Butiran Kerjaya

Petroleum Engineer

Petroleum engineers design and develop methods for extracting oil and gas from deposits below the earth’s surface. Petroleum engineers also find new ways to extract oil and gas from older wells.

Petroleum engineers typically do the following:
  • Design equipment to extract oil and gas in the most profitable way
  • Develop ways to inject water, chemicals, gases, or steam into an oil reserve to force out more of the oil
  • Develop plans to drill in oil and gas fields, and then to recover the oil and gas
  • Make sure that wells, well testing, and well surveys are completed and evaluated
  • Use computer-controlled drilling or fracturing to connect a larger area of an oil and gas deposit to a single well
  • Make sure that oil field equipment is installed, operated, and maintained properly

Oil and gas deposits, or reservoirs, are located deep in rock formations underground. These reservoirs can only be accessed by drilling wells, either on land or at sea from offshore oil rigs.

Once oil and gas are discovered, petroleum engineers work with geologists and other specialists to understand the geologic formation of the rock containing the reservoir. They then determine drilling methods, design and implement the drilling equipment, and monitor operations.

The best techniques currently being used recover only a portion of the oil and gas in a reservoir, so petroleum engineers also research and develop new ways to recover the oil and gas. This helps to lower the cost of drilling and production.

The following are examples of types of petroleum engineers:

Completions engineers decide the optimal way to finish building a well so that the oil or gas will flow up from underground. They oversee well-completions work, which might involve the use of tubing, hydraulic fracturing, or pressure-control techniques.

Drilling engineers determine the best way to drill an oil or gas well, taking into account a number of factors, including cost. They also ensure that the drilling process is safe, efficient, and minimally disruptive to the environment.

Production engineers take over after a well is completed. They typically monitor the well’s oil and gas production. If a well is not producing as much as it was expected to, production engineers figure out ways to increase the amount being extracted.

Reservoir engineers estimate how much oil or gas can be recovered from underground deposits, known as reservoirs. They study a reservoir’s characteristics and determine which methods will get the most oil or gas out of the reservoir. They also monitor operations to ensure that the optimal levels of these resources are being recovered.
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Petroleum engineers typically have an interest in the Doer, Thinker and Organiser interest areas, according to the Holland Code framework. The Doer interest area indicates a focus on working with tools and machines, and making or fixing practical things. The Thinker interest area indicates a focus on researching, investigating, and increasing the understanding of natural laws. The Organiser interest area indicates a focus on working with information and processes to keep things arranged in orderly systems. 

If you are not sure whether you have a Doer or Thinker or Organiser interest which might fit with a career as a petroleum engineer, you can take a career test to measure your interests.

Petroleum engineers should also possess the following specific qualities:

Analytical skills. Petroleum engineers must be able to assess complex plans for drilling and anticipate possible flaws or complications before the company commits money and people to a project.

Creativity. Petroleum engineers must come up with new ways to extract oil and gas because each new drill site presents challenges. They must know how to ask the necessary questions to find possible deposits of oil and gas.

Math skills. Petroleum engineers use the principals of calculus and other advanced topics in math for analysis, design, and troubleshooting in their work.

Problem-solving skills. Identifying problems in drilling plans is critical for petroleum engineers because drilling operations can be costly. They must be careful not to overlook any potential issues and quickly address those that do occur.
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