Unconventional Reservoir Development

Disciplines: Reservoir

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.

Additional Resources

This course has a supplemental book located in our SPE Bookstore entitled Unconventional Gas and Tight Oil Exploitation. Please check out this valuable resource!

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.


Steve Hennings is the owner and principal engineer for Source Rock Engineering in Littleton, Colorado, USA. He has 20 years industry experience working for a mid-size oil & 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 & 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 & 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.

Other courses by this instructor

Coalbed Methane Evaluation and Development
Steve Hennings

This course focuses on the evaluation and development processes for coalbed methane (also known as CBM or CSG). Special emphasis is on the key exploration data and how it is applied to estimate well productivity, recovery volumes,...

Disciplines: Reservoir

Shale and Tight Reservoir Evaluation and Development
Steve Hennings

This course provides practical insights to the techniques and technology applied in evaluating and developing shale and tight reservoirs. Special emphasis is placed on the unique features of these reservoirs, including the geolo...

Disciplines: Production and Operations | Reservoir

Shale and Tight Reservoir Overview
Steve Hennings

This course provides an overview of how shale and tight reservoirs are different from conventional oil and gas reservoirs. This includes major differences in how the reservoirs are characterized, evaluated, and developed plus a re...

Disciplines: Production and Operations | Reservoir

Shale and Tight Reservoir Technical Analysis
Steve Hennings

This course covers the essential concepts and techniques applied in evaluating hydrocarbon storage and productivity potential in shale and tight reservoirs, with an emphasis on practical methods uncommon to conventional reservoir analysis. The limita...

Disciplines: Reservoir

Shale Hydraulic Fracturing: Design and Analysis
Steve Hennings

This course covers the essential technology for planning, monitoring, and evaluating hydraulic fracturing treatments in shale reservoirs. Emphasis is on actual field results, practical approaches to treatment design, and the reasons for altering desi...

Disciplines: Production and Operations | Reservoir

Unconventional Petroleum Engineering for non-Engineers
Steve Hennings

This course covers the key concepts applied by petroleum engineers to design, monitor, and evaluate wells completed in shale and tight reservoirs. The course is intended for individuals working in the oil and gas industry who are not trained or exper...

Disciplines: Management | Reservoir