The BSc in Petroleum Geoscience is accredited by the Applied and Natural Science Accreditation Commission (ANSAC) of ABET, http://www.abet.org.

The Bachelor of Science in Petroleum Geosciences aims to provide a high-quality education in petroleum geology and to enable graduates to successfully start off their careers in a variety of sectors in the industry and academia. The program is further offered with concentration in Petroleum Geophysics. The strengths of the Petroleum Geosciences curricula include an emphasis on geosciences project and laboratory work and use of modern software applications. In addition, emphasis is placed on the development of professional skills during coursework.

Program Educational Objectives
Student Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the PGS program have the ability to:

  • Apply knowledge of math, chemistry, physics, geology and geophysics to solve petroleum geosciences problems.
  • Apply knowledge to formulate solutions to geosciences problems involving design of geophysical surveys, acquisition and processing of geophysical data and make geological interpretations from results.
  • Apply 3-dimensional Earth models to solve exploration and production-type issues from appropriate geological, petrophysical and geophysical data.
  • Function effectively on multi-disciplinary teams.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of the social, ethical, and professional responsibilities in the exploration and exploitation of energy and natural resources, and a concern for major regional and global social and environmental issues.
  • Demonstrate an ability to communicate in oral and written forms in English appropriate to the petroleum and broad energy industry.
  • Demonstrate recognition of the need for and an ability to engage in continual lifelong education.
  • Additional outcome for the Petroleum Geophysics Concentration:

  • Analyze, quantitatively, the errors, limitations, and uncertainties in data.
Career Opportunities
  • Oil and gas industry
  • Environmental agencies
  • Academia
Career Specialization
  • Geoscience
  • Geophysics
Program Facilities
  • Microscopy and fluid inclusions laboratory
  • Scanning electron microscopy laboratory
  • Sedimentology laboratory
  • Thin sections and core preparation laboratory
  • Geochemistry and stable isotopes laboratory
Course Description

PGEG Petroleum Geosciences

PGEG210 Earth Materials (2-3-3)

Prerequisites: PGEG221; CHEM116

This course introduces the fundamentals of mineralogy, including systematic chemistry and crystallography and physical and optical properties of minerals, emphasizing the carbonate group and silicate minerals. Students learn to use the petrographic microscope and to describe and identify a variety of rock-forming minerals in hand samples and petrographic thin-sections.

PGEG220 Geology of the Middle East (3-0-3)

Prerequisite: PGEG221

This course covers application of the principles of stratigraphy and age dating methods, first introduced in Introduction to Geology and Geophysics. The course introduces biologic evolution theory and covers the evolution of Earth’s atmosphere and biosphere. The emphasis of the course is on the tectonic, stratigraphic, and geographic evolution of the Middle East, and particularly on paleo-environments, facies, and tectonic setting of UAE reservoir intervals. The principles of basin analysis, including the formation of organic-rich rocks and maturation of hydrocarbons, are introduced.

PGEG221 Introduction to Geology and Geophysics (2-3-3)

Prerequisite: Freshman standing

An introduction to geology and geophysics, emphasizing the processes that form and shape Earth, petroleum geology and geophysics, and the geology of the UAE and the Middle East. Course topics include: origin of minerals and rocks; seismology; Earth’s gravity; geomagnetism; geologic time; plate tectonics; structural geology; sedimentary transport and the depositional environments of reservoirs; geo-hazards; hydrology; economic geology. The course includes at least one all-day field trip.

PGEG230 Geological Maps (2-3-3)

Prerequisite: PGEG221

An ability to read, interpret and apply geological and topographic maps to the Earth System is fundamental to the Earth Sciences. The accurate collection, recording and interpretation of high-quality fieldwork data is essential to a geologist’s understanding of Earth processes and environments. Through the application of practical exercises, students will learn to apply static two-dimensional representations in order to construct and understand three-dimensional sub-surface geometries. Students will learn to employ the primary data-gathering techniques used by geologists in the field and the reasons for these.

