Also called: Drilling Engineer, Engineer, Petroleum Engineer, Reservoir Engineer
Produced by CareerOneStop
Video transcript: skip transcript
Creativity is a quality more often associated with artists than engineers, but petroleum engineers need it— to develop new ways to extract oil and gas from below the Earth’s surface, and make old oil wells more productive. Oil and gas deposits reside deep in rock formations, accessible only by drilling wells on land or at sea. Petroleum engineers work with other scientists to map geological formations and determine drilling methods, design equipment, run the drilling plan, and monitor operations. These engineers analyze data to anticipate flaws or complications in a drilling plan before a project begins. They work hard to consider all potential issues, and to quickly address problems that do occur. Most petroleum engineers work in the oil industry… though some work in related manufacturing, or manage companies in the oil industry. They generally work in offices or research laboratories, as well as at drilling sites to monitor operations— often for extended periods. Petroleum engineers work around the world, and must work effectively with people from a wide variety of backgrounds. Full-time hours are typical, and overtime is common. Hours are longer at drill sites. Employers prefer candidates with a bachelor’s degree in petroleum engineering, although some accept a degree in mechanical or chemical engineering as well.
What they do:Devise methods to improve oil and gas extraction and production and determine the need for new or modified tool designs. Oversee drilling and offer technical advice.
On the job, you would:
- Specify and supervise well modification and stimulation programs to maximize oil and gas recovery.
- Monitor production rates, and plan rework processes to improve production.
- Maintain records of drilling and production operations.
Engineering and Technology
- product and service development
- computers and electronics
Math and Science
- arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics
- accounting and economics
Arts and Humanities
- English language
- reading work related information
- thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem
People and Technology Systems
- figuring out how a system should work and how changes in the future will affect it
- measuring how well a system is working and how to improve it
- noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
- communicate by speaking
- communicate by writing
Ideas and Logic
- make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information
- notice when problems happen
- choose the right type of math to solve a problem
- add, subtract, multiply, or divide
- pay attention to something without being distracted
People interested in this work like activities that include ideas, thinking, and figuring things out.
They do well at jobs that need:
- Analytical Thinking
- Attention to Detail
You might use software like this on the job:
Analytical or scientific software
Object or component oriented development software