STEM Careers Coalition: Petroleum Drilling Engineer
Petroleum Drilling Engineers are the scientists who explore below Earth for the best places to find oil and natural gas using criteria such as the efficiency of retrieval, safety, and profitability of deposit. They will often specialize in an aspect of drilling operations such as reservoir engineering, drilling engineering, completions engineering, and production engineering.
WHO ARE THEY? 
Petroleum Drilling Engineers are the scientists who explore below Earth
for the best places to find oil and natural gas using criteria such as the
efficiency of retrieval, safety, and profitability of deposit. They are experts in
drilling into Earth to develop new wells and revitalize old wells. Petroleum
Drilling Engineers are innovators that find new ways to extract oil and
gas from the ground. They will often specialize in an aspect of the drilling
operations such as reservoir engineering, drilling engineering, completions
engineering, and production engineering. They make the drilling process
safer for people, communities, wildlife, and the environment. Petroleum
Drilling Engineers work to ensure the industry is in step with government,
industry, environment, and safety standards. They may find jobs with oil
companies, government organizations, and businesses focused on geogologic
or underground resource searches.
WHAT DO THEY DO? 
Petroleum Drilling Engineers are involved in all phases of oil and gas
exploration. They design equipment to work on the land and the sea. They
develop ways of forcing oil and gas from the ground using water, chemicals,
gases, or steam. They are responsible for making sure the equipment is safe
and fully operational. They provide the necessary information to determine
if a well is suitable for drilling with surveys, testing, and analysis. Petroleum
Drilling Engineers can specialize in completions which refers to forcing the
gas and oil out of the ground with tubing, hydraulic fracturing, or pressure.
Drilling specialists find the best ways to drill the wells. Production specialists
make sure the wells keep producing after the wells are drilled. Reservoir
specialists determine how much oil or gas may be in the well. Petroleum
Drilling Engineers create ways to dig deeper than anyone ever has in the
most challenging places in the world at times and do so through continuous
technological innovations.
HOW DO I BECOME ONE? 
A Petroleum Drilling Engineer needs a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering,
preferably petroleum engineering. In some cases, an employer may accept a
bachelor’s degree in mechanical, civil, or chemical engineering.5
Employers are also looking for some work experience. Students should look for cooperativeeducation programs, in which students earn academic credit and other internships. Students will also need a strong background in math, physics,
biology, and chemistry. Courses in petroleum engineering will cover rock
properties, computer applications, and well construction.

Engineering Topics
Machines, Materials
Engineer (Materials), Engineer (Mechanical)
Middle School, High School
6th Grade, 7th Grade, 8th Grade, 9th Grade, 10th Grade, 11th Grade, 12th Grade

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