PGEG300 Matlab for Earth Scientists (2-3-3)

Prerequisites: ENGR113; MATH231

The course will introduce algorithms to numerically solve mathematical problems relevant to earth sciences problems with a focus on numerical methods programming using Matlab. First the course will cover the basics of Matlab operating environment and language for computing and plotting. It will be followed by solving nonlinear algebraic equations, systems of linear equations, linear curve fitting, polynomial curve fitting, finite differences, numerical integration and differentiation and finally basic applications to earth sciences problems.

PGEG311 Sedimentary Petrology (3-3-4)

Prerequisite: PGEG221

Sedimentary Petrology is concerned with the origin of sediment and sedimentary rock. The course covers sedimentary processes, facies and diagenesis. Emphasis is on petrographic analysis of microfacies and diagenesis and on carbonate reservoirs and source rocks. Students learn how to characterize reservoirs using limited subsurface information from petrographic thin sections and cores. For PGEG students the course includes a compulsory four-day field trip; PEEGstudents are required instead to complete a core-logging laboratory project.

PGEG312 Reflection Seismology (3-3-4)

Prerequisites: PGEG221; PHYS122; MATH231

This course covers the fundamental wave theory that is the basis for the method, and the seismic data acquisition, processing, and display techniques in such a way that one can map the underground and describe its characteristics. The course has a significant theoretical component, and includes class exercises using seismic software and display systems on real-world seismic data. A major component of the course is to design, acquire data, and interpret a seismic reflection survey. The course requires fieldwork.

PGEG321 Structural Geology (3-3-4)

Prerequisites: PHYS121; PGEG221; PGEG230

Structural geology is the study of deformed rock. The course deals with the range of structures produced in rock by deformation; with the role of structures in trapping petroleum and their effect on production and with application of structural methods in E and P. Course topics include stress and strain; rheological behavior of rock; effects of time, temperature, and pressure on deformation; kinematic and dynamic analysis of deformed rock; the origin and mechanisms of fractures, faults, and folds; structural interpretation from seismic reflection, well, and other E&P data; mapping of subsurface structures from industry data; regional structural geology of the UAE. The course includes one three-day field trip.

PGEG 324 Remote Sensing for Earth Sciences Applications & GIS (1-3-2)

Prerequisites: MATH 231, PHYS 122

The course covers the basic principles and essential skills of remote sensing using image visualization, processing and GIS (Geographical Information System) for geological and/or environmental mapping. After completing the course, students should understand the physical principles of remote sensing and be familiar with the major remote sensing satellites and datasets. The students will learn the basic skills of image visualization, processing, interpretation and data manipulation for mapping. The course emphasizes the use of satellite images as essential information source for fieldwork.

PGEG331 Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology (2-3-3)

Prerequisite: PGEG210

An overview of igneous and metamorphic rocks as a background for discussing their origin and distribution in relation to plate tectonics. Course topics include rocks and Earth structure, structures, textures, chemistry, and mineralogy of igneous rocks; phase rule and phase diagrams; origin and movement of magmas; metamorphism and metamorphic rock texture, structures and mineralogy, metamorphic facies and metamorphic phase diagrams.

PGEG341 Paleontology (2-3-3)

Prerequisite: PGEG220

Paleontology is the study of past life. The course covers the application of taxonomic procedures to the identification of fossils and the application of paleontology in paleo-environmental and bio-stratigraphic analysis. Students learn about the fundamental morphology, modes of life, evolutionary trends, and time ranges of major macrofossil and microfossil groups. Emphasis is on fossil types that are important in the analysis and interpretation of petroleum reservoirs of the Middle East. The course includes at least one all-day field trip.

PGEG351 Applied Geophysics (3-3-4)

Prerequisites: PGEG221; PHYS122

The course provides an introduction to the principles and methods involved in modern geophysical petroleum exploration. The course concentrates on physical principles survey techniques and interpretation of gravity, magnetics, electrical, and electromagnetics techniques. Students will learn about the equipment used, typical fieldwork design, numerical data corrections, and data processing for each survey method. The course includes at least 3 all-day field trips.

