Petroleum Engineers

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Also known as:  Natural Gas Engineer, Oil Drilling Engineer, Oil Exploration Engineer, Oil Well Engineer, Petroleum Engineer

ABOUT PETROLEUM ENGINEER CAREERS

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT Expand
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.
SNAPSHOT Expand
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.
Leadership
HIGH
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
HIGH
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
HIGH
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
HIGH
Communication with others
HIGH
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
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DAILY TASKS Expand
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.
MAIN ACTIVITIES Expand
Getting Information 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 Expand
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.
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Physics 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.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Chemistry 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.
KEY ABILITIES Expand
Written Comprehension The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Oral Expression The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Oral Comprehension The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Problem Sensitivity 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.
Written Expression The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
Inductive Reasoning The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
Information Ordering 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).
Deductive Reasoning The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
TOP SKILLS Expand
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Active Listening 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.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Writing 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.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Monitoring Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Systems Analysis Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
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