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Business Fundamentals of Petroleum Exploration (PBM15)


    This course is designed for non-managers who aspire to understand the business rationale of petroleum exploration. It is designed to highlight the background of exploration management decisions for staff members in charge of business decision preparation and exploration project implementation.
    The course starts with an overview of exploration processes in the context of the upstream value chain, which is followed by the introduction of exploration business stakeholders. The bulk of the course comprises of discussions of the uncertainties and risks normally faced and their influence on exploration economics and project management. The course concludes with a review of people and organisation management issues.

    Course Level: Foundation
    Instructor: Imre Szilágyi

    Designed for you, if you are...

    • A junior geoscientist, petroleum engineer or other upstream technician (drilling, production, lab, IT, etc.) or a non-technical professional (business development, legal, finance, controlling, HR, procurement, business support) collaborating with explorationists in your day-to-day operations
    • Working in an oil business venture, service company or a government authority

    How we build your confidence

    • The key feature of the course is interactivity.
    • You will be encouraged to contribute to discussions and to challenge the instructor’s conclusions.
    • You will also have opportunities to bring up your on-the-job experiences.

    The benefits from attending

    By the end of the course you will feel confident in your understanding of:

    • How exploration is phased and the value that is delivered
    • Who the business stakeholders are
    • The rationale behind concessions and petroleum partnerships
    • Geological uncertainties and risks
    • How exploration projects are economically evaluated as investments
    • The principles of exploration project management
    • How human resources and organisations are managed in petroleum exploration


    • Exploration business framework
      - The upstream value chain and the exploration phases
      - Introduction of the stakeholders: oil companies, service companies, government authorities, consultants, NGOs and society
    • Legal framework of petroleum exploration
      - Concession types and fiscal regimes
      - Partnership structures: concession alliances, joint ventures and service contracts
    • Petroleum geology and probability theory framework
      - Definitions of petroleum systems, plays, leads and prospects
      - Relation of the geological processes to the uncertainties and risks of exploration projects
    • Economics framework
      - Basics of economic evaluations: cash-flows, the cost of capital and the net present value
      - Considerations of the exploration risk, expected net present value
    • Fundamentals of exploration project management
      - Definition, planning, implementation and post-evaluation of exploration projects
    • Exploration people and organisations
      - The groups of upstream professionals and their roles in petroleum exploration
      - Career pathways and organisation templates




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