What is the Main Focus of Petroleum Engineering?
Petroleum engineering deals with the production of hydrocarbons—the products of crude oil and natural gas. This above-ground field focuses on recovering fossil fuels from below ground in the most economical and environmentally friendly ways.
Trained to understand the physical behavior of oil, water, and gas deep in porous rock and under high pressure, these skilled engineers make reliable estimations of the volume of a resource's reservoir.
They form teams with geologists to determine the best methods for depleting reservoirs. Related disciplines include drilling, reservoir simulation, well engineering, petroleum geology, and geophysics.
Since the beginning of petroleum engineering, in the early 20th century, many easily accessed deposits have been depleted. Fuel harvesting has become more dependent on fresh technologies incorporating horizontal drilling and computer modeling.
Drilling in deserts and in deep waters requires today's engineers to have expertise in intelligent systems, geomechanics, and hydraulics, naming only a few things on their growing list of knowledge bases.
What are the Prerequisites for a B.S. in Petroleum Engineering?
This curriculum combines college-level mathematics with basic sciences, developing a working knowledge of thermodynamics, material properties, fluid mechanics, material strengths, transport situations, and phase behavior (what to expect from resources when working with them).
Students develop competence in well design and analysis, drilling procedures, and evaluation of subsurface geology. They design and analyze systems that produce, inject, and handle fluids, optimizing resource development and management, using reservoir engineering principles and practices. They are proficient with project economics and resource valuation practices for decision-making under risky and uncertain conditions.
Topping off this degree is a design experience, preparing students for engineering practice, using the knowledge and skills acquired in their coursework.