Petroleum Engineer: Job Description

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What does a petroleum engineer do? Typical employers | Qualifications and training | Key skills

Petroleum engineers are responsible for the safe extraction of hydrocarbon deposits, equivalent to oil and natural gas. This involves the planning and construction of boreholes (narrow holes drilled into the bottom, used to locate resources) and oil wells (used to extract resources).

Typical responsibilities include:

– analysing geological data
– interpreting well-logging results (records of the geological formations penetrated by boreholes) to ascertain resource potential
– ascertaining extraction risks, such because the area’s potential for earthquakes
– planning and supervising extraction sites
– selecting and maintaining equipment
– monitoring and evaluating reservoir performance
– preparing reports and maps
– developing oilfield production programmes
– liaising with and advising managerial and technical staff
– using specialist computer applications and mathematical models to maximise production.

Travel, both within the UK and abroad, is common throughout the profession and certain roles will require frequent travel to offshore facilities. Salaries could be very generous often enhanced by large offshore and overseas bonuses. To search out out more about how much you would earn as an engineer, head to our engineering salary round-up.

Typical employers of petroleum engineers

Petroleum engineers work both on and off shore for oil and gas service/operating companies. Jobs are advertised online and in national newspapers and specialist publications reminiscent of TARGETjobs Engineering, Petroleum Review, Oil and Gas Journal, Offshore, Journal of Petroleum Technology and their respective websites. Careers services and recruitment agencies also occasionally advertise positions. You may as well find help on finding and applying for jobs with smaller engineering companies here.

Speculative applications are essential and it’s advisable to apply early during the primary term of your final year. Useful publications include UK Offshore Oil and Gas Directory and Oil and Gas Company Directory

– For help with applying for engineering jobs and internships, take a look at our engineering CV and covering letter tips and our advice on filling out online applications

Qualifications and training required

To become a petroleum engineer, you will have a degree in a relevant subject comparable to petroleum, mechanical or chemical engineering. A list of accredited courses is obtainable on the Engineering Council’s website.

Relevant experience from vacation placements or by working in junior positions for a hydrocarbons company could be advantageous. Check out our list of engineering employers who offer industrial placements and summer internships.

Achieving chartered (CEng) status with the Engineering Council may also help to demonstrate your professionalism and commitment to your field. To become chartered, you’ll need an accredited bachelors degree in engineering or technology, plus an appropriate masters degree (MEng) or doctorate (EngD) accredited by knowledgeable engineering institution such because the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3). You will even be eligible with an integrated MSc. To search out out more, check out our guide to chartership.

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