My OpenLearn Profile
- Personalise your OpenLearn profile
- Save your favourite content
- Get recognition for your learning
Earth's physical resources: petroleum
The discovery of the world's first major underground oil field in Pennsylvania, USA in 1859 sparked the continuing era of the world's reliance on cheap energy from oil and gas. This free course, Earth's physical resources: petroleum, begins by examining the geological characteristics of petroleum and the key ingredients necessary to form oil and gas accumulations. Then there is a brief description of industrial operations during the life cycle of an oil field, starting with subsurface analysis and exploration drilling. The course also highlights the role of safety and environmental management as an integral part of the petroleum business and concludes with a short review of global resources and non-conventional petroleum.
Course learning outcomes
After studying this course, you should be able to:
- interpret graphs and evaluate tables of data relating to different aspects of petroleum
- recognise, after being given basic geological information for a petroleum play, the main 'ingredients' (petroleum charge, reservoirs, seals and traps) that contribute to its potential
- understand the roles played by different means of exploration in contributing to defining a petroleum play, and its evaluation
- describe the various options for petroleum production in different settings
- discuss the various hazards to operators and the environment that are presented by exploiting petroleum reserves.
You can start this course right now without signing-up. Click on any of the course content sections below to start at any point in this course.
If you want to be able to track your progress, earn a free Statement of Participation, and access all course quizzes and activities, sign-up.
- Learning outcomes
- 1 The chemistry of petroleum - what is petroleum?
- 2 Key ingredients for petroleum accumulation
- 3 Exploring for oil and gas
- 4 Petroleum production
- 5 Safety and the environment
- 6 Oil and gas reserves
- 7 Non-conventional sources of petroleum
- Keep on learning
Create an account to get more
Track your progress
Review and track your learning through your OpenLearn Profile.
Statement of participation
On completetion of a course you will earn a Statement of participation.
Access all course activities
Take course quizzes and access all learning.
Review the course
When you have finished a course leave a review and tell others what you think.
Creative commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence.
However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions and our FAQs.
Full copyright details can be found in the Acknowledgements section of each week.
For further information, take a look at our frequently asked questions which may give you the support you need.Have a question?
Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has nearly 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.
Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.
About this free course
12 hours study
Level 2: Intermediate
Download this course
Free statement of participation on completion of these courses.