Petroleum Engineers Career Video
Description: 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.
Creativity is a quality more often associated with artists than engineers, but petroleum engineers need it— to develop new ways to extract oil and gas from below the Earth’s surface, and make old oil wells more productive. Oil and gas deposits reside deep in rock formations, accessible only by drilling wells on land or at sea. Petroleum engineers work with other scientists to map geological formations and determine drilling methods, design equipment, run the drilling plan, and monitor operations. These engineers analyze data to anticipate flaws or complications in a drilling plan before a project begins. They work hard to consider all potential issues, and to quickly address problems that do occur. Most petroleum engineers work in the oil industry… though some work in related manufacturing, or manage companies in the oil industry. They generally work in offices or research laboratories, as well as at drilling sites to monitor operations— often for extended periods. Petroleum engineers work around the world, and must work effectively with people from a wide variety of backgrounds. Full-time hours are typical, and overtime is common. Hours are longer at drill sites. Employers prefer candidates with a bachelor’s degree in petroleum engineering, although some accept a degree in mechanical or chemical engineering as well.