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About the School

The Australian School of Petroleum (ASP) is a world-class centre for petroleum education, training and research.

It is one of only a few institutions in the world offering fully integrated teaching and research programs in the disciplines of petroleum geoscience, engineering and management (reflecting the way industry works). Thus, unlike schools that are based on a single discipline serving many industry sectors, we are a multi-disciplinary school serving a single sector.

Santos Petroleum Engineering Building, University of Adelaide

The School sits within the Faculty of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences and is housed in the purpose-built Santos Petroleum Engineering Building on the University's North Terrace campus; a major component of a Santos donation.

Renowned for the quality of its teaching and research, ASP has a diverse cohort of students and staff from Australia and abroad. We pride ourselves on having modern curricula, designed by industry professionals to produce the calibre of graduates needed by industry; and in doing research that provides useful information to industry and government decision-makers, and to society at large.

  • History

    The School was created at the University of Adelaide in July 2003 by the merger of the National Centre for Petroleum Geology and Geophysics (NCPGG) and the School of Petroleum Engineering and Management (SPEM). The NCPGG, founded in 1986, had established a reputation for research in petroleum geoscience and its degrees were widely recognised as giving graduates an excellent grounding for careers in the industry. SPEM was founded in 2000 as a result of a very generous donation from Santos Ltd to the University of Adelaide to establish a world-class petroleum engineering school.

    Recognition of the compelling benefits to be gained from bringing together all the disciplines in the upstream petroleum industry led to the merger. The structure of the School ensures a focus on the practical needs of the international petroleum industry through the close integration of geoscience, engineering and management in both education and research.

  • Mission

    To create and communicate the future of petroleum discovery and recovery by:

    • providing high quality education for undergraduate and postgraduate students, and industry professionals
    • performing applied research (supported by relevant fundamental research), with the overall aim of increasing finding and production of petroleum, subject to economic constraints
    • fostering cooperation and understanding between the petroleum industry, academia, the public and government, for mutual benefit and for society at large.
  • Vision

    The University of Adelaide, through the Australian School of Petroleum, is, and is recognised to be, Australia and Southeast Asia's pre-eminent academic centre for petroleum-related research and education, and in the world's top tier of such centres.

    Our vision is one of an Australian School of Petroleum that is the destination of choice for students, staff and external stakeholders. We aim to seek new knowledge and to share that knowledge - training and educating the next generation of professionals for the upstream petroleum industry. We aim: to impart to our graduates, core knowledge and skills to maximise their employability and enable them to follow rewarding careers; to imbue them with our enthusiasm for analysing the earth's subsurface and advancing the exploration for, and development of, petroleum accumulations, and; to start them on a path of lifelong learning and critical, yet creative, thinking. Our graduates will be proud to have studied at the Australian School of Petroleum and will have the capabilities to be future leaders of the petroleum industry.

    ASP will be recognised for our integration of petroleum engineering, petroleum geosciences and petroleum business. We will have strong relationships with the petroleum industry locally, nationally and internationally. We will engage the community on broader issues related to the development of petroleum accumulations. We will build world-class research groups, supported by state-of-the-art facilities and equipment, and a vibrant postgraduate and post-doctoral culture. Our research will inform and enrich our teaching. These shared goals will be achieved by a cohesive, growing group of staff and students with a strong sense of camaraderie and pride in the Australian School of Petroleum.

  • Industry Links
    ASP enjoys strong support from the petroleum industry (operators, service companies and government), who provide senior functional (engineering and geoscience) and managerial leaders to our advisory board, which guides and oversees our activities. Most staff have extensive industry experience, and maintain strong ties with industry through consulting, applied research and the presentation of short courses. Staff and students are active in professional societies, including the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG), the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG) and the Petroleum Exploration Society of Australia (PESA). These links help to ensure that our curricula and research are both current and pertinent.

    Industry and government also provide support through scholarships, data, software and providing projects for undergraduate and postgraduate students.
  • What Is Petroleum And Why Is It Important
    Petroleum (natural oil and gas) is found in the tiny spaces between rock and grains deep below the earth's surface. Apart from its obvious use as an energy source for power generation and transportation, petroleum is used to create thousands of everyday products, from most plastics and synthetic textiles to cosmetics and even medicines. The way we choose to live requires about 14,000,000,000 litres of crude oil and 33000,000,000,000 cubic metres of natural gas - per day! Without the continued discovery and production of petroleum, the world would be a very different and harsher place.
  • Useful Links
Australian School of Petroleum



T: +61 8 8313 8000
F: +61 8 8313 8030