleton, Colorado, USA. He has 20 years of industry experience working for a mid-size oil and gas company where he was assigned a wide variety of technical and development roles ranging from production superintendent to simulation engineer to regional technology coordinator.

Ten years ago, he left the company to form his own consulting firm, providing technical guidance and onsite supervision for oil and gas development projects in over a dozen different countries. This included individual long-term assignments leading the engineering and geoscience teams at the largest oil field in the United States, the largest underground coal mine in Australia, a major oil and gas research center, and an international evaluation team for unconventional gas reservoirs. Occasionally he conducts technical workshops, including several different courses for the SPE, to share lessons learned from ongoing evaluations.

In 2008, Hennings was awarded the prestigious annual Stefanko Award from the Society of Mining Engineers for his technical contributions. Hennings is a registered professional engineer and holds a BS in petroleum engineering and an MS in finance.

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