Shale and Tight Reservoir Evaluation & Development

Drilling and Completions


Significant changes in completion technology over the past five years sparked a boom in shale and tight reservoir development, first with gas plays and now with oil plays. As a result these reservoirs supply the majority of natural gas to the U.S. and Canada and now wet gas and oil development from these same reservoirs has generated a rapid and dramatic increase in the U.S. liquid hydrocarbon production rate. Some of the key development and evaluation techniques for shale and tight reservoirs are significantly different from conventional reservoirs and much of the necessary information is still not covered in text books or even university courses. In addition, the test and development methods must be adapted to the unique reservoir characteristics of each play and in many cases there is too little historical production available to definitively determine which method is most appropriate for each reservoir. The purpose of this workshop is to focus on the unique aspects of shale and tight reservoirs and provide practical recommendations based on the latest field and well performance results. Case studies will be presented each day in order to illustrate some of the lessons learned in the wide variety of commercial plays and information will also be provided on the challenges and status of developing these resources outside North America.

Learning Level

Intermediate to Advanced

Course Length

3 Days

Why Attend?

The course will provide a solid foundation for understanding the current techniques and technology applied to evaluate and develop shale and tight reservoirs and the limitations of these techniques. The course will also cover current and emerging hydraulic fracture treatment design along with a review of the five most popular completion methods.

Who Should Attend

The course is intended for those familiar with the technical aspects of characterizing, designing, or evaluating oil and gas properties. This includes reservoir engineers, production engineers, completions engineers, geophysicists, geologists, technical support staff, academics, researchers, supervisors, managers, government representatives, and energy policy makers.


2.4 CEUs (Continuing Education Units) will be awarded for this 3-day course.


Steve Hennings

Steve Hennings, M.S., P.E. is the owner of Source Rock Engineering, in Littleton, Colorado. He is a registered professional engineer and holds a bachelors degree in petroleum engineering and a masters degree in finance. His 30 years of experience are spread between reservoir, completions, and production engineering assignments ranging from rig foreman to computer simulation specialist to regional technical coordinator for a major oil company. His focus for the past ten years has been exclusively on developing coal gas, tight oil and shale reservoirs in the United States, Canada, Australia, China, India, and other countries. Occasionally, he also conducts courses for the SPE to share lessons learned from his on-going participation in unconventional reservoir development. These courses are listed in the SPE Training Catalogue and include "Shale and Tight Oil Evaluation and Development", "Coalbed Methane Reservoir Analysis" and "Shale Hydraulic Fracturing: Design and Analysis". Hennings is a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, Rocky Mountain Association of Geologists, and the Society of Mining Engineers. In 2008 he shared the prestigious annual Stefanko Award for his technical contributions.