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We are at a time in history where there are more career opportunities available than ever before, many of which have come about as a result of technology. As technology continues to evolve, many believe that it will create more career opportunities than it replaces. One area that technology has impacted is that of petroleum engineering.

What is a Petroleum Engineer?

Petroleum engineers include those who locate reservoirs of natural gas and oil underneath the earth’s surface. After discovering these resources, these engineers then determine, through critical research methods, whether extracting these supplies is worth the time and money that it will require. If the petroleum engineer’s company decides it is worth drilling for, they must then determine the most cost-effective and efficient way to do so. This narrows down the role of a petroleum engineer to the following main categories – finding natural gas and oil, deciding whether it is worth drilling for, extracting it and then transporting or storing it somewhere.

Why Do We Need Petroleum Engineers?

You may have read the previous paragraph and wondered, “Okay, and your point is?” The fact of the matter is that many individuals do not know why this job is of value. However, these resources are used in the majority of our everyday products, and manufacturers rely on them to keep many businesses running. Your makeup, medicine, household items and more are each produced with the use of these products. Petroleum engineers work diligently to provide manufacturers with the resources needed to produce diesel fuel, kerosene, gasoline, plastic and much more. 

Petroleum engineers do the difficult work of locating probable sources for these oils and gases. This may even require some of them to travel outside the country and reside somewhere new during the research phases. On top of the work they do, there are also a few different avenues they can pursue.

What Are the Different Types of Petroleum Engineers?

Reservoir engineers are a prevalent subtype of petroleum engineers. These individuals conduct studies to determine the development plans and techniques that will be used. They work closely with production engineers, who often evaluate systems and methods being used to separate water, oil and gas. Production engineers also analyze the performance of individual wells. Drilling and completion engineers, on the other hand, are responsible for planning, designing and implementing these plans for the wells, keeping economics and safety at the forefront of their minds. And lastly, subsurface engineers select the equipment that will be most suitable for the subsurface environment. 

If you wish to become involved in this field, there are multiple colleges offering degrees in these studies. When you enter the world of petroleum engineering, you are most likely setting yourself up for a long career with many advancement opportunities.