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Oil and Gas Well Technology Series

Stage 3 OPITO Certificate in Oil and Gas Well Technology, accredited by City & Guilds

Course overview

The Oil and Gas Well Technology series will help learners achieve a broad understanding of the operational techniques of oilwell drilling, drilling calculations, completion and wireline well-servicing. It includes the function and construction of a representative selection of tools and equipment used in the drilling, completion and wireline well-servicing of oil and gas wells, as well as guidance and practice on the calculations required during drilling operations.

The series consists of three units, as detailed below:

  • Oilwell drilling technology
  • Oilwell production technology
  • Drilling calculations

These self-study units enable the learners to select learning materials that suit their requirements. Units can be studied at the learner's own pace and should be studied in the order set out. The study time needed will vary from one unit to another, and from one learner to another – we recommend between 40 - 60 hours for each unit.

Learners can register for units individually or enrol for the complete series – units are non-transferrable and can only be assigned to one learner. Each unit is assessed by examination and an individual certificate endorsed by City & Guilds awarded to successful learners.

Each exam which is passed successfully will contribute to one certificate of unit towards ‘The Certificate in Oil and Gas Well Technology'. The certificate will be awarded after all three Certificates of unit have been accumulated.


Units are presented in a digital workbook PDF format.

Workbooks contain:

  • Syllabus breakdown
  • Training targets for learners to achieve by the end of each unit
  • ‘Test yourself’ questions
  • ‘Check yourself’ answers
  • Workbook activities
  • Chapter summaries.

Who is this for?

The series will be valuable to:

  • Drilling rig crew members at the beginning of their career
  • Process operations staff requiring familiarisation with downhole technology
  • Experienced drilling personnel or operations staff who wish to gain a recognised qualification, or who wish to refresh their understanding of drilling technology
  • Managers and supervisors who need to build on their background knowledge
  • Administrative staff who require an introduction to the technical background, and a key to the technical language
  • New technical or engineering graduates.


There is a written exam at the end of each unit.

Exams can be held any time at an approved venue. There is no set time limit between starting a unit and sitting the exam.

When a learner is ready to take the exam an invigilator must be appointed on their behalf. The invigilator may be a Training Manager, Offshore Installation Manager or Senior Manager. The invigilator is responsible for the receipt of the exam papers, security of the papers, invigilation of the exam and return of the paper.

The invigilator must contact the Open Learning team at the UK office to arrange the dispatch of exams. Included with the papers will be an invigilation form for the invigilator's signature and rules and procedures for the exam.

The learners can also sit the exam at local college or learning centre.These arrangements must be made by the learner. Some colleges may charge an invigilation and room hire fee which the learner will be responsible for.

The examination is a two-hour closed book written exam. Section A has 20 short questions similar to the Test Yourself in the books. Section B comprises three questions of which two must be answered – these require good, neat, correctly labelled drawings and a good descriptor.

Pass Marks:

60%-74% - Pass

75%-84% - Credit

85%-100% - Distinction

‘Test Yourself’ questions are available in the workbooks to help you prepare for your exams.

There is no registration or examination fee. However, in order to be registered to sit the exam, the learner must have purchased each unit.

If learners do not achieve the required pass mark (60%) a re-sit exam can be arranged at no extra cost, only a pass grade will be awarded irrespective of the result. Should learners require a re-sit of the same unit more than once, there will be an examination fee of £30.00 GBP.

Exam Tips

The examination is a two-hour closed book written exam.

Section A

Section A comprises 20 short answer questions similar to the Test Yourself section in the workbooks.

Learners should:

  • Read and understand what is being asked by the questions.
  • Some questions have more than one answer.
  • Check your answer for errors.

Section B

Section B comprises three questions of which two must be answered (25 marks each split approx. 10 marks for the diagram, 15 for description) – these require neat, correctly labelled drawings and a good descriptor. All questions in the paper relate to the information given in the workbooks.

