Tech Electives

In conjunction with the EME department, SPE Penn State offers technical electives.  These are 1 credit weekend classes that are taught by industry professionals.

The five short courses below are typically offered once per semester.

All students majoring in PNG E are required to take 6 technical elective credits.  3 of those credits can come from SPE short courses.  Priority registration for technical electives is given to upperclassmen with the highest attendance at SPE meetings, so please come to meetings and don’t forget to sign in! Information about registering for technical electives will be sent via MailChimp email, so make sure you are on the SPE listserv.

We are always looking for additional short courses to help students satisfy technical elective requirements.  If you know someone in the industry who teaches a course in a technical discipline and who would be willing to volunteer to teach Penn State students, please contact our Vice President.

Assessment, Classification, and Reporting of Reserves and Resources

To be held in the Spring 2018 Semester.

Assessment, Classification, and Reporting of Reserves and Resources is a 1-credit course provided by Gaffney, Cline, and Associates (GCA). In this course, students will learn how to define and estimate reserves and resources according to the Petroleum Resource Management System and the Securities Exchange Commission.

Hydraulic Fracture Analysis

Course to be held the weekend of November 4th.

Hydraulic Fracture Analysis is a 1-credit course taught by professionals from Carbo Ceramics on hydraulic fracture design and analysis using Fracpro software.

Harbison-Fischer Pump Class

Course to be held October 27-29th.  The interest form is officially closed.

Harbison-Fischer is committed to serving the sub-surface oil field rod pump market. Our technically trained, professional staff specializes in solving our customers’ downhole rod pump problems and provides the highest quality products in a timely manner.

In this class students will learn about sucker-rod pump technology. The course is usually 1 credit and free for undergraduates.

Wild Well Control Certification Class

This course is already completed. 

The training program features the most advanced simulator system available worldwide. The simulators use actual well data to mimic possible downhole conditions – recreating all types of operational difficulties – to test the operator’s ability to resolve each unique situation and avoid a blowout in a realistic setting. The instructors also utilize case histories of blowouts and other well control events to teach prevention and control using proven adult learning technologies and multiple simulators for support.

The following are a few of the differentiating features of Well Control Training:

· Extended simulator exercise that are realistic and practical

· State-of-the-art Simulator mobile facility

· Accelerated Format

· Case Histories & Wild Well Control’s unmatched experience in well control operations

Usually 1 credit and free for undergraduates.

Snubbing 101

To be held in the Spring 2018 Semester.

The first Technical Elective/Short Course for the Spring 2017 semester will be Snubbing 101 sponsored by Deep Well Services.  Location to be announced!  Also, interest forms will be posted here and emailed out in the near future!

IHS Harmony – Practical Shale Reservoir Modeling and Analysis

To be held in the Spring 2018 Semester.


Oil and Gas production from unconventional reservoirs specifically tight formations like Shale, is gaining more popularity in the US and worldwide. Due to the different production mechanisms and complexity of the multi-fractured horizontal wells, it is not possible to use conventional methods to model and analyze this unconventional reservoirs. In this workshop, we will cover major reservoir engineering techniques and their practical applications required for reservoir engineers to analyze, forecast and optimize production from unconventional Shale reservoirs.

Workshop Objectives

This workshop is aimed to familiarize the students with Production Data Analysis and modeling techniques to assess the production and evaluate unconventional Shale reservoirs. Each analysis and modelling technique will be followed by its practical application with IHS Harmony software using real field data.

Reservoir engineering of Shale assets requires multiple well performance applications. One common practice is, reservoir simulation which needs large amount of data and computational efforts. Contrary to this, Production Data Analysis (PDA) requires much less information to evaluate well and reservoir performance. The well performance applications that are widely used in E&P industry for Shale reservoir studies are: Decline Curve Analysis, Flowing Material Balance, Type Curve Matching, Unconventional Rate Transient Analysis, Analytical Modeling/History Matching, and Probabilistic Studies/Sensitivity Analysis. Students will learn brief theory for each method and practice it, using IHS Harmony software and real data to determine Oil/Gas in Place, Production Forecast, Estimated Ultimate Recovery, reservoir and multi stage-fractured well characteristics.

Practical familiarity with the mentioned analytical techniques is so beneficial for students to have an effectual carrier as a reservoir engineer in the “Shale” oil and gas industry.

Workshop Outline

1 Shale Plays Characteristics Overview
2 Introduction to   Modelling Techniques and Analysis Methods for Shale Reservoirs
3 Decline Curve Analysis for Shale
4 BHP Calculation for Multiphase flow in Horizontal Wells
5 Flowing Material Balance for Shale
6 Type Curve Matching
7 Unconventional Rate Transient Analysis
8 Analytical/Numerical Modeling and History Matching

Probabilistic Studies/Sensitivity Analysis(Statistics Overview-Monte-carlo

Simulation-Practice using Analytical Models)

10 AOF/TPC/IPR Curve Generation, Liquid Loading Prediction



This technical elective will be held December 2nd-3rd, 2017.

Offshore Well Technologies & Challenges

To be held in the Spring 2018 Semester.

Title: Offshore Well Technologies & Challenges

Summary: Provide insight into various practical aspects of offshore well technologies and challenges pursuant to effective well construction and production activities. To be covered in 5 x 3 hour sessions in one week or over one weekend of 2 days. The course will be very useful to PNGE students as it will cover topics that are fundamental aspects of petroleum industry work and generally not available at the collegiate level and also from a current and actual business perspective.

Topics to be Covered (Subject to Final Preparations):

  • Offshore Industry Background and History
  • Drilling and Completions Refresher-w/Offshore Focus
  • Offshore Well Structures-Types and Applications
  • Metocean Environments, Considerations and Challenges
  • Review of Key Offshore Disasters/Learnings (Ocean Ranger, Piper Alpha, Macondo, Ivan)
  • Various Drilling Units Employed/Selection/Start-Up Process
  • Shallow Hazards Aspects & Management
  • Deepwater and Ultra-Deepwater Challenges
  • Jack-Up Drilling Rig Overview
  • Floating Drilling Rig Overview
  • Directional Drilling Considerations
  • Drilling Fluids & Wellbore Stability Management
  • Lost Returns and Its Impacts
  • Exploration & Development Well Planning
  • Overview of Well Types/Case Histories
  • Offshore Well Completions
  • Special Operations (SIMOPS, Oil Spill Response)
  • Arctic Considerations
  • Logistics & Reconnaissance Planning
  • Permitting & Regulatory Affairs Issues
  • Plug and Abandonments
  • Class Requested Topics

Presenter:   Jon M. Benesch, Retired ExxonMobil Global Drilling Engineer w/37 Years of Service

He also serves as a teaching advisor for PNG 491


Format:       Lecture Format, Use of Powerpoint and some Movie/Video Clips. Class Exercises.

Use of real Industry materials for some topics as obtained from service firms.


Licensing:   No software planned for use or licensing required


Grading:     Based on Attendance, Participation and 1-2 Knowledge Retention Quizzes.