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Unconventional Oil and Gas

Ruben Oscar Caligari

INSTRUCTOR: Ruben O. Caligari
DISCIPLINE: Unconventional Reservoirs
CEUS: 1.6
AVAILABILITY: In-House; This course is available in Spanish.

Contact SCA’s Training Department at to schedule an In-House course.

WHO SHOULD ATTEND: Technical personnel with experience in oil and gas that need to learn the nature and behavior of unconventional accumulations of oil and gas and the distinctive aspects of their development. Entry-level professionals who work in unconventional developments and need to understand the meaning of unconventional in this context. No previous knowledge of the subject is required.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Development of unconventional oil and gas has significantly shifted both industry procedures and global energy balance in the 21st century. In this course, participants will start discussing characteristics of what the industry has considered conventional oil and gas to better understand why other accumulations are considered unconventional. Various unconventional systems currently under exploitation will be presented with a specific focus in tight and shale systems.

The complex trapping mechanism of tight and basin-centered gas will be discussed, supplemented with examples and well completion techniques and results. Participants will identify and understand the meaning of key factors in defining quality shale oil and gas plays. Methodologies for assessing technically recoverable resources presented in the EIA-ARI report will be analyzed as well as different approaches for production forecasting.

Horizontal drilling and multiple stage fracturing technologies as applied in current developments will be reviewed and examples of the most prolific plays in Argentina will be presented.


  • Understanding “conventional” oil and gas and defining unconventionals.
  • Unconventional resources: types and historical evolution; US case, Argentina and its potential.
  • Extra heavy oil mining: Oil shales mining; coalbed methane; characterization and examples.
  • Tight gas and basin-centered gas: characterization, trapping mechanisms, development, examples.
  • Shale oil and gas: characterization, quality factors, examples.
  • Horizontal wells and multistage fracturing.
  • Concept of Stimulated Reservoir Volume (SRV): production forecasting and reserves assessment.
  • Risk assessment and project management of unconventional developments.
  • Environmental aspects of unconventional developments.



  • Characterization of the conventional petroleum system.
  • Historical development of the concept of unconventional resources.
  • Surface mining of oil deposits and oil shales mining: characterization and examples.
  • Coal bed methane: characterization and examples.
  • Tight gas and basin-centered gas: characterization, trapping mechanisms, technologies, results, examples.
  • Shale oil and gas: characterization, measurement and meaning of mechanical and chemical properties in shales.
  • Shale plays technically recoverable resources assessment and production forecasting.
  • Horizontal wells and multistage fracturing technologies and design criteria.
  • Well spacing and “frac hits”: concept and measurement of SRV.
  • Environmental aspects, chemical hazard, seismicity, water and land extensive use.