If you’re interested in pursuing a career as a petroleum engineer, it is a good idea to get an understanding of the petroleum engineering job description to see it is an ideal fit for you. Today, the world’s energy needs are growing at a rapid pace and this requires ever more amounts of crude oil and natural gas.
As a result, a specialized discipline of engineering known as Petroleum Engineering has developed which focuses on the exploration, development and production of these hydrocarbons. Due to the complexities involved in this field, petroleum engineers are segmented into three main categories based on the key job descriptions in the extraction process.
The first are the Reservoir Petroleum Engineers who analyze information provided by petroleum geologists. They review the strata and physical properties of potential hydrocarbon deposits to estimate the amount of the resource that can be recovered. Based on this estimation, the engineers then perform a financial analysis to determine how cost-effective it will be to access the potential deposit against the projected revenue from the site.
They then work with the relevant management team to confirm acceptance of the project, and subsequently decide on the best strategy to start the extraction process of these hydrocarbon resources. Finally, they monitor the field operations to ensure an optimal extraction process while ensuring a controlled depletion of the deposits in the most economical way.
Then there are Drilling Petroleum Engineers who are generally based on site. They focus on the best methods to drill the wells needed to reach the relevant oil & gas deposit while ensuring safety and cost effectiveness. This includes the development of the necessary drilling equipment along with the design of the required software to operate these machines.
These engineers are also responsible for overseeing the drilling operations and monitoring the effectiveness of the drilling process. Additionally, they ensure the proper maintenance and optimal performance of all drilling equipment.
Once the well is completed and producing, then there are the Production Engineers whose responsibility is to ensure that the hydrocarbon production process is working efficiently. These engineers determine the best equipment to access the deposit using such things as hydraulic fracturing equipment, tubing, perforating and sand control systems.
They also monitor the hydrocarbon output and if it is not optimal, they design new ways to increase the amount being extracted efficiently. Production Engineers also monitor the pumping process to proactively address any potential problems.
The vast majority of Petroleum Engineers works in the Oil & Gas Extraction sector and can expect to have a very high paying career due to the huge demand by companies in this field. However these engineers have to be prepared to work in a high stress and demanding environment that requires optimal production output in the fields. This means having the ability to handle pressure is an important requirement.
Another major point is that frequent travel will be required to remote sites or offshore rigs with long stays a given. This is because the remaining global hydrocarbon deposits are becoming increasingly difficult to access and are often located in inhospitable and difficult to access areas.
Finally, to be a petroleum engineer, you need to be aware that this is not a normal 9 to 5 job, as on average at least 60-80 hours of work a week is required based on the job and project requirements. This is a general petroleum engineering job description, but of course, it will vary from job to job, but this is what you can expect.