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Last modified: 25 May 2018 11:16

Course Overview

The aim of the course is to give students a theoretical and practical understanding of the main technologies and unit operations involved in upstream oil and gas processing. The key aspects of process safety are also covered to provide the basis for developing safe and operable systems.

Course Details

Study Type Both Undergraduate & Postgraduate Level 5
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study No
  • Professor Thomas Baxter

Qualification Prerequisites

  • Programme Level 5

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • One of Any Postgraduate Programme (Studied) or EG3030 Heat, Mass & Momentum Transfer (Passed) or EX3030 Heat, Mass & Momentum Transfer (Passed)
  • Either Any Postgraduate Programme (Studied) or EG4013 Meng Individual Project (Passed)
  • Engineering (EG) (Studied)

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?


Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

Students will be introduced to the upstream systems and the processes involved in oil and gas treatment to condition the fluids for sales and disposal. Basic terminology and the interface with the hydrocarbon reservoir will be discussed. Fluid flow and the application to oil and gas well production will be covered. The use of equations of state and the development of heat and mass balances is presented. This is followed by a series of modules covering the major technologies and unit operations. The mechanisms involved in the separation of oil/gas/water are reviewed and models developed to allow residence time calculations to be made. Produced water treatment, gas compression and gas dehydration are then covered before moving onto to the topic of secondary recovery through the use of water injection and other methods.  The topic of flow assurance deals with a range of physical phenomena present in upstream oil and gas systems related to the safe and continued operation of pipelines and flowlines. Fluid flow dynamics, particularly slugging, together with related effects; wax deposition, asphaltene precipitation, hydrate formation and sand are examined.  The coupled flow and energy balance is reviewed. The subject of process safety and the many challenges posed by upstream oil and gas systems is tackled using a review of both theory and practical case studies.  The taught material is supported by a range of simulation, laboratory, and, problem based learning exercises.

Further Information & Notes

Available only to candidates following an Engineering degree programme.

Degree Programmes for which this Course is Prescribed

  • MSc Process Safety
  • Master of Engineering in Chemical Engineering
  • Master of Engineering in Petroleum Engineering

Contact Teaching Time

44 hours

This is the total time spent in lectures, tutorials and other class teaching.

Teaching Breakdown


1st Attempt: 1 three-hour written examination (80%); continuous assessment (20%) Resit: Where a resit is offered, the mark reported will be: 1 three-hour written examination (80%), and in-course assessment mark from the 1st attempt (20%)

Formative Assessment



· Students are expected to ask for feedback on their level of understanding at the weekly feedback/tutorial sessions.

· There will be a scheduled session for feedback on the exams within 4 weeks of the publication of exam results.

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