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Careers in Petroleum Engineering

The role of Petroleum Engineers in exploration & production (E&P) sectors is concerned with
functional disciplines such as drilling, production, pipeline transportation, corporate & strategic
planning, R&D, reservoir management, and enhanced & improved oil recovery activities.

Career opportunities in India and abroad are expected to be good for Petroleum Engineers – whether
they work with drilling equipment, on production facilities, with computer models of reservoirs, or
with sophisticated instrumentation & control equipment. In India, specifically, stress is likely to be on
the revitalization of ageing fields, re-estimation of basic field parameters with new technology, and
intensified application of modern technology.

Specialization Streams in BTech (Petroleum Engineering)

Oil and gas production can be sub-divided into several broad fields of science and technology:

Geosciences and Reservoir Engineering help us to discover, understand and model basic reservoir &
flow parameters in fields, with the aim of extracting hydrocarbons.

Reservoir Engineering and Production Engineering – including drilling – help us to achieve


production from wells in an economically efficient manner.

Production Engineering – in another important aspect – deals with the surface gathering and
transportation of hydrocarbons, marking the end of so-called ‘upstream’ activity.

All students admitted to the undergraduate program at PDPU receive the BTech degree in Petroleum
Engineering. However, in view of the broad scope of Petroleum Engineering – and also to cater to the
varying interests and aptitude of students – the BTech degree program offers the following four
specializations to students in their final three semesters of study:

Reservoir Engineering
Operations & Production
Instrumentation & Control
Modeling & Virtual Reality

Reservoir Engineering

Reservoir Engineering can be defined as the art of development and exploitation of oil and gas fields,
in a manner to get maximum recovery at minimum cost, through the application of knowledge of
geological events and physical laws of fluid flow. Solution of reservoir engineering problems often
requires innovative thinking, and the application of integrated knowledge of physics, mathematics,
geo-sciences and engineering.

Today in India, basic reservoir management decisions must be taken in the context of the New
Exploration Policy of the country. With this policy, more and more companies are joining
conventional oil and gas exploration business including coal bed methane.

Operation & Production

Operation & Production stream is concerned with activities starting with well construction – drilling
& completion – to the production & processing of hydrocarbons, while satisfying at all times the
necessary health, safety and environmental norms. This entire activity chain requires well-engineered
& meticulous planning, so as to invite least intervention through the production cycle, to remain cost
effective and safe, even with the growing complexity and power of modern technology. Another
aspect of their work is intuitiveness to diagnose well and field production problems and efficient
means to carry out the required remedial measures.

Work activity is operational in nature, relies totally on field work, and is physically demanding.
Operations and production personnel make up about half the workforce in a typical E&P company.

Instrumentation & Control

Over the last fifty years or so, modern instrumentation and control techniques have transformed oil
and gas technology beyond recognition. Examples may be cited of sophisticated well-logging,
centralized supervisory & control systems, and remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) used in deep sea
production. These instrumentation and control techniques make use of electronic and electrical
components, and therefore the basic principles related to these subjects are taught to all students in the
second year of the BTech degree programme.

Students opting for specialization in Instrumentation and Control study several further courses related
to electronics, well-logging instrumentation, and production instrumentation. Examples of application
of such modern technology are: Directional well operations with digital telemetry instrumentation
support, sub-sea completions & ROV operations in deep water finds, and pipeline grid and LNG
terminals for natural gas utilization.

Modeling & Virtual Reality

Modern computer technology – with its huge processing, storage and graphics capability − has
enhanced tremendously the engineer’s powers of simulation. When computer simulation begins to
mimic real-world phenomena, the resulting system is known as a ‘virtual reality’ system. A flight
simulator for an aircraft is an obvious example of such a system, but clearly such systems can also be
applied to the modeling of hydrocarbon reservoirs in exploration, development, production phases. To
understand the principles underlying such systems, students study courses such as 3-D modeling of
structures, and simulation technology.

Applications of such technology may be found in the revitalization of old fields, horizontal and drain
hole completions, implementation of field-wide integrated production model and asset management
system through SCADA-DCS networking.