Course Descriptions

Residency Seminar I

A face-to-face non-credit laboratory course required for graduation.  Satisfies program orientation requirements and facilitates student engagement with the energy industry.

Residency Seminar II

A face-to-face non-credit laboratory course required for graduation that is focused on industry engagement and development of leadership skills.

Perspectives in Energy Business

Overview of the energy industry from the historical and systems perspectives, with discussion of the operating diversity among different energy companies. Explores the relationships among all major energy sectors—oil, gas, coal, nuclear, electricity, and renewables—and their value chains.

Managing and Leading Energy Organizations

A survey of the principles and best practices for managing and leading people and organizations, with special emphasis on organizational situations and workforce challenges that are unique to the energy industry.

Analytical Tools for Energy Business Management

A modular study of management tools and resources pertinent to the energy industry, including problem-framing and analysis, project management, decision analysis, energy information systems, and basic data analysis methods applied to commercially-available energy data. Includes computer exercises.

Energy Accounting and Financial Reporting

Study of financial information used by energy companies. Primarily focused on upstream/midstream oil and gas operations, topics include successful-efforts and full-cost accounting, impairments, asset retirement obligations, production costs, joint interest operations, revenue streams, unitization, supplemental disclosures, conveyances, completion decisions, and basic energy economics. Addresses other energy sectors and international activities as time permits.

Financial Management in the Energy Enterprise

Fundamental principles of finance and microeconomics for energy operations, including supply and demand, opportunity cost, marginal and average cost, revenue and profit, and maximum/minimum relative to cost. Includes aspects of corporate finance from the energy perspective such as capital budgeting, asset management, financial decision-making and risk, and energy project financing mechanisms.

Energy Policy and Sustainability

Survey of initiatives, laws, treaties, and agency derivatives used by government entities to promote development of, and commercial investment in, specific energy resources, technologies, or markets. Addresses the macroeconomic issues and technical viability of competing energy sources, and presents the concept of sustainability from the corporate, environmental, and social perspectives.

Legal and Regulatory Environment of the Energy Industry

Survey of laws, legislation, and regulations governing development, production, and disposition of energy resources and related business transactions, and the federal and state agencies that have regulatory responsibility. Includes a discussion of economic, environmental, resource conservation, and market theories that underlie the establishment of energy laws and regulations.

The Business of Renewable Energy and Alternative Fuels

Principles and practices of doing business in the renewable energy and alternative fuels sectors. Investigates the feasibility and economics of competing energy sources and technologies and considers their contribution to a total systems approach to energy business. Includes concepts of innovation, relevant business models, the use of government incentives, and related topics.

Critical Issues for the Energy Industry

A modular study of major issues facing the energy industry, including: (1) impact of technology and innovation on the evolution of the industry, (2) health, safety, and environmental stewardship, and (3) corporate social responsibility (CSR) and ethics. Covers additional topics as time permits.

Current Topics in Upstream-Midstream-Downstream Energy Operations

A survey of current topics, industry initiatives, new ventures, and government programs that are impacting the operations of energy companies, and by extension, the development of energy resources and the evolution of the energy industry.

Energy Markets and Commodities Trading

A technical presentation of the processes and economics of moving energy resources, products, and supplies from point of production to marketplace. Includes specific information about how energy markets are established and how end products are priced and traded. Addresses all major resource/product groups, but uses natural gas as a template.

Energy Outlook 2030

Comparative investigation of worldwide energy supply and demand over the next two to three decades in light of economic, political, technological, environmental, and societal constraints. Addresses various estimates of existing and future resources, supplies, demand, and usage, in both the domestic and international arenas. Includes historical perspectives of the energy industry.

US Oil and Gas Law

Survey of the legal environment of the domestic oil and gas industry and its operations. Covers property and contract law pertinent to conducting business in the US upstream and midstream segments of the oil and gas industry. Topics include pooling/unitization/conservation agreements, drilling contracts and permits, conveyance issues, and mineral estates.

Energy Transactions in the International Arena

Survey of the legal environment of the international energy business. Covers property and contract law in the international arena, agreements governing international energy commerce and business transactions, and US laws regulating international business activity. Topics include foreign legal systems, national oil corporations, international operating agreements, concessions, foreign direct investment, and dispute resolution.

Economic Evaluation of Energy Assets

Study of energy project economic analysis and decision-making, including cash flow, risk analysis, reserves calculations, property valuation, asset management, and risk. Topics include time value of money, profitability measures, engineering analysis and prediction of cash flow for energy properties, tax and depreciation effects, international contracts, inflation, and uncertainty analysis.

Global Energy Decisions

Study of the history, politics, and operations of state-run energy companies (national oil companies) and how firms who are not government-owned (such as US oil and gas organizations) make business decisions to invest in countries where political uncertainty may be high.  Compares operating characteristics of oil producing countries such as Saudi Arabia, Iran, Kuwait, Mexico, Brazil, Venezuela, Norway, and Nigeria.  Also includes discussion about upstream and downstream competition in various global and regional markets (e.g., coal, power, transportation).

Directed Research in Energy Business

A guided seminar designed to teach research skills, writing skills, critical thinking, and information synthesis that are useful to energy business.  With instructor guidance, students conduct independent research on a contemporary topic of interest from the energy business arena.

Seminar in Energy Business

In-depth study discussion of a current topic from across the industry business landscape. Topics rotate from one semester to the next based on the interests of students and instructors.

Electric Utilities and Power Demand Management

Study of the electric utility industry, with specific focus on power demand management, conservation, and energy efficiency. Topics may include technological advances such as smart grids.

International Energy Markets

Study of energy markets and the economics of energy production and distribution, particularly as they relate to national, multinational, and transnational energy companies in the international arena.  Presents institutional, technological, and historical information on oil, coal, gas, and electricity (including renewables), and includes more advanced topics on modeling, risk, and economic analysis.

Energy in US History: Economics, Environment & Security

Examination of economic, environmental and foreign policy dimensions of energy in America since 1859.  A recurring theme is disconnections between tangible energy market problems and federal policies adopted in response to them (e.g. price controls, tariffs, quotas) and perceived imperatives to secure foreign supply.  Cyclical phenomena such as commodity prices, panics, bubbles and peak oil forecasts are a particular focus.  Tension between conservationism and anti-monopoly politics, and the recent emergence of climate as a security issue are also studied.

Offered in conjunction with Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen

Strategic Operations Management: Oil and Gas

A study of the relationships between stakeholder needs, organizational objectives, and operational strategies. Emphasizes analysis of strategic options available to decision-makers and selection of the most appropriate sustainable operational strategies. Students examine projects from a strategic perspective and apply a range of associated tools and techniques that facilitate decision-making. Topics include capacity strategies, project management, supply networks, the impacts of technology in operations, and related global issues.

Strategic Analysis for the Energy Sector

An investigation of changing business environments and their impact on the performance of industries and firms within the energy sector. Presents critical success factors for energy companies and analytical models for evaluating corporate performance. Topics include strategic planning, analysis of the external environment, analysis of the industry structure, business dynamics, financial analysis, and scenario planning.