Petroleum Engineering Basics

Yashwant Kale Career Guidance, General Leave a Comment

What is Petroleum Engineering ?


Petroleum engineering is that field of engineering which deals with the operations related to production of hydrocarbons.

Hydrocarbons mean the crude oil and other natural gases such as methane. Petroleum and its products are of essential importance in any geographic location on the earth. These essential products are obtained by Exploration and Production. These activities are carried out by companies which fall into the oil and gas industry. Exploration and production go in synergy between engineers. After the exploration, the production of the crude takes place. The experts in the oil and natural gas industry play a vital role in each stage of oil field evaluation, development, production and supply / transportation through vessels. The principles of Geology, Physics and Engineering are applied in each of these steps. The field is similar to that of mining Engineering except that it deals only in the oil and gas domain. We will also present a detailed guide on mining engineering in our coming articles. Many industries are dependent on petroleum. Without this crucial source, almost all of these industries as well as the households come to a standstill. To fuel this demand, there is a need to explore more reservoirs and it is a continual process. It is not an easy task and has resulted in a huge demand for professionally trained experts to make the ends meet.

The exploration and production processes focus on the recoverable volume of a reserve using a detailed understanding of the physical behavior of oil, water and gas present in the porous rock at very high pressure. The field is one which experts of different domains come together to work. Geologists scout potential sites and petroleum engineers determine the life of a reservoir and the methods to be developed so as to have the highest impact in the economy. Hence this is a specialization in engineering that focuses indirectly on maximizing the economic recovery and sustainability of a hydrocarbon rich place or country.

Furthermore, the field also calls for development of modern and sophisticated machinery for the extraction and process of these reserves.

So are you intrigued by this field of multi-tasked heavy industry?

Read on to learn more about the attributes required by a Petroleum engineer.

Do you know that petroleum engineers are one of the highest paid personnel in the entire world?
So if you are reading then, let me guide you further into the industry.
The petroleum industry is broadly divided into two streams – the upstream and the downstream. The upstream sector is comprised of exploration, production and exploitation of natural gas reserves while the downstream sector is comprised of especially production which involves refining, supply / export and marketing aspects. Petroleum Engineers are mainly dominant in the upstream sector. As an engineer it is their responsibility to achieve maximum profit from the exploration and production from the given reservoir by determining and developing the best & efficient methods.

The work of a petroleum engineer begins only after the exploration has been done. Next, they determine the geologic formation of the rock of the reservoir. Then the drilling techniques to be employed are determined. This is followed by monitoring the drilling activities. Some other works involve designing the tools and techniques too, but this is only seldom and not a regular part of job profile. In recent times, engineers started to use simulation software to optimize the designs of tools and work processes.

To be able to achieve greater success in this field, you are supposed to have sound knowledge of other related topics such as geophysics, geology, economics, reservoir engineering, well engineering, etc. Apart from recruitment from this field, other domains from which people are recruited are from the disciplines of physics, chemical engineering and mining engineering.

In the next article, we shall discuss the eligibility, job prospects and salary aspects of this field.

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