  • When taking exams, it's crucial for learners to thoroughly understand and address the questions asked. Often, learners may identify keywords in a question and write everything they know about that topic without considering the specific task outlined. 
  • Before writing responses, learners should carefully read the questions, plan their answers, and ensure they fully address all aspects of the question. Well-planned answers demonstrate a structured and professional approach. Responses must be clear, credible, and directly relevant to the question posed. 
  • It's essential to provide legible, credible answers and address all components of the question. Moreover, concise or insufficient reports, as well as inaccurate or poor-quality drawings, will result in lost marks. Written content should be easily readable, and the use of workplace-specific abbreviations should be avoided. Only piping and valve symbols provided in the Open Learning study book are acceptable, and marks will be deducted for incorrect symbols. 
  • Learners should not assume that the marker will understand references or accept omitted sections due to perceived obviousness. Reports on processes or equipment should be thoroughly explained, with operations clearly depicted in accompanying sketches.

Exam Procedures


Each digital PDF unit is £190 GBP.

Payment may also be made by way of:

  • Sage pay (card payment)
  • An authorised company Purchase Order

Terms and conditions: 

Customers are entitled to cancel an order and return the goods within seven working days of receipt - this will result in a full refund. Customers can cancel their order by contacting the team in the UK office and quoting the order number supplied. The refund will be paid within 30 days.

Any goods returned should be in their original condition. The customer is responsible for the cost and risk of loss or damage when returning the goods.

Course Products

  1. Full Course

    Open Learning

    Digital Download


    • Oilwell Drilling Technology
    • Oilwell Production Technology
    • Drilling Calculations
  2. Oilwell Drilling Technology

    Open Learning

    Digital Download


    Oilwell Drilling Technology covers operational techniques and the function and construction of a representative selection of tools and equipment used in the drilling of oil and gas wells.

    1 workbook comprising 10 sections

    Recommended study time: 40 – 60 hours

    • Introduction to oilwell drilling technology
    • Drilling systems and equipment
    • Drilling operations
    • Drilling fluids
    • Casing and cementing
    • Drilling from floating installations
    • Pressure control
    • Directional drilling
    • Formation evaluation
    • Non-routine drilling operations
  3. Drilling Calculations

    Open Learning

    Digital Download


    Drilling Calculations provides guidance and practice of important calculations required during drilling operations.

    1 workbook comprising of 3 sections

    Recommended study time: 40 – 60 hours

    Section I

    • Fractions
    • Areas
    • Volume and capacity
    • Units of capacity
    • Capacity of a hole
    • Pump output calculations
    • Bottoms up or bit to surface time
    • Time for complete circulation
    • Annular velocity
    • Spotting pills
    • Cementing calculations
    • Single stage cementing
    • Two stage cementing
    • Liner cementing
    • Balanced cement plugs

    Section II

    • Formation pressures
    • Hydrostatic pressure and pressure gradients
    • Bottom hole pressure and U-tube concept
    • Reduction of hydrostatic pressure by inadequate fill-up
    • Bottom hole pressure while spotting light fluids
    • Closing in to contain a kick
    • Influx density
    • Maximum allowable annular surface pressure (MAASP)
    • Pressure calculations
    • True vertical depth in a deviated hole
    • Behaviour of formation gas in the wellbore
    • Reduced rate circulating pressure
    • Circulating kill mud
    • Well killing methods

    Section III

    • Formation testing
    • Stuck pipe stretch calculations
    • Buoyancy
    • Mud conversion tables and buoyancy factors
    • Work done by drilling line
    • Introduction to hydraulics
    • Hydraulic horsepower
    • Drill collars, bitweight and neutral point
  4. Oilwell Production Technology (Well Completions)

    Open Learning

    Digital Download


    Oilwell Production Technology (Well Completions) covers operational techniques and the function and construction of a representative selection of tools and equipment used in the completion and Wireline well servicing of oil and gas wells.

    1 workbook comprising of 10 sections

    • Reservoir Production and Well Completion Concepts
    • Well Tubulars
    • Completion String Components
    • Wellheads and Xmas Trees
    • Subsurface Safety Valves
    • Subsea Completions
    • Perforating
    • Wireline Equipment and Techniques
    • Artificial Lift
    • Sand Control and Stimulation