Petroleum Engineer

The occupation of a petroleum engineer involves planning and managing the recovery of oil and gas from petroleum reservoirs.

Personal requirements of a petroleum engineer may include:

  • Enjoy technical and engineering activities
  • Willing to contribute and adhere to the safety requirements of an operation
  • Analytical and problem solving skills
  • Well developed oral and written communication skills
  • Aptitude for computing and design
  • Being practical and creative
  • Able to work without supervision
  • Willing to take responsibility

Petroleum engineers may complete the following tasks:

  • Study geological and geophysical information to determine the type of drilling equipment and method of drilling most efficient and cost effective
  • Plan locations for drilling
  • To assist in estimating the economic potential of gas reserves by directing the testing of boreholes
  • Identifying the liquids or gases contained and the rate at which they can be recovered
  • Determine the best way to develop gas reserves and to maximise recovery and profit
  • Determine methods of controlling the flow of gas from wells and maintain records of production
  • Plan ways to transport gas reserves to the seabed, including the use of downhole pumps and gaslift systems
  • Monitor the necessary safety procedures and facilities for personnel working on the project

This profession offers various opportunities of specialisation in the major areas such as

  • Drilling engineering
  • Formation evaluation
  • Production engineering and reservoir engineering

Other specialisations include drilling and workover fluid engineering, petrophysics and design.

To become a petroleum engineer you usually have to study engineering at university with a major in petroleum or oil and gas engineering and the completion of a Bachelor degree. However, some jobs may also require post-graduate studies such as graduate certificate, graduate diploma, or Master degree.

The various universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements. There are no suitable courses available in Queensland. Courses are available interstate. For further information contact the universities as requirements may change.

A career as a petroleum engineer may offer you employment by gas production companies and industries.  Employment opportunities for petroleum engineers exist with major oil, gas and exploration companies, contracting firms and government. They may also work as consultants to the industry.