What do Petroleum Engineers do?

Devise methods to improve oil and gas extraction and production and determine the need for new or modified tool designs. Oversee drilling and offer technical advice.

  • Assess costs and estimate the production capabilities and economic value of oil and gas wells, to evaluate the economic viability of potential drilling sites.
  • Develop plans for oil and gas field drilling, and for product recovery and treatment.
  • Direct and monitor the completion and evaluation of wells, well testing, or well surveys.
  • Analyze data to recommend placement of wells and supplementary processes to enhance production.
  • Monitor production rates, and plan rework processes to improve production.
  • Interpret drilling and testing information for personnel.
  • Specify and supervise well modification and stimulation programs to maximize oil and gas recovery.
  • Assist engineering and other personnel to solve operating problems.
  • Confer with scientific, engineering, and technical personnel to resolve design, research, and testing problems.
  • Coordinate the installation, maintenance, and operation of mining and oil field equipment.
  • Maintain records of drilling and production operations.
  • Write technical reports for engineering and management personnel.
  • Assign work to staff to obtain maximum utilization of personnel.
  • Evaluate findings to develop, design, or test equipment or processes.
  • Simulate reservoir performance for different recovery techniques, using computer models.
  • Design and implement environmental controls on oil and gas operations.
  • Coordinate activities of workers engaged in research, planning, and development.
  • Take samples to assess the amount and quality of oil, the depth at which resources lie, and the equipment needed to properly extract them.
  • Supervise the removal of drilling equipment, the removal of any waste, and the safe return of land to structural stability when wells or pockets are exhausted.
  • Inspect oil and gas wells to determine that installations are completed.
  • Conduct engineering research experiments to improve or modify mining and oil machinery and operations.
  • Design or modify mining and oil field machinery and tools, applying engineering principles.
  • Test machinery and equipment to ensure that it is safe and conforms to performance specifications.

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