GRA 8518 The Oil Fundamentals (2023/2024)

GRA 8518 The Oil Fundamentals (2023/2024)

Course code: 
GRA 8518
Strategy and Entrepreneurship
Course coordinator: 
Lars Huemer
Course name in Norwegian: 
The Oil Fundamentals (2023/2024)
Product category: 
EMME - EMM specialisation in Energy
2023 Autumn
Active status: 
Level of study: 
Teaching language: 
Course type: 
One semester

This course is part of the Executive Master of Management in Energy in cooperation with BI Norwegian Business School and IFP School.

The history of petroleum is inseparable from that of the major oil companies (NOCs and IOCs) which formed and grew rapidly in order to seek, produce, transform, transport and sell oil and oil products. The understanding of the key components and the challenges of upstream business will give the participants the ability to build their own vision on the future of oil industry.

Learning outcomes - Knowledge

Participants will acquire a comprehensive understanding of the energy scene (international energy outlook) and a clear view of the upstream sector in all its aspects: reserves, technologies, innovations, players (IOCs, NOCs and contractors), investments, costs and taxation systems.

The candidates will also learn about the key characteristics and issues in downstream business like refining and petrochemicals economics with a focus on refining margins and demand volatilities.

The students will develop competence to the necessary professional and managerial level regarding trading and risk management of oil products.

Learning outcomes - Skills

The candidates shall develop skills on thorough description of the key technical, innovative and economic features of the oil industry and its major players

The students shall learn methodologies and practice on how to identify and analyse the different components of the crude oil price and the evolution of the by-products prices (petroleum products and chemicals)

The participants shall achieve operational capabilities on how to

  • Analyse the techno-economics of the upstream sector in all its aspects: reserves, players (IOCs, NOCs and Contractors), investments, costs, benchmarking, risk management, etc.
  • Analyse the techno-economic framework of the downstream part of the oil business: refining and petrochemicals
General Competence

The candidates shall be able to review the mechanisms how crude oil is traded in the physical market and how hedging strategies are implemented

The participants shall be capable of independently evaluate the risk of traded products such as futures, swaps and options in the oil market

The students shall be able to discuss in the public the environmental impact of further expansion of using fossil products

Course content

The Global Energy Outlook

  • Global energy production and consumption
  • Future of Energy demand: constraints, challenges, opportunities
  • Oil price, energy price – Influence of supply, demand, futures markets
  • The actors of the energy scene
  • International Energy agency (IEA) Conference : Debate with IEA Experts

Oil Exploration and Production:

  • Key figures in Upstream (challenges & players) & New debates
  • Oil Reserves, Investments and Costs
  • Legal and Fiscal Aspects : Concession, Production Sharing Contract, Service Contract
  • Crisis management in upstream

Downstream Techno-economics

  • Oil refining, refining margins and costs components.
  • Petrochemicals and their economic framework
  • Maritime and Pipe-line transportation

Introduction to Trading & Risk Management:

  • Oil pricing regime & Oil price formation
  • Spot, forward & futures markets
  • Hedging & risk assessment
Teaching and learning activities

1 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of 26-30 hours. 

Attendance to all sessions in the course is compulsory. If you have to miss part(s) of the course you must ask in advance for leave of absence. More than 25% absence in a course will require retaking the entire course. It's the student's own responsibility to obtain any information provided in class that is not included on the course homepage/ It's learning or other course materials.

Specific information regarding student evaluation beyond the information given in the course description will be provided in class.

The course is a part of a full Executive Master of Management in Energy (EMME) and examination in all courses must be passed in order to obtain a certificate.

In all BI Executive courses and programmes, there is a mutual requirement  
for the student and the course responsible regarding the involvement of the student's experience in the planning and implementation of courses, modules and programmes. This means that the student has the right and duty to get involved with their own knowledge and practice relevance, through the active sharing of their relevant experience and knowledge.

Software tools
No specified computer-based tools are required.

Granted admission to the Executive Master of Management in Energy programme.


Deviations in teaching and exams may occur if external conditions or unforeseen events call for this.

Exam categoryWeightInvigilationDurationSupport materialsGroupingComment exam
Exam category:
Form of assessment:
Written submission
Exam code:
GRA 85182
Grading scale:
Grading rules:
Internal examiner
Examination when next scheduled course
100Yes2 Hour(s)
  • No support materials
Individual The students are evaluated through an individual 2 hours exam, counting 100% of the final grade..
Exam category:Submission
Form of assessment:Written submission
Grouping (size):Individual
Support materials:
  • No support materials
Duration:2 Hour(s)
Comment:The students are evaluated through an individual 2 hours exam, counting 100% of the final grade..
Exam code:GRA 85182
Grading scale:ECTS
Resit:Examination when next scheduled course
Type of Assessment: 
Ordinary examination
Total weight: 
Student workload
40 Hour(s)
Student's own work with learning resources
95 Hour(s)
Sum workload: 

A course of 1 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of 26-30 hours. Therefore a course of 5 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of at least 135 hours.