Fundamentals of the Oil & Gas Industry: Understanding the Global Business

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Understanding the Global Business program provides an in-depth overview of the global oil and gas industry from a business perspective

Thunderbird understands the truly global nature of the energy industry – and the critical need for managers and executives who understand its geopolitical, cultural and organizational complexities. The Fundamentals of the Oil & Gas Industry: Understanding the Global Business program provides an in-depth overview of the global oil and gas industry from a business perspective.

What Your Program Gives You

  • Explore the global oil and gas value chain.
  • Analyze critical topics such as global petropolitics, the complex interests of NOCs, financial requirements and performance.
  • Dissect the vital business considerations related to safety, environment and risk.
  • Deepen your understanding and stance on the future relationship between the oil and gas industry and renewable energy.

For more than 25 years, Thunderbird has offered top-tier executive education solutions to businesses across the entire value chain oil and gas—perhaps the most global arm of the energy industry. Considered the gold standard worldwide, no other school is better equipped than Thunderbird to prepare oil and gas professionals for the challenges and opportunities of their dynamic worldwide marketplace.

First executive oil & gas offering: 1990
Global delivery: Delivered on 6 continents and online to participants in 50+ countries
Industry participants to date: Approximately 15,000 global professionals
Countries represented in programs: More than 80 nations

Curriculum Highlights

Pre-program online modules

(Each module runs approximately 120 minutes.)

Module 1: The Global Oil and Gas Industry
Today’s world cannot function or exist without oil and gas. Explore some of the fundamental concepts and terms associated with the oil and gas industry and learn about some of the core characteristics of the industry.

Module 2: Politics and Energy 
The oil and gas industry greatly impacts the global economy and, consequently, politics and oil and gas are closely linked. Further understand the relationship between politics and the oil and gas industry. 

Module 3: Access, Fiscal Regimes and Exploration 
Oil and gas companies working in the upstream need to find oil and gas to sustain their business model and continue project development. Understand the process of finding oil and gas and securing the rights to production.

    Module 4: Developing Oil and Gas Projects
    Once access rights have been granted and exploration has discovered a viable field, development can begin. You cannot get oil and gas out of the ground until the project has been developed. Enhance your understanding of development activities in the value chain’s upstream.

    On-campus program topics

    • The Global Oil and Gas Industry – Explore key industry characteristics and current industry trends, and their impact on oil and gas companies’ strategic choices. Plus, improve your ability to think strategically about the oil and gas industry.
    • The Upstream – Gain insight into upstream business challenges in different parts of the world.
    • Crude Oil and Natural Gas Markets – Discover global hydrocarbon markets and how they work.
    • Global Petropolitics – Study countries and companies and the impact that global petropolitics has on the oil and gas industry.
    • National Oil Companies – Analyze the complex interests of NOCs.
    • Financial Requirements and Performance – Understand oil and gas financial management and increase your global management skill set.
    • Refining and Marketing – Identify the key value drivers in the downstream sector.
    • Safety, Environment and Risk – Explore the importance of managing safety and mitigating risk across the value chain.
    • What Happens Now? – How does oil and gas fit into the future of renewable energy?

    Post-program and follow-up

    • Participants reconvene for a post-program webinar delivered synchronously and led by Thunderbird faculty as an open forum for participants to discuss relevant issues and challenges related to the skills and learnings gained during the program.
    • Participants and supervisors complete a follow-up survey to measure progress gained as a result of the program. Typically, this survey is completed six months after the program to provide participants time to apply the new skills and learning to their day-to-day job responsibilities.

    All participants receive a copy of The Global Oil & Gas Industry: Management, Strategy & Finance, written by Thunderbird Professors Andrew Inkpen, Ph.D. and Michael Moffett, Ph.D.

    Program Fee

    USD $7,900

    All inclusive cost Includes meals, lodging and materials.

    Continuing Education Units (CEUs)

    3.0 CEUs

    CEUs provide a permanent record of the professional development training and non-credit enhancement activities of working executives who wish to stay current in global business. One CEU is equivalent to 10 contact hours of time spent at a qualified instruction site. Participants who complete this program earn 3.0 CEUs.


    The Fundamentals of the Oil & Gas Industry: Understanding the Global Business program is designed for professionals from all levels of the oil and gas industry, including: 

    • Industry professionals who seek a greater understanding of the oil and gas business from a business perspective 
    • Technical professionals making the transition to oil and gas management 
    • New employees who would benefit from a well-rounded study of the global oil and gas industry
    • Business students interested in careers in oil and gas management


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    Thunderbird’s world-renowned faculty are hands-on professors with real world experience in working with global institutions and in international markets. Cultural nuances, regional regulations, emerging markets and global teams are part of working for an organization that operates globally. Thunderbird faculty help you learn what to expect and how to deal with the unexpected.

    Associate Professor

    Note: Courses require a minimum number of registrants to run. Course dates and professors are subject to change.

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