Life of a Petroleum Engineer
The life of a Petroleum Engineer involves a large amount of travel and on-site work. Therefore, the amount of time spent at your desk in the office can be quite limited at times. By definition, the field involves intensive analysis and management of reservoir fields in numerous worldwide locations, which might require extended stays.
Despite the travel, petroleum engineering can be a very challenging and rewarding field. The reason for this is because fossil fuels are being exhausted at an ever increasing rate, which means that companies now need to go to more remote and extreme locations to explore for new reservoirs. Due to this, Petroleum Engineers have to be ready to travel extensively, work in a variety of climatic conditions which can range from desert heat to icy cold, and in many cases be stationed far from human habitation.
The work also involves extended periods of isolation during the extraction and production process along with long hours, with 80-hour work weeks becoming the norm in many areas. This work, therefore, requires people who can work effectively in small teams or even alone, and have high initiative and are willing to take on huge responsibilities.
Additionally, the fuel extraction and production process requires huge initial investments by companies, and there might be an extended period before they see any profits. This means this field requires engineers who can handle a competitive and stressful environment where they can effectively balance profit considerations, drilling and production problems, while also ensuring safety and minimal shutdowns of the operations. While the work may be hard, if a person is willing to work in a very challenging environment, he or she is sure to reap extensive rewards for their efforts.
Videos from Graduates
This guy has a couple of videos on the topic. In this one he answers a few questions sent in to his social media. He’s out of the industry now.
When this one loads you might want to skip ahead to 0:41 because there’s some super irritating music! Good content though.
What is the Lifestyle of a Petroleum Engineer?
The motto of people in this business is ‘work hard, party harder’.
The work is undoubtedly tough. The hours, the shifts, and the environments you work in can be very demanding. You’ll be in the cold, the wet, or the heat a lot of the time.
You’ll have to travel a lot, which is obviously both good and bad. But if you want to explore the world, it’s definitely one of the best industries to be in.
However tough your shifts are, you get an equal number of days off. So with your high salary you’ll have plenty of time to do whatever it is you want to do.
What is the Lifestyle of a Reservoir Engineer?
It’s pretty much desk-based and very similar to a normal IT job – but with better pay and cooler colleagues.
What’s the Best Part of Being a Petroleum Engineer?
Definitely the camaraderie, the sense that you’re in a big team full of smart hard-working people. You get much less of the resentment you feel in other jobs that your teammates aren’t pulling their weight or being annoyed at how dumb they are.
Working hard in tough conditions with people who’ve got your back – it’s great.
Another awesome thing is solving problems and getting things done. It’s a rush to be the guy who cracks the case!