Petroleum Engineer (PE) is a professional who deals with the exploration and production of oil in its different forms which range from gas to crude oil. He/she also monitors various operations such as drilling, completion, workover, etc. This profession requires a lot of technical knowledge, skills, abilities, training, and experience. As an expert in this field, you can earn a handsome payment. If you have a passion for the field then go ahead and take up your career in this important field.
You will be dealing with the following types of wells: Deepwater, subsea, land, directional, multi-lateral, etc. Your primary job responsibilities include installing wellheads, manifolds, electric control panels, electrical cables, pumps, blowout preventers, safety valves, instrumentation systems & equipment.
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Today, there are many countries in the world operating oil company. Some of these countries are leading the oil and gas industry. Today, the USA is the world’s largest producer of oil and gas in the world. It produces around 11.185 million barrels per day on average accounting for 18% of the cumulative world oil production according to U.S. Energy Information Administration. After the USA, Russia and Saudi Arabia acquire the second and third positions respectively in most oil-producing countries. Moreover, Russia acquires the first position in the world’s largest oil exporter in addition to the world’s largest reserves of oil and gas. Likewise, the title of the world’s largest oil importer goes to China.
‘Generalists’ oversee all parts of the Petroleum spectrum in small size oil and gas enterprises. While large-scale energy industry firms require the division of work, and hence the split of Petroleum Engineers into distinct categories based on their function, smaller-scale oil and gas companies do not. The following are the major divisions of Petroleum Engineers in the vast oil and gas sectors.
What is the importance of Petroleum Engineering
There will always be an ever-increasing demand for energy to carry innovations to the next level. Automobiles, airplanes, and helicopters all require natural energy, or gasoline, to function. Petroleum is used for more than just driving cars and flying planes. One barrel of oil is 42 gallons, yet only 19.8 percent of 42 gallons create gasoline.
The rest is used in the manufacturing of a wide range of other products like Car Battery Cases, Dyes, Shampoo, Toothpaste, Detergents, Antiseptics, Soap, etc.
Energy consumption – Energy usage has been increasing constantly since the industrial revolution because of the advancement of technology. Today, due to the ever-increasing population and growing economy, it seems that we have a never-ending need for energy. This explains why the energy market is one of the biggest markets in the world. In fact, it accounts for over 15 percent of the global GDP. Moreover, oil and gas account for more than 70 percent of this energy market. This means that oil and gas will always be present. Due to its importance, petroleum engineering is essential.
Development of oil and gas resources and operations – The development or exploitation of oil and gas fields is the most important aspect of petroleum engineering and hence the majority of employment opportunities in the field come from it. Also, research works on new technologies and methods for the extraction of oil and gas are also conducted by petroleum engineers. For example, they are involved in the design and construction of offshore platforms and oil refineries. Since the demand for energy is continually rising, the exploration process continues as well.
Provision of services related to energy – Apart from developing new energy sources, petroleum engineers must ensure that all other aspects of the industry remain stable. For instance, they are responsible for ensuring the safety of pipelines used throughout the country. In some cases, pipelines can be used to transport natural gas through deserts and mountains. These are examples of how petroleum engineers contribute to ensuring energy stability.
Designing facilities and equipment – The design of facilities and equipment is very crucial to ensure the safe and smooth operation of the entire sector. Examples include designing power stations and oil refineries. In addition, they are also responsible for the maintenance of existing infrastructure. The maintenance includes the replacement of broken pipes and fixing leaks. They also maintain equipment such as compressors and turbines.
What does Petroleum Engineering do
The inclusion of many techniques and equipment, as well as the discovery of various approaches to maximize output, make the Petroleum Engineering area one of the standout distinctive fields to work in. Techniques must be developed in the oil and gas business in response to many unforeseeable events. This necessitates ingenuity and provides a chance for Petroleum Engineers to distinguish themselves from other engineers.
How to become Petroleum Engineer
A Bachelor’s Degree in Petroleum engineering or any related discipline with an understanding of the basic concepts of mechanical, civil, and chemical engineering would suffice as the ideal requirement. Apart from that, you should possess knowledge about the fundamentals of thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, physics, chemistry, mathematics, materials science, mechanical engineering, civil engineering, electrical engineering, computer science.
Job Outlook of Petroleum Engineers
According to U.S. BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS, Petroleum engineers’ employment is expected to expand at a rate of 8% between 2020 and 2030, which is approximately average for all professions.
Over the next ten years, an average of 2,100 opportunities for petroleum engineers are expected. Many of those positions are likely to arise as a result of the need to replace people who change occupations or leave the workforce for other reasons, such as retirement.
