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Petroleum engineering job outlook – What do petroleum engineers do?

Amr Kassab

Nowadays, oil and gas production is crucial to world’s economy and highly demanded in the global industry market.  The combination of decreased trends toward oil dependent discoveries and the endless rise in the fluid extraction cost has placed the petroleum industry under pressure to get the most out of remaining wells. Therefore, pursuing this career is highly promising in the next years. So, let’s take an outlook about petroleum engineering career and its job opportunities.

Briefly, the petroleum engineer is responsible for ensuring that oil and gas extraction is processed in a safe way, affordable for customers, and has the least negative impact on the environment. Constant evaluation and development is the critical mission for petroleum engineers to ensure better production.

Petroleum engineer can be specified in one of the following four main career paths:

  • Drilling which is a kind of technical drilling management. Engineers are supposed to develop, plan, cost, and supervise procedures required for drilling the wells. They are involved in about all stages of drilling beginning from designing and testing, and ending with completion and abandonment.


  • Production where you will manage the boundary between the reservoir and the well and choose the best equipment for produced fluids separation. You will also monitor the well production process in order to ensure optimum output rates and offer necessary modifications for future.


  • Reservoir engineering is another choice for you where you will assess the deposits of oil and gas and determine the reservoir reserves using helpful computer simulations and cooperating with geologists and geophysicists. In addition, you will be responsible for maximizing the reservoir production.

  • Geologist who analyze subsurface structures to find hydrocarbons. As a geologist, you will be involved in defining all data related to reservoirs including their structure, lithology, and stratigraphy. Supportive software systems, samples, and data acquisition tools may be used.

The question here is what to anticipate in the working field?

What to expect?

Actually, whatever you head towards, your work will be restricted at the rig site for the first years till you gain enough experience. After that, you will be able to practice your job mainly from office. Remote sensing technology as well as advanced visualization systems has enabled real time monitoring and taking live measurements from the rig site. Although the work nature involves traveling, continuous overseeing, and even stay sometimes in unwelcoming environments, you can enjoy your free time in front of the see!

If you are interested in this field and want to secure a job, achieving a bachelor and master degree in petroleum, chemical, mechanical, or civil engineering may increase your chances. However, some petroleum fields rely on overseeing and need sufficient technical skills. Hence, several institutions among the world offer distinctive and reliable qualification for you to have better job opportunity and stand out of the crowd!


Recommended organizations!

Heriot-Watt Institute of Petroleum Engineering is one of the most promising institutes among the world which pave the way for research and learning in petroleum sciences and offer a motivating place for creativity in this field. It allows professional development and recognition and offers great experience in all petroleum paths. Moreover, OPITO organization is interested in energy industry and has relations with several oil and gas companies and governments which make it a focal place for training and explosive skills. It has about 200 accredited centers for training according to predefined standards.

It is now possible to realize that petroleum engineering is very promising and demanding. Taking into consideration the general background offered in this article, as well as informed that petroleum engineering is among the highest paid of any other majors and careers; you may able to form opinion about this field and clear many abstractions and suspicions. If you still can’t decide, or you have additional information to be added, please don’t hesitate to leave your feedback.

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  1. Hi
    Really good information there. I myself didn’t know most of this information about petroleum industry. keep it up. Good luck!

  2. Ronnie Jordan Ronnie Jordan

    Nice, this is a very rewarding education to pursue. All of the career options sound very exciting and complicated which means a serious salary. What courses in high school should a person take to prep for such a career.

    • Hey Ronnie!
      You should put extra effort on studying Physics, Biology and Mathematics.
      Good luck!

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