PETROENG 1006 - Introduction to Petroleum Engineering

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2020

The aim of the course is to provide students with a broad overview of introduction to petroleum engineering in order that advanced courses in subsequent years can be understood within a broader petroleum engineering context. This course covers introductions to petroleum drilling, completions and production, reservoir mechanics, fundamentals of rock and fluid properties, composition and PVT properties of petroleum fluids; basic physical and chemical properties of petroleum reservoir fluids related to reservoir processes and production. It also provides an introduction to decision-making and the petroleum business environment.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code PETROENG 1006
    Course Introduction to Petroleum Engineering
    Coordinating Unit Australian School of Petroleum
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 4 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Assumed Knowledge SACE Stage 2 Maths Studies, Specialist Maths, Physics
    Course Description The aim of the course is to provide students with a broad overview of introduction to petroleum engineering in order that advanced courses in subsequent years can be understood within a broader petroleum engineering context. This course covers introductions to petroleum drilling, completions and production, reservoir mechanics, fundamentals of rock and fluid properties, composition and PVT properties of petroleum fluids; basic physical and chemical properties of petroleum reservoir fluids related to reservoir processes and production. It also provides an introduction to decision-making and the petroleum business environment.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Abbas Zeinijahromi

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

    1 Explain the basic procedures and role of all fundamental systems used in petroleum drilling.
    2 Develop awareness of the multiple aspects of drilling operations and the challenge of analysing and synthesizing the numerous technical issues encountered during drilling.
    3 Explain basic concepts of reservoir engineering, methods of oil production and technologies for oil recovery.
    4 Define basic properties of reservoir rocks and fluids and methods for their calculation and measurement.
    5 Analyse the key issues in the design and optimisation of petroleum production systems.
    6 Demonstrate an understanding of the difference between risk and uncertainty by explaining the conceptual difference between them, describing their impact on decisions in the oil & gas industry and illustrating by examples.
    7 Describe the main elements of any decision problem, identify the factors that make decisions "hard” and explain each of the 8-steps for evaluating "hard" decisions.
    8 Apply a critical-thinking and problem-solving approach towards the principles of petroleum engineering.
    9 Apply theoretical and practice skills in data analysis used for real petroleum engineering problems through case studies.

    The above course learning outcomes are aligned with the Engineers Australia Stage 1 Competency Standard for the Professional Engineer.
    The course is designed to develop the following Elements of Competency: 1.1   1.2   1.3   1.4   1.5   1.6   2.1   2.2   2.3   3.1   3.5   

    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    1, 8, 9
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    1-6, 8, 9
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    2, 6, 7
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    6, 7
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
    6, 7
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources

    Please bring pens, pencils and a calculator to all lectures and tutorial classes.

    Recommended Resources

    Reference Books:

    1. ‘Reservoir Engineering Handbook’ Tareq Ahmed, 2001
    2. ‘The Properties of Petroleum Fluids’ William D. McCain, Jr., 1990
    3. ‘Petroleum Production System’ Economides et al., 1994.
    Online Learning

    Most materials will be provided through ‘MyUni’ 

  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes

    This course provides an introduction to the specialist petroleum engineering topics taught and researched at the Australian School of Petroleum. Weekly lectures are designed to give students a foundation for the broad range of petroleum engineering subjects covered throughout their undergraduate program. The fundamental and foundation material covered in the lectures will be supported by problem-solving exercises. This will include a research exercise in week three that is designed to help students develop research skills such as problem formulation and synthesis of data and ideas from multiple sources. These in-class exercises give students an opportunity to get hands-on experience in solving typical petroleum engineering problems and to raise their awareness of common industry issues. During the course, we hope to have fun, to welcome you to the school that will be your home for your petroleum engineering degree and to imbue you with our enthusiasm for analysing the earth’s subsurface and advancing the exploration for and development of petroleum accumulations.


    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    This course involves four sessions (50 minutes each) per week of combined lectures and exercises.

    Learning Activities Summary
    1 Overview of petroleum engineering
    Introduction to drilling, Drill rigs and Rotary Drilling
    Dr. Alireza Salmachi
    2 Drill bits and drilling mud.
    Casing and cementing
    Dr. Alireza Salmachi
    3 Fracture and pore pressure and well control.
    Basics of well completions Class test
    Dr. Alireza Salmachi
    4 Introduction to oil and gas reservoirs
    Reservoir rock and fluid properties
    Dr. Abbas
    5 Rock porosity and fluid saturation
    Reserves in place, recoverable reserves
    Dr. Abbas
    6 Rock permeability. Relative permeabilities Dr. Abbas
    7 Wettability, capillary pressure
    Petroleum fluid properties, phase behaviour
    Dr. Abbas
    8 Reservoir drive mechanisms, pressure depletion
    Waterflooding, oil recovery – innovative solutions, breakthrough technologies.
    Class test
    Dr. Abbas
    9 Introduction to petroleum production engineering, well productivity and deliverability Mary Gonzalez
    10 Introduction to production facilities Mary Gonzalez
    11 Overview of artificial lift technology, optimization and best practices.  Mary Gonzalez
    12 Uncertainty, Risk and Decision Making Prof. Steve Begg
    Specific Course Requirements

    Not applicable

  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Weighting (%) Individual/ Group Formative/ Summative
    Due (week)*
    Hurdle criteria Learning outcomes
    Drilling Eng Quiz  25 Individual Summative 3 N 1-9
    Res Eng Quiz 17 Individual Summative 8 N 1-9
    Res Eng assessment (Mid term exam) 25 Individual Summative 8 N 1-9
    Prod Eng critical report 25 Individual Summative 13 N 1-9
    Decision making quiz 8 Individual Summative 13 N 1-9
    Total 100
    * The specific due date for each assessment task will be available on MyUni.
    This assessment breakdown complies with the University's Assessment for Coursework Programs Policy.
    Assessment Related Requirements

    You will be advised of the dates and times of practical tests through MyUni at least two weeks in advance of the date of the test.

    Alternative test dates for students who cannot be present on the date of the test on medical and compassionate grounds can be requested through the Course Coordinator.

    Assessment Detail

    The course will be assessed as specicified in the assessment summary


    Deadlines for submission of any exercises will be provided in class and on MyUni.

    Submission of Work for Assessment
    Practical and field class exercises should be submitted in hardcopy with a completed copy of the assessment coversheet that is available from the school office. This should be signed to indicate you have read the above university policy statement on plagiarism, collusion and related forms of cheating.

    Extensions for Assessment Tasks
    Extensions of deadlines for assessment tasks may be allowed for reasonable causes. Such situations would include compassionate and medical grounds of the severity that would justify the awarding of a supplementary examination. Evidence for the grounds must be provided when an extension is requested. Students are required to apply for an extension to the Course Co-ordinator before the assessment task is due. Extensions will not be provided on the grounds of poor prioritising of time.

    Penalty for Late Submission of Assessment Tasks
    Assessment tasks must be submitted by the stated deadlines. There will be a penalty for late submission of assessment tasks. The submitted work will be marked ‘without prejudice’ and 10% of the obtained mark will be deducted for each working day (or part of a day) that an assessment task is late, up to a maximum penalty of 50% of the mark attained. An examiner may elect not to accept any assessment task that a student wants to submit after that task has been marked and feedback provided to the rest of the class.

    Provision of Feedback to Students
    Exercises will be returned to students within two weeks of their submission.

    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

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