PGEG361 Sedimentology and Stratigraphy (2-3-3)

Prerequisites: PGEG220; PGEG311

 Stratigraphy instructs in the sedimentological and stratigraphic methods used to analyze and interpret sedimentary sequences. Students will learn to interpret physical processes and depositional environments from sedimentary structures and textures, and to apply sequence stratigraphic methods to interpret and model facies and sedimentary basin evolution. The course incorporates modern and ancient examples from the Middle East, particularly from the UAE. The course includes five days of fieldwork.

PGEG371 Data Analysis and Geostatistics (3-3-4)

Prerequisites: PGEG221; MATH231

 This course introduces the conceptual basics of statistical analysis of geoscience data, and instructs students in how to apply statistical methods including geostatistics to interpret geoscience data and to solve petroleum geoscience problems. Course topics include graphical representations, univariate statistics, probability, normal distributions, statistical inference, analysis of variance, bivariate correlation and regression analysis, directional data, circular statistics, Markov analysis, event series and time series analysis, analysis of spatially distributed data, trend surface analysis, kriging, and multivariate methods.

PGEG381 Rock Mechanics and Reservoirs (2-3-3)

Prerequisite: PGEG321

 This course builds on material introduced in PGEG 321 and provides theoretical and practical introduction to basic physical and mechanical rock properties and their core-based measurements. Selected reservoir rock properties such as porosity, permeability, saturations, capillary pressures and relative permeability are introduced first. Then topics such as nature of rock, rock deformability, brittle and ductile behavior, rock stresses, stress transformations, rock strength and failure and rock testing methods are discussed. Concepts introduced in the classroom are reinforced through laboratory sessions.

PGEG397 Field Petroleum Geology (0-0-4)

Prerequisites: PGEG321; PGEG361

 Field Petroleum Geology is concerned with the study of lithologies and structures in the field. The course addresses vertical and horizontal variability in depositional facies and physical characteristics in reservoirs in three dimensions, and shows how physical variability affects petroleum capacity, flow, and production. Attention is paid to post-depositional diagenetic processes and their effect on reservoir evolution. Students make geological and petrophysical measurement of time and facies-equivalents to UAE carbonate reservoirs. The course includes two periods of two weeks of fieldwork, each followed by one week of data integration and report writing at the Petroleum Institute.

PGEG398 Geophysics Internship (1-0-1)

Prerequisites: PGEG312; PGEG351; PGEG361

 Students are assigned to a variety of ADNOC’s operating companies or geophysical service companies where they will work on short-duration projects allowing them to apply the acquire knowledge, gain practical experience and become acquainted with the industry’s working environment. Each student is required to submit a written report and deliver a presentation on his/her work assignment.

PGEG400 Seismic Data Acquisition and Processing (2-3-3)

Prerequisites: MATH206; PGEG300; PGEG312

 This course provides an introduction to 2D and 3D seismic data acquisition and processing for land and marine surveys. It will introduce an overview of seismic data acquisition for both land and marine environments. However the course will concentrate on processing reflection seismic data to produce a geologically interpretable seismic volume. This will be achieved through a comprehensive seismic data processing stream that will take the seismic data from the field to the final migrated volume. An introduction to advanced and modern techniques of seismic data processing to further enhance the seismic image will be covered.

PGEG401 Petrophysics and Logging (3-3-4)

Prerequisites: PGEG361; PGEG371

 The course presents the physical principles of well logging. PGEG 401 introduces students to geophysical measurements made under borehole and lab conditions. The course also demonstrates methods to correlate geophysical measurements and rock properties and prepares students to perform basic well log and core data interpretation. The course covers concepts of rock properties and their application in the oil industry; lab measurements of rock properties (porosity, permeability, density, resistivity, fluid saturation); lithology logs, porosity logs, fluid saturation and permeability estimation from well logs; and full well log interpretation. The course refers to rock mechanics from core and well log data.

PGEG410 Reservoir Geophysics (2-3-3)

Prerequisites: PGEG351; PGEG400; PGEG401

 The course provides an introduction to reservoir geophysics with emphasis on carbonate reservoirs. The course concentrates on the integration of seismic data, well data, and petrophysical data. Various aspects of the traditional approach of exploration geophysics as well as modern aspects of reservoir geophysics will be covered.

