Fundamentals of Shale Energy Development: Geology, Hydraulic Fracturing, and Environmental, Geopolitical and Socio-economic Impacts

Lesson 4: Geology of Oil and Gas

Lesson 4:  Geology of Oil and Gas


This lesson will provide you an understanding of the geologic conditions necessary for the formation of hydrocarbons in shale formations and their relationship to conventional oil and gas fields. This relationship will be shown in the context of the Marcellus shale's depositional setting and the Appalachian Basin's tectonic setting. The lesson then provides insights on how geologists use their geologic knowledge like pieces of a puzzle to determine the best places to drill for oil and gas.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this lesson, you should be able to:

  • Conceptualize the depositional setting to form oil and natural gas;
  • Distinguish between conventional and unconventional oil and gas formations.
  • Understand the geologic setting of the Appalachian Basin and what formed the Marcellus Shale.
  • Be able to explain the exploration methods geologists use to locate oil and natural gas reservoirs.

Lesson Roadmap

Lesson 4 Roadmap
To Read
To Do
  • Lesson 4 Homework