Following the recent discovery of oil and gas in Uganda and beyond, and in cognizant of the strategic direction the country has taken as outlined in the Vision 2040, the Bachelor of Petroleum Geoscience course is part of a set of academic programs at the School of Physical Sciences that has been motivated by the following needs at the National level:
- The need to provide qualified manpower to spearhead petroleum exploration, drilling, reserve estimation and development.
- The need to provide technically well informed managers at the decision making level for the oil industry
- The need to promote sustainable exploitation of national energy resources to spur economic activities in line with the goals of the Vision 2040
The Department of Geology will offer the new undergraduate program for the B.Sc. degree in Petroleum Geoscience based on the course unit system. The program in Petroleum Geoscience will focus on modern natural resource industries, which will not only involve the exploration phase, but also their development and management practices. This program aims to offer a coherent understanding of the areas of science that relate to the earth’s petroleum resources including their nature, origin, distribution, discovery and exploitation. The course is designed to impart practical knowledge and the ability to understand the geological and technological complexity of the petroleum systems.
B.Sc. degree in Petroleum Geoscience
- The programme is designed to provide:- basic knowledge in the key subsurface petroleum exploration & production geoscience disciplines;- specialist knowledge in sequence stratigraphy, sedimentology, structural geology, basin analysis, petroleum systems & reservoir geology;- skills in state-of-the-art technologies (e.g. 3D seismic interpretation, formation evaluation, reservoir modelling & basin modelling);
– guidelines for the main E&P workflows (e.g. play fairway analysis, prospect evaluation, appraisal, development & reservoir management);
– multidisciplinary and transferable skills for working within integrated subsurface evaluation teams.
In addition to the teaching programme in terms 1 and 2, students undertake the following group projects:
Production Geoscience Group Project. This is a field development training exercise which illustrates the integration of disciplines required for field appraisal and reservoir characterisation. The project is carried out by teams of 5-6 students (2-3 MSc Petroleum Geoscience, 2-3 MSc Petroleum Engineering) using an integrated dataset (seismic, wireline logs, cores, fluid pressure measurements, well tests and petrophysical data). The project integrates all the formal teaching in Term 1, and trains students to be team players in multi-disciplinary reservoir management groups.
Exploration Geoscience Group Project (‘Barrel Award’). This is an exploration-based project focusing on the detailed assessment of the petroleum potential in a frontier basin. The project is carried out by teams of 4-6 students, using a grid of 2D and/or 3D seismic data collected for regional exploration, regional well data and industry-standard analogue databases. The project integrates all the formal teaching in Term 2, and trains students to be team players in exploration evaluation and regional hydrocarbon prospectivity analysis. This is a competitive exercise assessed by a panel of three external, senior geoscientists. They select the winning team, which receives the prestigious Barrel Award (an award that extends back for over 40 years).
We regard fieldwork as an integral part of Petroleum Geoscience training, and it is used to consolidate our students’ understanding by illustrating classroom-taught concepts in the field. Fieldtrips are taken in areas of outstanding geological interest that illustrate the full breadth of petroleum geoscience. Our approach in the field is problem based, so that students use the outcrops to help to better understand and interpret subsurface geological datasets (seismic sections, well-log panels, reservoir production datasets). Many oil companies run field trips to the same locations, and the MSc course provides an early opportunity for our students to study the same outcrops and consider the same lessons.
Fieldtrips undertaken during the course include:
INDEPENDENT PROJECT WORK
After the exams, students undertake a independent project from early June until mid-September. The independent project is the culmination of the MSc course, and provides students with the opportunity to further their specialist knowledge in a particular area and/or to gain work experience in an oil company.
Students are expected to demonstrate independent thinking, critical and creative analysis, and sound technical judgment in their project work, and to manage both the technical analysis and time-management aspects of the project. In short, the independent project should represent the pinnacle of a student’s knowledge and ability over the duration of the MSc course.
It is our aim to place the majority of students into companies for the full duration of their projects – typically this amounts to 70-90% of the total student body. The remainder undertake projects within Imperial College.
Assessment of the students is based on three separate components:
- Examinations (50% of the final marks). At the beginning of Term 3, all candidates take five 3-hour examinations on the subjects covered during the course.
- Course Work (25% of the final marks). Certain assignments carried out during the year as course work are assessed.
- Independent Project (25% of the final marks). The independent proect is assessed by written dissertation, poster presentation and oral presentation.
Candidates achieving an overall mark of 70% and above in all three components of the course assessment will be considered for the award of a Master of Science Degree with Distinction.
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