What do Petroleum Engineers do?

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 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