The world's demand for oil and natural gas is unceasing. To find new supplies of these vital resources, we depend on petroleum engineers. They search the world for reservoirs containing oil or natural gas and work with geologists and other specialists to extract it.
This is not a simple matt ...
er of plunging a drill into the ground. First, the team develops a map of the underground and devises a drilling method, designing equipment and processes for that particular target, whether it be under a mountain, under a desert, or under the ocean.
To get the most from each reservoir, petroleum engineers also develop enhanced recovery methods such as injecting water, steam, chemicals, or gases into the reservoir to force out the oil and natural gas.
Computer modeling is often used to explore drilling and extraction options and techniques. This is work that requires a combination of complex knowledge with a willingness to travel. The work takes you where oil and gas is found, from America's west and southwest, overseas to the Middle East, and up to the frozen north.
You might work for a major oil company, a government agency, or a small consulting firm. To begin with, you will need creative and practical problem-solving skills and the patience to work with a team on highly detailed plans.
A bachelor's degree in engineering is generally required. Two- or 4-year technology programs may lead to similar jobs, but the individual can't register as a professional engineer under the same terms as graduates with a degree in engineering.
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.
Critical decision making
Level of responsibilities
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
Dealing and handling conflict
Competition for this position
Communication with others
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
Comfort of the work setting
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
Exposure to job hazards
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Specify and supervise well modification and stimulation programs to maximize oil and gas recovery.
Evaluate findings to develop, design, or test equipment or processes.
Write technical reports for engineering and management personnel.
Develop plans for oil and gas field drilling, and for product recovery and treatment.
Maintain records of drilling and production operations.
Direct and monitor the completion and evaluation of wells, well testing, or well surveys.
Interpret drilling and testing information for personnel.
Coordinate the installation, maintenance, and operation of mining and oil field equipment.
Assess costs and estimate the production capabilities and economic value of oil and gas wells, to evaluate the economic viability of potential drilling sites.
Monitor production rates, and plan rework processes to improve production.
Assist engineering and other personnel to solve operating problems.
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Interacting With Computers
Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems
Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Analyzing Data or Information
Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings
Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information
Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
Engineering and Technology
Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
Computers and Electronics
Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Administration and Management
Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Economics and Accounting
Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking and the analysis and reporting of financial data.
Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Complex Problem Solving
Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
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