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What is the first thing you do before selecting a course of study? Research is the answer. It is always recommended to read about the stream carefully before enrolling oneself in it so as to secure a comfortable future ahead. But at least options are growing for those who wish to study and so are the job opportunities. This article will focus on one such emerging fields known as Petroleum Engineering.

So, what is petroleum engineering? Petroleum engineering basically comprises all the activities related to the production of hydrocarbons (that is, natural gas or crude oil). There are different types of petroleum engineers such as the drilling engineers who devise the best possible method of drilling oil considering all the aspects such as cost. Reservoir engineers are those whose main task is the estimation of the quantity of oil or gas that can be recovered through the underground reservoirs. Other examples include completion engineers, production engineers, Technical Support Engineers, Technical Support Specialist, Process Engineer, and so on.


In simple terms, petroleum engineers do the following activities:

  • On finding a natural gas or crude oil reservoir (hereinafter, gas or oil), petroleum engineers contact the geoscientists to comprehend the geological formation of the rock of the reservoir so that the below mentioned activities can be carried out efficiently,
  • Designing the apparatus or machines for the purpose of extracting oil as well as gas from reserves,
  • Once designed, such equipment require installation and maintenance which is also to be done by the petroleum engineers,
  • Think of ways to introduce water or chemicals into the reserves to take out more amount of oil or gas,
  • Evolve techniques of drilling into the oil or gas fields for forcing it out,
  • Review the production of wells either through surveys or other procedures including testing and analysis.

Howsoever easy it might sound, petroleum engineering is one of the most challenging career options. But on the brighter side, their demand is very high as the need for oil or gas cannot be overemphasised. Also, the pay package is quite decent.

For obtaining admission, you must have a background in science that is to say, an intermediate degree with physics, chemistry and mathematics as the compulsory subjects. Thereafter, you will have to appear for the national level examination(s), IIT-JEE or AIEEE. You will then be allotted college according to your performance in the said exam wherein you will be able to select one of the various courses of petroleum engineering like Petrochemical Engineering, Petroleum Refining and Petrochemicals Engineering, Applied Petroleum Engineering, Petroleum Refining Engineering.

There are a wide number of universities that offer the petroleum engineering course. Some of them are Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University, Gandhinagar, University of Petroleum and Energy Studies, Dehradun, Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad, Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Petroleum Technology, Raebareli, Institute of Cheminformatics Studies, Noida and Nowrosjee Wadia College, Pune.

The student must acquire some skills necessary to survive as a petroleum engineer. Capability to work continuously for production activities, ready to face everyday challenges in work, become not only a good leader but also a great group member as mining or digging activities require teamwork and cannot be handled by one person.

You might be thinking that why should you be working so hard? Well, for one the salary of petroleum engineers is quite high. Students usually receive a minimum package ranging from 3-8 lakhs per annum at initial stages. If you are employed in places where working is tougher than the usual, remain assured to get at least double of the normal salary. Also, as mentioned earlier both the government as well as the private sector remain keen to employ petroleum engineers as the number of students opting for it remains low even to date.

But challenges remain in high numbers too. You might get attracted by the career prospect related to the course but don’t forget that a petroleum engineer in search of new reservoirs goes even to remote parts of a state wherein it becomes difficult to live. You will be required to inspect machines, fields on a daily basis as well as attend all sorts of departmental meetings every day. At that point in time, you might start thinking of other engineers who have a sophisticated life. Sometimes, the workload will even demand overtime and a quick response to issues as and when they arise. Such things might start limiting your social life.

But as they say, your problems grow only when you think more of it, you should start appreciating that you have a steady job which pays you well to keep you and your family satisfied. And aren’t there problems in every profession out there?

Do you really think you might have been doing well if you had opted some other stream in engineering like computer science? The statistics speak that nowadays those students with traditional degrees face more struggle in finding a job than those who pick up the newer courses. Some of the top companies where you as a petroleum engineer can find a job includes Hindustan Petroleum Corporation, Oil India Limited, Indian Oil Corporation, Kochi Refineries Limited, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation.

Keep in mind some points while in the university to ensure a successful career. Make sure to maintain an admirable academic record while pursuing petroleum engineering. Try interning during your college days to have first-hand experience of the realities of the job ahead. This will prepare you for the worst. Moreover, it is advised to gain knowledge related to computers as well because a lot of analysis work is involved in the job profile of a petroleum engineer. Needless to say, thorough communication skills especially in the English language would be beneficial for those who are ambitious and wish to rise high in their career.

So, in short, petroleum engineering is a complete package involving benefits, difficulties, opportunities, perquisites everything. Life is not at all predictable and so is petroleum engineers. Agreed, it has some inherent complications which might turn you against it but think of a settled and comfortable future and you will get the answer right away.

Studying as well as jobs can be tough sometimes whatsoever your stream might be but that did not dissuade people from pursuing what they desire. If that were the situation, we would have been out of doctors or lawyers as both the profession demands hard work as well as patience. But did people stop studying those courses? Obviously not. Then even you should stop worrying about the challenging and demanding career of a petroleum engineer and focus on the positive parts. The job will become easy and so will life.

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