What is a Petroleum Engineer Salary
Petroleum engineers earned an average salary of $137,330/year in May 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Types of Petroleum Engineers
Reservoir engineers evaluate the total reserves in a reservoir and also establish its location and create reservoir models utilizing various software programs such as CMG software to gain a better knowledge and visualization of the reservoir beneath. Furthermore, Reservoir Engineers assess distinct fluid characteristics as fluids move from the reservoir to the wellbore, from the wellbore to the surface, and from the surface to the facilities. The changes in the oil and gas characteristics as they move from the reservoir to the wellbore, wellbore to the surface, and surface to facilities have a significant impact on the amount of oil and gas produced, hence also determining the profit.
Reservoir Engineers Work Environment
Reservoir engineers generally work in offices.
Reservoir Engineers pay
The average Reservoir Engineer salary range in the United States typically falls between $34K and $442K according to Glassdoor.
Software use by Reservoir Engineers
Reservoir Engineer use Petrel E&P Software Platform, PHDWin, ArcGIS – Mapping & Analytics Software, ARIES, Spotfire, Harmony Enterprise™: Well Performance Software, CMG Reservoir Modeling
Production engineers come into play after the completion of the wells. They are in charge of forecasting output and deciding on production intervals in the reservoir. Their job might includes production operations, Gas production, perforation control, sand management, and bottom hole control. They are also in charge of constructing the equipment that would allow the well to produce the most. To become a production engineer you have to have a minimum bachelor’s degree in Petroleum Engineering or a related field with advanced knowledge of gas lift, electric submersible pumps, rod pumping systems design, and optimization.
Production Engineers Work Environment
Production engineers generally work at gas field or drilling and well sites.
Software use by Production Engineers
Production Engineer use Harmony Enterprise™: Well Performance Software, RodStar
Completion engineers focus on finishing the well in the most efficient manner possible to ensure the safe production of oil and gas. The completion process for offshore and onshore wells is the same. They do the wellbore clean-up job once the well has been drilled. They guarantee a smooth, efficient, and cost-effective flow of fluids to the surface. They investigate and offer efficient solutions to wellbore issues.
Drilling Engineers are responsible for the drilling techniques (drilling operations) used to drill the well. The size, grade, weight, and type of the casing, type of cement, and tubing are controlled by the drilling engineers. Besides drilling techniques, drilling engineers need to know the nature of the penetrating rocks and temperature underneath, which decides the type of drill bits to use and also the compressive stresses exerted on the rock.
Drilling Engineers Work Environment
Drilling engineers generally work at drilling and well sites.
When the well begins to produce, the position of Facilities Engineer becomes available. Facilities engineers collaborate with other engineers, such as Production Engineers. They use various strategies to enhance the product as much as possible to maximize profit. They are also in charge of effective management to accomplish financial and production objectives.
Geoscientists – Petrophysical Engineer
Petrophysical Engineers are responsible for testing and analyzing the core samples to estimate the presence of oil. They also analyze the other properties of the rocks to have a better understanding of what’s underneath. They also perform the estimation of the volume of petroleum underground. Moreover, they use sophisticated techniques to develop the structure of the formations below.
Universities with Petroleum Engineering Programs
The Hildebrand Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering at the University of Texas in Austin, founded in 1930, offers Bachelors, Masters, and Post Doctoral degree program in Petroleum Engineering, Geosystems Engineering, and Hydrogeology. Some of the major coursework of
Bachelors of science in Petroleum Engineering at UT Austin: PGE 323K Reservoir Engineering I – Primary Recovery, PGE 430 Drilling and Well Completion, PGE 424 Petrophysics, PGE 310 Formation and Solution of Geosystems Engineering Problems, PGE 323L Reservoir Engineering II Secondary and Tertiary Recovery, PGE 362 Production Technology and Design, PHY 334 Reservoir Geomechanics, PGE 365 Resource Economics and Valuation
Masters of science in Petroleum Engineering at UT Austin: PGE 38x Drilling, PGE 388 Advanced Reservoir Engineering, PGE 385K Advanced Multi-Well Formation Evaluation, PGE 383 Advanced Production Engineering, PGE 382/ EER 396 Basic Geology Concepts for Engineers, PGE 381L Advanced Petrophysics, PGE 381M Transport Phenomena, PGE 384 Advanced Thermodynamics and Phase Behavior
The Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering at Texas A&M University is currently ranked No. 1 for undergraduate programs (2022) and No. 2 for graduate programs by U.S. News and World Report (2022). Some of the major coursework of
Bachelors of science in Petroleum Engineering at Texas A&M University–College Station: GEOL 104 Physical Geology, PETE 311 Reservoir Petrophysics, PETE 315 Petroleum Engineering Thermodynamics, GEOL 404 Geology of Petroleum, PETE 301 Petroleum Engineering Numerical Methods, PETE 321 Formation Evaluation, PETE 323 Fundamentals of Reservoir Engineering, PETE 324 Well Testing, PETE 325 Petroleum Production Systems, PETE 355 Drilling Engineering, PETE 401 Reservoir Simulation, PETE 404 Integrated Reservoir Modeling, PETE 410 Production Engineering, PETE 402 Integrated Asset Development