PGEG412 Seismic Reflection Interpretation (3-3-4)

Prerequisite: PGEG312

Co-requisite: PGEG461

The course covers principles and practices of seismic reflection interpretation. Course topics include: seismic interpretation theory and principles; picking wavelets; well to seismic ties; synthetic seismograms; fault identification; time-to-depth conversion; seismic stratigraphy; 3D seismic interpretation; seismic fracture analysis and interpretation; and seismic attributes. Students will learn how to interpret varieties of processed seismic data using seismic data interpretation software. Emphasis is on interpretation of carbonate strata.

PGEG 413 Micropaleontology (2-3-3)

Prerequisite: PGEG 341

Micropaleontology is the study of microscopic fossil organisms. This course offers an overview of the most common microfossil groups. Identification techniques, stratigraphic distribution of the major microfossil groups and their relation with the sedimentary environments will be explained. The applications and uses of each microfossil group (biostratigraphy, paleogeography, paleoenvironmental, paleoclimatic reconstructions) will be explained. Emphasis will be given on shallow-marine unicellular microorganisms of the Mesozoic and Cenozoic.

PGEG451 Environmental Geology (3-0-3)

Prerequisites: PGEG221; CHEM116

This course deals with how people interact with Earth’s natural systems. Environment profoundly controls social and economic systems but, simultaneously, humans are major agents of geologic change. The course covers natural hazards, landscape and soil characteristics, groundwater, surface water, climate change, and ethics of environmental issues, emphasizing the environment and environmental issues of the UAE. The course includes a one-day field trip.

PGEG461 Reservoir Characterization Project (2-6-4)

Prerequisite: PGEG361

Co-requisite: PGEG412

The course introduces and applies the principles and practices used to characterize petroleum reservoirs using core, structural, seismic, petrographic, and petrophysical data. Emphasis is on depositional geometries, petrophysical properties, and compartmentalization of carbonate reservoirs. Much of the coursework involves characterizing and designing a model of a UAE reservoir integrating multiple datasets.

PGEG490 Senior Research Project I (1-2-3)

Prerequisite: Senior Standing

This course comprises the development and initiation of an independent research project within the fields of the Earth Sciences. Prior to commencing the course, students must arrange for supervision from a Geosciences member of faculty and the topic of study must be approved by the Geosciences Program. The course comprises a significant taught component focusing on the methodologies and ethics of project proposal preparation. Following the preparation of the acceptance of the written proposal and the successful defence of the proposal presentation the student will commence work on the project.

PGEG491 Senior Research Project II (1-6-3)

Prerequisite: PGEG490

This course involves completion of a project in the student’s area of interest in some area of petroleum geology or geophysics. Students must have arranged for supervision from an instructor and the project must have been approved by the Petroleum Geosciences Program. The course consists mostly of independent project work.

PGEG 293/393/493 Special Topics in Petroleum Geosciences (1-4 credit hours, variabledependent on credit hours)

Prerequisites: To be determined by the program

Corequisites: To be determined by the program

Restrictions: PGEG 293 is open to Sophomore students and above, PGEG 393 is open to Junior students and above, PGEG 493 is open to Senior students only

The course offers content not included in existing courses. A student can take multiple Special Topics courses with different content for credit subject to program approval.

PGEG 394/494 Research Topics in Petroleum Geosciences (1-4 credit hours, variable dependent on credit hours)

Prerequisites: To be determined by the program

Corequisites: To be determined by the program

Restrictions: PGEG 394 is open to Junior students and above, PGEG 494 is open to Senior students only

The course focuses on research-driven topics. A student can take multiple Research Topics courses with different content for credit subject to program approval.

PGEG 396/496 Independent Study in Petroleum Geosciences (1-4 credit hours dependent on credit hours)

Prerequisites: To be determined by the program

Corequisites: To be determined by the program

Restrictions: CGPA≥3.0, PGEG 396 is open to Junior students and above, PGEG 496 is open to Senior students only

The course may offer content not included in existing courses in an independent study format based on a formal arrangement between the student and instructor. A student can take one or more Independent Study courses (up to 6 credits). Independent Study courses require prior approval of the Program Chair and Provost (or designee).