Petroleum engineering is a field related to the production of hydrocarbons in the form of crude oil and natural gas. It 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. This sector 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.
Both under-graduation and post-graduation courses are available in this field. For getting an admission in undergraduate level, you need to pass either your twelfth grade with Physics, Chemistry and Maths as your main subjects or complete a 3-year diploma in petroleum engineering. To secure an admission for post-graduate course, you need a graduation degree in the same field. The courses which you can opt for are – BE/BTech, ME/MTech, BSc, MSc and PhD. You can even take an education loan to cover the academic expenses for any of these courses.
Typically, petroleum engineering requires an in-depth understanding of many inter-related disciplines such as geophysics, petroleum geology, formation evaluation (well logging), drilling, reservoir simulation, reservoir engineering, well engineering, completions and oil & gas facilities engineering. A basic understanding of Mathematics, Economics and Chemistry is a must 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 to create 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.
Now, let’s find out what a petroleum engineer usually does. If you become an engineer in this field, you will need to evaluate oil and gas reservoirs to understand how much profit you can make out of it, you have to examine the geological features of drilling sites to devise safe and efficient ways of recovering oil, you have to develop new drilling and extraction methods for successfully completing the assigned job. Thus, it’s not easy but it is super interesting to explore a career in this field. There are various specializations of this engineering field.
For instance, a reservoir engineer usually figures out ways to recover the maximum oil or gas from the deposit whereas a drilling engineer, on the other hand, focuses on figuring out the best way of drilling a well, keeping in mind factors such as cost-effectiveness and safety. Completions engineer usually finishes the task of building a well so that the oil or gas flows upwards from the ground and production engineer monitors production and figures out how to get more out of an under-producing well.
Some of the well-known Indian colleges which offer this degree course are – Indian Institute of Technology (Mumbai, Chennai, Guwahati), Indian Institute of Technology (Indian School of Mines), Dhanbad, University of Petroleum & Energy Studies, Dehradun, MIT College of Engineering, Pune, Maharashtra Institute of Technology, Pune and many more. The US leads the pack for the consumption of petroleum products on the planet. In 2019, the United States of America consumed an average of about 20.46 million barrels of petroleum per day, or a total of about 7.47 billion barrels of petroleum products.
Hence, as a matter of fact, it also has some of the top universities imparting education and majors in this segment. Some of them are – Stanford University, Colorado School of Mines, Texas A&M University, Pennsylvania State University, University of Texas at Austin, University of Oklahoma and many more. So if you are planning on pursuing your education in one of these universities, you can easily get an abroad study loan which will take care of all your academic expenses.
Petroleum engineering is one of the highest paying engineering disciplines as the demand for oil and gas is very high all across the world. Employers require smarter and efficient engineers every year to harvest the valuable energy resources to support the industries dependent on it.