What do Mining and Petroleum Engineers do?

Mining Engineers

In simple terms, a mining engineer evaluates, plans, and oversees the construction of a mine. A mining engineer will be involved in a project through all phases of mining operations – from exploration and discovery of the mineral resource, through feasibility studies, mine design, development of plans and production, scheduling, operations, processing and even marketing. They are still involved at the mine closure stages including final land restoration and rehabilitation.

What do Mining Engineers do?

  • Investigate mineral deposits and work with geologists, other earth scientists and economists to evaluate them and determine whether they can be mined profitably.
  • Look at the depth and characteristics of the mineral deposit and its surrounding to work out the most suitable mining method.
  • Carry out the mine design including all the relevant mine planning and scheduling using state-of-the-art mine planning and visualisation software.
  • Plan and coordinate the employment of mining staff and selection of equipment with regard to efficiency, safety and environmental conditions.
  • Talk to geologists and other engineers about the design, selection and provision of equipment, facilities and systems for mining, as well as infrastructure such as access roads, water and power supplies.
  • Oversee, in conjunction with mine management the mine construction and implementation of mine plans.
  • Take on responsibility and leadership for production crews and operational mine performance.
  • Conduct ongoing research aimed at improving efficiency and safety in mines.

Petroleum Engineers

Petroleum Engineers are employed by oil or gas companies to design, test and implement efficient methods to extract petroleum products from the earth and sea floor. They spend most of their time making estimations because they can never see what is actually going on thousands of meters below the ground. They work closely with other professionals, such as geologists, to locate the dig site, design and build the machines that extract as much oil and gas as possible, and oversee the removal and processing of the petroleum itself. All this, while working to keep costs low.

To help with the company’s decision making, a Petroleum Engineer may research and present the findings to a company’s management. Petroleum Engineers need to determine whether the cost to remove the ‘crude materials’ from the ground is low enough compared to the money earned from selling the refined products. Petroleum Engineers are highly sought after because the world has such a high need for hydrocarbons as a fuel source. Many petroleum engineers work for some of the biggest companies in the world and, in most cases, are the best paid compared to other engineering disciplines.

What do Petroleum Engineers do?

  • study geological and geophysical information to determine the most efficient drilling method and equipment to use
  • develop tools, machines, and equipment used to extract petroleum products
  • operate software used to control and run the machines
  • oversee teams employed on a job site
  • manage a job site's overall production
  • supervise the safe removal of drilling equipment once the site is exhausted