Petroleum policy and resource management


The 8 weeks programme in Petroleum policy and resource management addresses the overall direction and framework for petroleum operations in a country.

Starting from the premise that petroleum resources in the ground (in most countries) are designated as property of the nation, national institutions must provide for the resources to be transformed to benefits for current and future generations of the people. Petroleum policy is the set of high-level guidelines that a nation decides as the basis for exploiting its petroleum resources. It should point the direction for how, and how fast, the nation wants to exploit resources, how to build knowledge of the resources and how to manage the sector. Commercial enterprises can bring essential capabilities for finding and producing the resources, but their interests are different from those of the nation.

The programme covers the activities needed for producing oil and gas over the life cycle of resources. The main focus here is on the early stage of the cycle, when petroleum rights are licenced (contracted) to petroleum firms, and potential resources in the ground are explored. The programme reviews the societal implications of petroleum resources, including issues of transparency, revenue management and the forms of State involvement.

The programme will be useful to public administrators from all branches of Government which are involved with the petroleum sector. It is also useful for professionals of companies aspiring to be long terms partners in the petroleum sector of a country, and for professionals from civil society organisations with a concern for the petroleum sector.

Programme objectives

The main objective of the programme in Petroleum Policy and Resource Management is to strengthen the participants’ capabilities for contributing to the effective management of petroleum resources in a context which involves commercial enterprises, national authorities and civil society. The programme aims to enable participants as follows:

  1. Understand the petroleum value chain in terms of the main activities required to find, produce and sell petroleum.
  2. Understand the key responsibilities of national authorities and commercial firms for petroleum activities in a modern regulatory framework.
  3. Understand the essential geological conditions of petroleum resource formation.
  4. Understand the processes of licensing and development planning in national petroleum resource management.
  5. Understand the essential requirements for protecting people’s health and safety, and protecting the environment from the potential negative impacts of petroleum operations.Understand the common methodology for assessing the economic attractiveness of petroleum activities, including the implications of fiscal terms and uncertainties.
  6. Understand common contracts for licensing petroleum rights to commercial firms.
  7. Recognise the main impacts of petroleum activities on society and the requirements for transforming petroleum resources into lasting benefits for society.
  8. Contribute effectively to solving complex tasks in a multi-disciplinary team context.

Programme contents

The 8 weeks topics page gives an overview of the topics covered in this programme, and in the parallel programme on Petroleum development and operations.

The case work in the Petroleum policy and resource management has as its main focus a process of licencing petroleum rights in the imaginary countries of Eureka and Eastland. Teams represent the Ministries of Energy of each country and two oil firms, carrying out a process of bidding and negotiating licence terms. In preparation for this, they must assess the attractiveness of the areas on offer and of the prospects which have been identified there. For this we use the “GeoX” software from Schlumberger. The case work in this programme also develops revised petroleum policies for the two countries, while the company teams develops strategies for their long term businesses there. 

This programme also features excursions, challenge work and the other components of our 8 weeks programmes as reviewed on the PETRAD 8 weeks page.

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