73362 - Petroleum Geosystem

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Affordable and clean energy Industry, innovation and infrastructure Responsible consumption and production Climate Action

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

The Course is addressed to provide the basic knowledge of petroleum systems and petroleum engineering, with special reference to exploration, drilling and production engineering. These topics represent strategic elements as far as world energy supply is concerned. The Course is completed with an introduction to the study of petroleum economics, project management and engineering phases of the petroleum industry, with applicative exercises and laboratory practices.

Course contents

Part 1 (Prof. Ezio Mesini)

Origin and geology of petroleum reservoirs. Resources and reserves; production and consumption. Overview of Exploration & Production industry (Upstream). Oil and gas exploration and drilling techniques. Petrophysical properties of petroleum reservoir rocks. Reservoir fluids distribution. Laboratory measurements and laboratory practice. Thermodynamic classification of hydrocarbon reservoirs. Phase behaviour of petroleum fluids. Basics of formation evaluation and well logging.

Part 2 (Prof. Villiam Bortolotti)

Fundamentals of fluid flow in porous media. Flow equations. Simulation of reservoir behavior using numerical modeling: basic concepts of discretization, numerical simulation of single-phase and multi-phase flow, model calibration and history matching. Numerical simulations in laboratory by using free software.


K. Bjørlykke: Petroleum Geoscience - From sedimentary Environments to rock physics. Springer Verlag Berlin Heidelberg, second ed. 2015.

Al-Awad Musaed: Petroleum and natural gas engineering overview, VDM 2010.

Encyclopaedia of hydrocarbons: Volume 1, Exploration, Production and Transport, Treccani 2005.

A.Y. Dandekar: Petroleum Reservoir Rock and Fluid Properties, CRC Press 2013.

Supplemental material and lecture notes distributed during classroom hours.

Teaching methods

Classroom lectures, laboratory practice (in small groups). The lectures will focus on general aspects of oil and gas industry (upstream sector). The lectures will be supplemented with practical exercises. The practical exercises will be carried out to produce practical solutions to the theoretical problems outlined during lectures.

Assessment methods

Students must sit a written and/or oral exam comprising of a series of questions that aim to ascertain students’ understanding of the theory of the technological and design principles presented during lectures, and a practical problem similar to the ones dealt with during the practical exercises related to the course lectures. Moreover, the exam is aimed to assess the methodological and critical skills acquired by the student. The student will be invited to discuss the topics covered during the lessons and to move within the sources and bibliographical material in order to be able to identify in them the useful information that will enable to illustrate typical aspects of the course. The achievement of an organic vision of the issues addressed during the classes and their critical use, which demonstrate ownership of a mastery of expression and specific language, will be assessed with marks of excellence. Mechanical and / or mnemonic knowledge of matter, synthesis and analysis of non-articulating and / or correct language but not always appropriate will lead to discrete assessments; training gaps and / or inappropriate language - although in a context of minimal knowledge of the material - will lead to votes that will not exceed the sufficiency. Training gaps, inappropriate language, lack of guidance within the reference materials offered during the course will lead to failed assessments.

Teaching tools

Classroom presentations, laboratories.

Office hours

See the website of Ezio Mesini

See the website of Villiam Bortolotti