Petroleum development and operations


The 8 weeks programme in Petroleum development and operations addresses the challenges of producing petroleum safely and economically while protecting the environment. This requires sound technical solutions adapted to the conditions in which the resources are found.  

It is generally the responsibility of the licenced oil firms, usually led by an operator, to propose and implement a sound development plan for an oil or gas field. Petroleum developments and operations are likely to have substantial impacts on society, for better or for worse. The programme reviews the interactions between company managed operations and the interests of society, such as the process of proposing and approving a field development plan.

The programme will be useful to those who need to understand the contexts and work processes of producing oil and gas, and the proper roles of Government authorities and of commercial firms in this regard. For public authorities it is particularly relevant for those having responsibilities for resource management, safety, environmental management and revenue oversight. For company professionals it is relevant for anyone who need to understand the development and operations of petroleum resources in terms of key work processes as well as their wider implications.

Programme objectives

The main objective of the programme in Petroleum Development and Operations is to strengthen the participants’ capabilities for contributing to the successful and environmentally sound development and operation of petroleum reserves, 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 technical requirements for producing petroleum.
  4. Understand the process of developing petroleum reserves from discovery to production and field operations.
  5. Understand the essential requirements for protecting people’s health and safety, and protecting the environment from the potential negative impacts of petroleum operations.
  6. Understand the common methodology for assessing the economic attractiveness of petroleum activities, including the implications of fiscal terms and uncertainties.
  7. Understand common contract formats for working efficiently with contractors and subcontractors.
  8. Recognise the main impacts of petroleum activities on society and the requirements for transforming petroleum resources into lasting benefits for society.
  9. 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 policy and resource management.

The case work in the Petroleum development and operations class concerns planning for development of an imaginary offshore gas-condensate field, including technical concept, gas offtake, environmental and safety management and economics. The planning process also covers associated and re-injected gas resources in an existing oil field. The teams, representing oil firms with partnership interests in the fields, will present their proposed solutions as they proceed trough stages of identifying opportunities, assessing alternative concepts and selecting one recommended development concept.

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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