Petroleum Engineer


Petroleum engineers plan and manage the recovery of oil and gas from petroleum reservoirs.

Duties & Tasks

Petroleum engineers may perform the following tasks:

  • study geological and geophysical information to determine what type of drilling equipment and method of drilling would be the most efficient and cost effective, as well as plan the locations for drilling
  • assist in estimating the economic potential of oil and gas reserves by directing the testing of boreholes
  • identify the liquids or gases contained, the rate at which they can be recovered and the temperatures and pressures that need to be dealt with
  • determine the best way to develop oil and gas reserves and to maximise recovery and profit
  • determine methods of controlling the flow of oil or gas from wells and keep records of production
  • plan ways to transport the oil and gas reserves to the seabed, including the use of downhole pumps and gaslift systems
  • study operating equipment, environmental problems and the treatment of oil to remove sediment and water
  • conduct operations and activities in accordance with environmental policies and codes
  • work safely and use any equipment provided for health and safety purposes
  • monitor the necessary safety procedures and facilities for personnel working on the project.

Working Conditions

Petroleum engineers work closely with people from other disciplines such as geologists and geophysicists.

They may work in remote areas.

Personal Requirements

  • enjoy technical and engineering activities
  • willing to contribute and adhere to the safety requirements of an operation
  • able to identify, analyse and solve problems
  • good oral and written communication skills
  • aptitude for computing and design
  • practical and creative
  • able to work without supervision
  • able to accept responsibility.

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