Petroleum engineers are responsible for assessing the potential location, quantity and quality of hydrocarbon deposits, and for planning, managing and optimizing extraction.
Types of petroleum engineer
Petroleum engineers are divided into several groups:
- Petroleum geologists find hydrocarbons by analysing subsurface structures with geological and geophysical methods.
- Reservoir engineers work to optimise production of oil and gas via proper well placement, production levels and enhanced oil recovery techniques. They use computer simulations to assist in the identification of risks and to make forecasts on reservoir potential.
- Production engineers manage the interface between the reservoir and the well through tasks such as perforations, sand control, artificial lift, downhole flow control and downhole monitoring equipment. They also select surface equipment that separates the produced fluids (oil, natural gas and water).
- Drilling engineers manage the technical aspects of drilling both production and injection wells. They work in multidisciplinary teams alongside other engineers, scientists, drilling teams and contractors.
- analyzing geological data
- interpreting well-logging results (records of the geological formations penetrated by boreholes) to ascertain resource potential
- ascertaining extraction risks, such as the area’s potential for earthquakes
- planning and supervising extraction sites
- selecting and maintaining equipment
- monitoring and evaluating reservoir performance
- preparing reports and maps
- developing oilfield production programmes
- liaising with and advising managerial and technical staff
- using specialist computer applications and mathematical models to maximize production.
Employers look for relevant degree subjects such as physical, mathematical or applied sciences and engineering. In particular, the following subjects may increase your chances of securing a job:
- aeronautical engineering
- chemical engineering
- civil engineering
- earth sciences
- mechanical engineering
- petroleum engineering.
- technical capability
- strong business awareness
- analytical and creative skills
- managerial potential
- ability to motivate staff at all levels
- ability to work internationally and in offshore environments
- team-working skills
- drive and enthusiasm
- ability to solve complex problems, regardless of location and circumstances
- willingness to tackle engineering challenges
- flexibility and the ability to work on a range of projects
- computer literacy.