Petroleum Geosciences > Basin Analysis - Virtual Instructor Led Training (VILT)

About this Virtual Instructor Led Training (VILT) 

This VILT course will focus on the geological fundamentals such as how different basin types differ in subsidence mechanisms, basin cycles, heat flow through time, depositional systems, structural styles and their type of petroleum systems.

Participants will be equipped to make realistic interpretations in new areas; interpretations that are consistent with the specific basin type and the to-be-expected depositional systems and structural styles.

In addition, through simple exercises, the VILT course will provide a background and understanding of how some of the typical PBE products are made: creaming curves, Field-size plots and Yet-to-find. Finally, the essentials of commercial assessments will be covered.

The VILT course will be delivered online in 5 half-day sessions consisting 4 hours per day, with 2 breaks of 10 minutes per day. It is the intention to have at least 2 smaller exercises per day and a larger exercise as ‘home assignment’ which should be worked on after the VILT and before the start of the next VILT. Time will be reserved for recapitulation, questions and discussions.

By the end of this VILT, participants will be able to:

  • To provide participants with a sound understanding of how, and under which conditions different basin types develop, and what the impact of their development is on the typical petroleum systems of these different basin types.
  • To equip participants with evaluation techniques that assist in the regional understanding and illustration of sedimentary basins and their development. Focus is on evaluation techniques that are often best done ‘by hand’.

The VILT course is designed primarily for Geoscientists working on regional basin evaluation and PBE projects, and who want to improve their knowledge and understanding of how different basin types typically develop, and what types of Petroleum Systems could be present. This will allow them to produce technically sound evaluations of the hydrocarbon potential of new exploration areas, and come up with new plays in proven basins.

Even though this VILT course addresses some PBE products such as Creaming Curves, and Field-Size Plots, it is not a PBE course. It does not cover things like making Play Maps and CRS maps. But this VILT course will equip participants with essential knowledge and understanding to make those typical PBE products in a technically sound manner.

The VILT course will be delivered online in 5 half-day sessions consisting 4 hours per day, with 2 breaks of 10 minutes per day. It is the intention to have at least 2 smaller exercises per day and a larger exercise as ‘home assignment’ which should be worked on after the VILT and before the start of the next VILT. Time will be reserved for recapitulation, questions and discussions.

Exercises are focused on illustrating basin framework and basin development in meaningful, often hand-made, sketches/illustrations. It is the intention to demonstrate that making such illustrations is helpful for developing one’s own understanding as well as effectively communicating concepts. Participants are encouraged to work on the exercises that would normally be done as ‘paper exercises’ on their tablets, which would allow them to send their work to the Instructor – doing it on paper and taking a photo will also be allowed.

For home assignments, it is proposed to allow each participant to choose a basin (preferably the one he/she is working on) and have him/her making in different assignments specific diagrams for that basin (regional geological cross sections, chronostratigraphic chart, charge map, etc). The results must be sent to the Instructor and he will feedback on the assignment by email to each individual separately. General findings and examples of good illustrations that have been made will be presented to the group.

Dr. Jan de Jager is an experienced exploration geologist (Shell) with broad background in regional geology, structural geology, depositional systems and prospect evaluation. He is a widely acknowledged expert on the (petroleum) geology of the Netherlands, and author of several key articles on the geology of the Southern North Sea salt basin.

He is generally seen as a very experienced, knowledgeable, enthusiastic and imaginative exploration geologist with a broad background, able to quickly understand the critical elements of hydrocarbon play, a good coach/mentor and a respected advisor for exploration matters.

After a long career in the oil industry (Shell) and the universities of Utrecht and the VU University of Amsterdam (both in the Netherlands), he now provides geological consultancy to oil industries and delivers courses on exploration geological topics – Play-based Exploration, Trap and Seal analysis, Prospect Maturation, Risk & Volume assessment, Seismic-stratigraphy, Geology for Non-geologists, Geological Interpretation of Seismic Data. He receives consistently very positive course evaluations with many repeat invitations.

Dr. Jan de Jager has ample experience in conducting exploration portfolios reviews, providing advice on exploration work programmes within Shell globally and from 2010 onwards for other companies as well: Wintershall (Netherlands), OilSearch (Australia), Staatsolie (Surinam), Tecpetrol (Argentina), Japex (Japan), Tately (Indonesia), Pexco (Malaysia), Petronas (Malaysia).

He worked in a variety of international functions in Shell such as Senior Exploration Advisor, Manager Exploration Excellence where he led an expert group of very experienced and acknowledged experts in exploration directly advising Shell’s global exploration management as well as Global Principle Technical Expert for Risk & Volume assessment of exploration prospects responsible for consistent and correct Risk & Volume assessment throughout Shell.

He experienced assignments of several years to locations on six continents and working in a “global” technical role in-depth. Through these assignments, he acquired hands-on knowledge and understanding of many basins, geological settings, hydrocarbon plays, fields and prospects.

After his Shell career, he was appointed as extraordinary Professor Regional and Petroleum Geology at the University of Utrecht and the Free University of Amsterdam. From 2011 till 2015, he was visiting professor petroleum Geology at the University of Malaya (Malaysia).

His publications included papers on:

  • The geology of the giant Groningen gas field (2017)
  • The effect of salt in fault zones on induced seismicity (2017)
  • Tectonic control on the deposition of the reservoir of the billion-barrel Schoonebeek oil field (2018)
  • New insights into salt tectonics and the implications for hydrocarbon exploration in the southern North Sea (2018)
  • The early life of a salt giant: 3D seismic survey on syn-tectonic Zechstein salt and stringer deposition on the Friesland Platform, Netherlands.
  • Play-Based Exploration of the petroleum potential of the Tremp-Graus, Ainsa and eastern Jaca Sub-basins in the southern Pyrenees (2020, in print): invited for a special issue published by the EAGE on “digital learning”.
  • Concepts of petroleum systems (2020, in print): an invited chapter for the textbook Regional Geology and Tectonics Volume 1: Global Concepts, Techniques and Methodology

To further optimise your learning experience from our courses, we also offer individualized “One to One” coaching support for 2 hours post training. We can help improve your competence in your chosen area of interest, based on your learning needs and available hours. This is a great opportunity to improve your capability and confidence in a particular area of expertise. It will be delivered over a secure video conference call by one of our senior trainers. They will work with you to create a tailor-made coaching program that will help you achieve your goals faster.
Request for further information about post training coaching support and fees applicable for this.

Learn what past participants have said about EnergyEdge training courses

The balance between lectures and exercises is good the way it is.


I really like the course so far. I have learnt a lot and I like how we can apply what we learn from each lesson on our own basin for the homework.


Everything has been going smoothly. VILT is a good platform for real-time exercises.


I really like how we have spent more time on the exercises and discussing the important elements of the exercises.