Petrol Course Gets Ovations

Non-Geologists Applaud

To over 20,000 persons on six continents, Norman J. Hyne is a rock star — a star in the geology sense.

He is the kind of rock star that stands before audiences and uses the talents of a stand-up comic, a friendly expert and the parent-like ability to take the technical and make the world of petroleum geology, exploration and production understandable, interesting and, yes, even exciting.

More often than not, his over 500 petroleum geology teaching performances before non-geologists end in a standing ovation.

In real life, Hyne is an honored professor at the University of Tulsa, having been voted "best professor" several times by the students. He also is a certified petroleum geologist and president of NJH Energy, a company that owns and manages oil and gas wells.

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To over 20,000 persons on six continents, Norman J. Hyne is a rock star — a star in the geology sense.

He is the kind of rock star that stands before audiences and uses the talents of a stand-up comic, a friendly expert and the parent-like ability to take the technical and make the world of petroleum geology, exploration and production understandable, interesting and, yes, even exciting.

More often than not, his over 500 petroleum geology teaching performances before non-geologists end in a standing ovation.

In real life, Hyne is an honored professor at the University of Tulsa, having been voted "best professor" several times by the students. He also is a certified petroleum geologist and president of NJH Energy, a company that owns and manages oil and gas wells.

Hyne got his rock star status through the short course "Basic Petroleum Geology for the Non-Geologist," the two- and three-day seminars he has taught since 1979, with 97 percent "excellent" course ratings and never an unsatisfactory review.

AAPG has joined with TU as a co-sponsor for the course, including exclusive in-house offerings, and hopes to help expose an even wider audience to the joys of petroleum geology.

An 'Infectious Love of Geology'

It is the verve and enthusiasm he brings to the class that has brought comments such as, "Almost makes me want to be a geologist" — from a landman, no less.

He doesn't have students. He has fans.

The course's survival through several oil busts while other petroleum short courses died is credited to the broad base of potential students and the quality of the course.

Billed as a great course for anyone who needs an overview of the petroleum industry, the course introduces fundamentals and language of petroleum exploration, drilling and production. The fans receive a rock and mineral kit, extensive lecture notes, wall charts and glossary, and get hands-on identification instruction.

The course covers:

  • The basic processes in the formation of rocks and petroleum.
  • The occurrence, distribution and nature of oil and gas.
  • The use of geology and seismic in petroleum exploration.
  • How to drill and complete a well.
  • How to qualitatively interpret well logs.
  • How to produce petroleum and calculate reserves.

The course has over 1,100 slides and hands-on examples — such as a drill bit and different crude oils — and Hyne constantly tinkers with the content to meet the expectations of the future fans. But the core is always the geology of petroleum exploration.

The course was originally designed for geological and geophysical technicians. But as word about the course grew, attendees have included CEOs, lawyers, secretaries, bankers, engineers, investors, investment brokers, geotechs, accountants, journalists and just about every other flavor of non-geologist who touch the world of a petroleum geologist — even wives, husbands and EXPLORER reporters. Also, geologists who are being retrained for oil and gas exploration have taken the course. It is accredited for accountants and landmen.

What makes the class work is Hyne's infectious love of geology and the petroleum industry.

He has received degrees from Pomona College, Florida State (he once wanted to be an oceanographer) and the University of Southern California. He has published or edited nine books and numerous research papers on petroleum reservoirs and exploration, and also teaches advanced geological exploration courses.

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