Petroleum Engineer

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Petroleum technicians are usually geologists who specialise in identifying potential sources of petroleum, gas and other resources. They use specialist equipment to attain and analyse samples and often assist in the planning of mines, the creation of maps and the development of extraction techniques. The majority of career opportunities exist in the mining industry, though government departments, construction companies and environmental consultancies may also require their services.
Petroleum Engineer

A petroleum engineer plans and manages the recovery of oil and gas from petroleum reservoirs. They play a crucial role in turning underground reserves of hydrocarbons (oil and gas) into marketable products. Petroleum engineers also devise methods to improve oil and gas well production and determine the need for new or modified tool designs. As only a small proportion of oil and gas in a reservoir flows out under natural forces, petroleum engineers develop and use various enhanced recovery methods. These include injecting water, chemicals, gases, or steam into an oil reservoir to force out more of the oil and doing computer-controlled drilling or fracturing to connect a larger area of a reservoir to a single well.

Within the petroleum engineering profession there are a number of specialisations, with the major areas including drilling engineering, formation evaluation, production engineering and reservoir engineering.

Some tasks and duties of a petroleum engineer include:

  • Design or modify mining and oil field machinery and tools, applying engineering principles
  • Test machinery and equipment in order to ensure that it is safe and conforms to performance specifications
  • Conduct engineering research experiments in order to improve or modify mining and oil machinery and operation
  • Take samples in order to assess the amount and quality of oil, the depth at which resources lie, and the equipment needed to properly extract them
  • Monitor production rates, and plan rework processes in order to improve production
  • Analyse data in order to recommend placement of wells and supplementary processes to enhance production

Personal skill requirements include:

  • Judgment and Decision Making -- Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one
  • Critical Thinking -- Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems
  • 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
  • Complex Problem Solving -- Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions