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Petroleum Engineering

Petroleum engineering is a discipline of engineering in which knowledge of mathematics, physics, chemistry, earth sciences and basic concepts of all engineering sciences gained by study is applied with judgment to the exploration, development and production of petroleum and natural gas.
It is concerned with the subsurface activities related to the exploration and production of hydrocarbons, which can be either crude oil or natural gas. These activities fall within the upstream sector of petroleum and natural gas industry.

The Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) is the largest professional society for petroleum engineers and publishes much information concerning the industry. Oil and Gas Journal also publishes latest information on petroleum industry.
The educational objectives of the branch of petroleum engineering are to provide students with
  • a broad knowledge of the principles of petroleum engineering and their application;
    the knowledge and skills required to design and analyze petroleum engineering problems, taking into account, safety, environmental and societal impacts;
  • the skills necessary to perform in the multi-disciplinary environment of the 21st century;
  • appreciation for the value of continuing professional development in maintaining their professional competence;
  • preparedness to succeed in their professional careers, whether they pursue graduate studies or enter the work force in industry, academia or government.
Eligibility for admission into colleges in Andhra Pradesh
The candidate seeking admission into B.Tech. Course shall have passed the Intermediate Examination of AP State Intermediate Board of Education or equivalent examination with Maths, Physics and Chemistry as main subjects and must have secured a valid rank in the EAMCET conducted by APSCHE.

Course Analysis
The first two years of the 4-year B. Tech. curriculum covers courses in English, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, principles of Civil, Electrical, Electronics and Mechanical engineering, Computer Programming, General Geology, Petroleum Geology, Fluid Mechanics, Chemical Process Calculations, Heat Transfer, Thermodynamics, Materials Science etc. supported by relevant laboratory courses. The last two years of study deals with core petroleum engineering subjects, exploration, well logging, drilling technology, well completions & well testing, Petroleum Reservoir Engineering, Petroleum Production Engineering & Design, Surface Production Operations, Natural Gas Engineering, Reservoir Modeling & Simulation, Enhanced Oil Recovery, health, Safety And Environment, Petroleum Economics, policies, law and a few elective subjects covering latest topics.

The curriculum prepares the students to meet the demands of modern petroleum industry focusing on maximizing economic recovery of hydrocarbons from subsurface reservoirs. The mission of the petroleum engineering program is to make engineers for the worldwide petroleum industry.

The graduates of 4-year B. Tech. degree in Petroleum Engineering will acquire
  • a thorough understanding of scientific and engineering principles and their application to petroleum engineering problems;
  • the ability to integrate their scientific and engineering knowledge to design and conduct experiments, and interpret and analyze data;
  • the ability to apply scientific and engineering fundamentals to formulate solutions to petroleum engineering problems;
  • the ability to use techniques, skills and modern petroleum engineering tools;
  • the ability to integrate their scientific and engineering knowledge to solve petroleum engineering design problems;
  • ability to work in onshore and offshore environments;
  • the ability to communicate effectively;
  • the ability to function on multi-disciplinary teams;
  • the ability to recognize the professional and ethical responsibilities of a petroleum engineer;
  • an understanding of the impact of petroleum and natural gas engineering solutions in societal and global context;
  • knowledge of contemporary issues; and
  • ability to recognize the need to engage in life long learning.
The main functional areas of petroleum engineers in industry are Reservoir Engineering, Drilling Engineering, Drilling Fluids Engineering and Production Engineering. Their functions are very briefly described below:
  • Reservoir engineers work to optimize production of oil and gas via proper well placement, production levels, and enhanced oil recovery techniques.
  • Drilling engineers manage the technical aspects of drilling concerned with exploratory, production and injection wells.
  • Production engineers, including subsurface engineers, manage the interface between the reservoir and the well, including perforations, sand control, down-hole flow control, and down-hole monitoring equipment; evaluate artificial lift methods; and also select surface equipment that separates the produced fluids (oil, natural gas, and water).
  • Drilling fluids engineer, most often referred to as the "Mud Engineer" works on an oil well or gas well drilling rig, and is responsible ensuring the properties of the drilling fluid, also known as drilling mud, are within designed specifications.
Demand for petroleum engineers and job prospects
Career prospects are quite attractive in petroleum sector as petroleum companies have great influence and offer attractive salaries to employees. In fact, there is great demand of quality petroleum engineers, almost every young graduate gets a job offer from petrol, and gas companies from India and overseas. However, the market demand will create jobs for petroleum engineers across the world. There are also immense opportunities to become an international engineer and work in overseas locations including South America, Africa, Middle East, Northern Europe, Russia, Southeast Asia, and Australia

An estimated 11% of Indian work force in oil and gas upstream industry retires in the next 5 years. So, the industry is desperate to hire new talent. PWC & Petrofed report of 2006 says that 1555 drilling engineers, 3319 reservoir engineers will be in shortage by 2017, the year of peak demand and supply gap for petroleum professionals.

Oil & Gas Companies
Petroleum engineering graduates have wonderful job opportunities at global and domestic levels. After completing the 4 year degree program, the fresh engineers can find employment in national and multinational oil and gas companies both in public sector and private sector. The names of a few employing industries are given below:

Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs): Oil & Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC); Gas Authority of India Limited; Oil India Limited; Indian Oil Corporation Limited; Bharat Petroleum; Hindustan Petroleum Corporation; Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation (Gujarat State Owned Company)

Private Oil Industries include service providing companies: Reliance Petroleum Limited, Cairn Energy, Essar Oil India, Hindustan Oil Exploration Company Limited, Schlumberger, Weatherford. Haliburton India, Transocean, Baker Hughes, Mitchell Drilling International, Aban Offshore, Great Offshore, Jaqson International, Tata Petrodyne, Gas Projects (India) Private Limited, India LPG, Petrosil Group, Shiv-Vani Universal, Niko Resources Limited, Petronet LNG Limited, Geo Global Resources, Jubiliant Empro, Jhon Energy, Pankaj Petroleum Corporation Limited, Piyush Petroleum Corporation Limited, Prize Petroleum Corporation Limited, Hardy Oil and Gas Limited, Selan Exploration Tech Limited, Aeromarine, Jindal Drilling and Industries Limited, Parveen Industries Private Limited, Punj Lloyd Limited, Gumpro Chem Drilling Fluids, petrofac engineering services, Geoenpro, Mecom Ltd.

Salaries for Petroleum Engineers
Petroleum engineering has historically been one of the highest paid engineering disciplines. The starting gross salary for fresh candidates in PSUs like ONGC, GAIL and OIL India: Rs. 6 lakhs/annum. In top companies like Reliance and MNCs, the range of salary: Rs.6 lakhs-12 lakhs/annum In small companies, the range of salary can be from Rs. 2.5 lakhs-Rs. 4 lakhs/annum.

Opportunities in oil and gas sector are ample in Middle East with very high annual income packages for engineers with industrial experience of 5 years or more. The reservoir engineers and drilling engineers with minimum experience of 5-10 years are paid $ 500-800/day.
The 2010 National Association of Colleges and Employers survey (USA) showed petroleum engineers as the highest paid 2010 graduates at an average $86,220 annual salary. For individuals with experience, salaries can go from $150,000 to $200,000 annually.

Expected Attributes of a Petroleum Engineer
The petroleum companies follow very stringent norms and guidelines in selecting the candidates. The candidates need to exhibit the following qualities to get selected by a top company:
  • technical capability;
  • strong business awareness;
  • analytical and creative skills;
  • managerial potential;
  • the ability to motivate staff at all levels;
  • the ability to work internationally and in offshore environments;
  • team working skills;
  • drive and enthusiasm;
  • the ability to solve complex problems, regardless of location and circumstances;
  • willingness to tackle engineering challenges;
  • flexibility and the ability to work on a range of projects;
Career Graph
Typical career graph begins with the new engineer working for a well-established corporation for training and exposure to the company’s businesses. The entry-level engineer will work on integrated multidisciplinary teams, later moving into middle management or other positions of team leadership. Many engineers then accept upper management within the same company, or begin work with a new company or consulting firm. Still others decide to create their own enterprises. In this industry, it is common that one’s career graph will include a variety of assignments in many locations around our country or the world. Overseas assignments are readily available for all who are interested.

As an example, the entry level engineer in ONGC is designated as an Assistant Executive Engineer. It takes 15-16 years to become a chief engineer and then another 15 years to rise to the position of General Manager. Top positions like Group General Manager, Executive Director, Director and Chairman & Managing Director depends on how the candidate exerts influence in the right quarters at right time. However, in many ways, the job atmosphere for petroleum engineers today is exciting and satisfying.

Higher Education Options
Postgraduate study is not always essential, although it may increase chances of good employment. Major employers prefer a higher degree in petroleum engineering. However, with petroleum institutes like PDPU, UPES and RGIPT opening up in the country, one can also get a
specialized MBA in Oil & Gas sector to kick-start one’s petro-career. Excellent opportunities are also available to pursue M.S./MSC in Petroleum Engineering/Petroleum Technology in US, Canada, UK, Russia, Norway and Denmark. The Indian Universities/Institutes offering the post graduate education are listed below:
  • School of Petroleum Management, Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University, Gandhinagar, Gujarat - 2 years M.B.A. (Oil and Gas)
  • University of Petroleum & Energy Studies, Dehradun, Uttarakhand - 2 years MBA (Oil & Gas Management), 2 years M.B.A. (Energy Trading), 2 years M. Tech. (Petroleum Exploration), 2 years M. Tech. (Health, Safety & Environmental Engineering) and 2 years M. Tech. (pipeline Engineering).
  • Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Petroleum Technology (RGIPT) Rae Bareli - 2 years M.B.A. (Petroleum & Energy Management), 2 years M. Tech. in Petroleum Engineering.
  • ISM Dhanbad - 2 years M. Tech. Petroleum Engineering, 2 years M. Tech. Petroleum Exploration.
  • Dibrugarh University Dibrugarh, Assam - 2 years M. Tech. in Petroleum Exploration and Production, 1 year Diploma in Oil Well Drilling Technology.
  • lIT-Madras Chennai, - 1 year M. Tech. in Petroleum Engineering.
  • Andhra University- 2 year M. Tech. in Petroleum Exploration
Institutes in India offering Courses in Petroleum Engineering
  • Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad: Four-year B.Tech. Course in petroleum engineering and 5- year dual degree in B. Tech. Petroleum engineering + M. Tech. Petroleum Management
  • University of Petroleum and Energy Studies, Dehradun, Uttarakhand - B.Tech. Applied Petroleum Engineering and M.Tech Petroleum Exploration
  • Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Petroleum Technology, Jais, UP - Bachelors Degree and Masters Degree programs, PG diploma courses and Doctoral programs in Petroleum Technology and Management, MBA (Petroleum & Energy Management), M.Tech in Petroleum Engineering, Petroleum Exploration
  • Institute of Petroleum Studies and Chemical Engineering, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh
  • The School of Petroleum Technology, Gandhi Nagar (Gujarat)
  • Maharashtra Institute of Technology, Pune
  • Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati

Prof. K. V. Rao
ogramme Director
Dept. of Petroleum Engineering and Petrochemical Engineering
University College of Engineering Kakinada (A)
Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University Kakinada
Published date : 20 Jun 2015 05:15PM

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