Petroleum engineering is the science of engineering related to the production of hydrocarbons in liquefied (crude oil) and gasified (natural gas) form and holds tremendous potential in the oil and gas sector. With limited reserves of energy on the planet, this segment involves the exploration, discovery and recovery of precious hydrocarbon sources and is expected to generate great demand for highly qualified engineers across the world. With the growing demand for energy sources, a degree in petroleum engineering will become the key towards a successful and high paying career.

Typically, petroleum engineering requires an in depth understanding of many inter-related disciplines including geophysics, petroleum geology, formation evaluation (well logging), drilling, reservoir simulation, reservoir engineering, well engineering, completions and oil as well as gas facilities engineering. Besides, such candidates also require a basic understanding of mathematics, economics and chemistry as they have to work with geologists to understand the geologic formation and properties of the rock containing the oil reservoir. Proficiency in designing complex systems or relevant computer skills are also a desirable aspect as petroleum engineers design equipment and processes to maximize the profitable recovery of oil and gas. In fact, energy companies own many of the world’s supercomputers as they attempt to devise complex models with the aim of creating new techniques to extract valuable hydrocarbons. As such, another facet of working in this industry involves heavy number crunching as companies wish to gauge the financial viability of the project and determine if the entire process is worth it.

A good college for a degree or major in petroleum engineering will not only assure placement in a world class organization but will also offer ample scope for future growth. One noteworthy Indian institute is the University of Petroleum and Energy Studies in Dehradun, Uttarakhand. Since this is a highly evolved industry, few other universities in India have the capability to offer a course in petroleum engineering and most reputed colleges in this domain are located abroad. However the complex and challenging nature of this engineering field ensures that the remuneration remains attractive for students.

The US leads the pack for the consumption of energy on the planet with an incredible 21million barrel every day, consuming more gasoline than all of South America, Europe, Asia and Africa combined. Understandably it also houses some of the best universities imparting education and majors in this segment as well as employs people across giants like ExxonMobil, British Petroleum, Shell and Chevron. Some of the top universities in this segment across the globe are as follows:

1)      Colorado School of Mines

2)      University of Texas, Austin

3)      University of Alberta, Canada

4)      Stanford University, California

5)      Imperial College London

6)      Petronas Universiti Teknologi, Petronas

7)      Texas A&M University, Qatar

8)      UPES: University Of Petroleum & Energy Studies, Dehradun, India

9)      Curtin University, Australia

10)   University of Stavanger – Norway

11)   The Petroleum Institute Abu Dhabi, UAE

12)   University of Tulsa, Oklahoma

Trends point out that the petroleum industry will attract smarter and more efficient engineers to harvest valuable energy resources and this segment is on track for steady as well as significant growth in the coming decades, accommodating a variety of lifestyles.

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