Petroleum Engineering Course and Career details

Yashwant Kale Career Guidance, General 1 Comment

Petroleum Engineering Course and Career details

Petroleum is known as the black gold and hence plays an important role in the overall development of the economy. Please find the educational requirements and job prospects available for petroleum engineering graduates. We have previously discussed the scope of petroleum graduates and also the industry.

Educational Requirements

The minimum eligibility for a career in this specialization is an under graduate degree (B.E) in petroleum engineering.

There are many colleges and universities in India that offer bachelors as well as masters’ courses in this field. Firstly, to get a bachelors degree, the eligibility criterion is a Class XII / 10+2 pass in the M.P.C or P.M.C group i.e. Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics as main subjects. Successful completion of class XII is the minimum eligibility criteria required to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Petroleum Engineering.

Next, the admission to colleges / universities is via highly competitive entrance exams. Most IIT’s offer this course and to study at an IIT, you have to clear the JEE (Joint Entrance Exam of the IITs). To study at other regional and national colleges you have to clear their own separate entrance exams either state or national level. In recent times, most of these testing organizations are giving weightage to the marks scored in class XII. Hence you should also strive hard to score well in your board exams too. Getting an admit at IITs or NITs calls for a brighter future and better career opportunities rather than in regional or state colleges.


The course curriculum for bachelor studies involves studying about subsurface activities related to production of hydrocarbons. The key areas of learning will be exploration, processing, refining and supply management. Course curriculum for master studies involves studying about Geology, reservoir engineering, drilling, Production, well engineering, economics and Exploration.
A student is supposed to possess or develop attributes such as team work, handling peer pressure and ability to work in tight –schedules and tackle sea sickness if working in offshore bases. Good communication skills are part of the job profile as one is supposed to be interacting with specialists from a varied engineering base. So both verbal and technical aptitude is a must. Decision making and problem solving skills are a must too.

Job Profile and Prospects

Not many people are aware of the lucrative-ness of this field in India owing to fewer universities offering a degree in petroleum engineering and some illogical myths surrounding the field. One can expect better employment opportunities abroad rather than in India.
It is inevitable that most of the petroleum engineers would be employed in places where oil and gas are located. So Opportunities in oil and gas sector are ample in the Middle East with very high annual income packages. Other countries and areas where much of the oil exploration and production activity is taking place include Africa, South America, Russia and the north sea. In the USA; Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Alaska, and California, and certain offshore sites employ most of these engineers. But as Oil prices are low as compared to the cost of exploration in the US, the growing demand for petroleum is mostly met by imports. It is cheaper to purchase needed oil from other countries, hence oil production firms may not hire petroleum Engineers to look for oil and gas reservoirs.

Major oil corporations in India are OIL India, BPCL, HPCL, Indian oil, ONGC, BP (British Petroleum), Reliance, GSPC, Cairn, Vedanta, British gas, etc.
one can also join research labs as scientists national research facilities such as Indian Institute of Petroleum (IIP), Dehradun.

The job profile involves solving production challenges, identifying, testing and optimizing methods for improving the production. Special focus is laid on safety, maintenance, support and upgrading current techniques and equipment.
The job may be either indoor or outdoor or sometimes both. One positive aspect of the job is you can expect high international travel too as most of the companies operating in this domain have offices and sites in several countries.

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