Employment Certifications by tkx61813


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									 Certifications, Activities, and Employment Outlook
            for Petroleum Engineers for 2000-2012

                                 September 14, 2005
                                    English 406
                                      Project 2
                                 Word Count: 1,244


       The exploration, production, and development of petroleum are performed by

petroleum engineers. Petroleum engineers are required to have a Bachelor of Science

Degree for employment. Further education is optional and after five years of work

experience one is eligible to take an exam to become a Certified Petroleum Engineer.

The sources gathered to support this information are from creditable resource databases

similar to The Department of Labor and the Occupational Information Network. The

activities of a petroleum engineer are sub-divided into two main groups,

drilling/completion and production/development.          Drilling/completion consist of

researching the formation of interest and implementing the optimum drilling and

completion procedures. Production/development is the process of determining the most

efficient method of extracting petroleum subsurface. The oil industry is heading toward

an oil "boom" in the future, which creates a favorable job outlook.

                              Table of Contents

Introduction                                      Page   3

Certifications                                    Page   4

Responsibilities and Activities                   Page   5

Employment Outlook                                Page   6

Conclusion                                        Page   7

Works Cited                                       Page   8


         Petroleum is one of the most important fuel sources currently used in today's

world.    The Elements of Petroleum Geology and Maverick Energy, Inc. describe

petroleum as a thick and dark-colored fluid located subsurface of the earth. Petroleum is

a mixture of hydrocarbons composed of hydrogen and carbon atoms.             It is formed

through a long process that requires millions of years of thermal heating and compression

of organic material. This organic material over time decays and transforms into kerogen,

which eventually becomes petroleum.       The petroleum is trapped by a cap rock, an

impermeable rock formation such as shale, and stored within pore spaces of permeable

rock formations, such as sandstone5, 6.

         According to Daniel Yergin, author of The Prize, and the Paleontological

Research Institution, the first oil well was drilled in northwestern Pennsylvania in 1859

by "Colonel" Edwin Drake4, 7. Drake chose to drill the well in that regional location due

to active offsetting oil seeps. Once Drake struck oil, acreage around the narrow valley of

Oil Creek was quickly leased. Derricks were erected and steam engines and machinery

required to operate hundreds of wells were moved into town. Although wells were

drilled very close together and frequent fires created safety hazards, people were

determined to drill oil wells. This was the beginning of an international search for

petroleum, which has changed the way we live.

         There remains a growing demand for the use of petroleum worldwide. While the

demand for petroleum continues to grow, current production rates will increase, which

requires more petroleum engineers.        Various certifications available to petroleum

engineers, activities and projects they are involved in, and the future job market for

petroleum engineers will be discussed throughout this paper.


       A petroleum engineer has many responsibilities and requires certain certifications

for employment. According to the Occupational Information Network and the Career

Planner, petroleum engineers develop methods to improve the production of oil and gas

wells and also create the need for a new or modified tool design1, 8. The skills and

knowledge needed for this job are no easy feat, however necessary.            A petroleum

engineer must have basic knowledge of mathematics, English, physics, computers,

management, chemistry, economics, production and processing, and engineering and

technology, which is represented with a Bachelor of Science Degree certificate. The

Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) and Bob Chase, Chair of the Petroleum

Engineering Program at Marietta College, suggest that most companies hiring petroleum

engineers only require the BS Degree2, 3. However, Chase goes on to say that in some

cases documents signed to be turned into the state must require the signature of a

Certified Petroleum Engineer. Also, if a petroleum engineer would want to start his/her

own independent practice, then he/she would have to be a Certified Petroleum Engineer

within that state. Becoming a Certified Petroleum Engineer is optional and can be

obtained by passing a written exam following five years of work experience.

Responsibilities and Activities:

       Petroleum Engineers explore the world for oil and gas reservoirs and their

activities are sub-divided into two main groups, drilling/completion and production/

development. The drilling/completion side of the job begins, according to the U.S.

Department of Labor, once these reservoirs are discovered2. Petroleum engineers work

together with geologists and other engineers to determine the best methods of developing

the reservoir field. Detailed research is involved in determining which formation or

formations store the petroleum and what rock composition is present. As soon as the

target formation is decided, the appropriate drilling methods are determined and the

petroleum engineer is responsible for the monitoring of these drilling and completion

operations.   Also, petroleum engineers design new equipment and procedures to

economically produce as much of the petroleum reserves as possible. In new fields, as

indicated by the OOH, where there are no benchmarks, petroleum engineers imitate the

performance of wells using computer simulators to determine which model proves to be

most profitable2.

       Petroleum engineers determine the most economic and efficient production/

development method that will increase recovery while lowering the costs. Wells that are

drilled and are flowing only produce so long by themselves. Once production has

dropped to a certain level, depending on the company, secondary enhanced recovery

methods are designed and implemented on the well to optimize production.                In

accordance with the Department of Labor and Dr. Bob Chase, secondary recovery

methods include hydraulically fracturing the formation, installing artificial lift systems,

and the injection of water, steam, gas, or chemicals into offset wells of the producing well

in a strategic pattern2, 3.

Employment Outlook:

        It is important to look at the future job market of petroleum engineers. The OOH

states that in 2002 petroleum engineers held about 14,000 jobs in oil and natural gas

production, professional, scientific, technical services, and refining divisions and the

Bureau of Labor Statistics predict that that by 2012 there will be a 13.6 percent decline 2.

The decline is a result of 50 percent of the workforce retiring. According to Dr. Chase

and the Department of Labor most petroleum engineers find work where petroleum is

discovered.      These areas include Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Alaska, Gulf Coast,

Appalachian Basin, California, and the Rockies. Petroleum engineers work for major oil

companies, smaller independent companies, and service companies. Most of theses

companies have had a pyramid organization structure (where one person was the boss

and had supervisors below him/her and workers below them). However, Dr. Chase

suggests that there is no set organizational model anymore and that most companies are

trying to eliminate middle management. This transformation allows young engineers to

move into management positions sooner and presents engineers excellent employment


        The job outlook for petroleum engineers is quite favorable. The Department of

Labor and Bob Chase propose that the industry should see a "boom" for at least the next

ten years due to 50 percent of the workforce retiring, and whether the "boom" continues

after that will depend on whether this country can shift its economy to an alternative

energy source2, 3. Oil and gas reservoirs are drilled all around the world and some of the

better career opportunities may lie in other countries. According to a 2003 salary survey

by the National Association of Colleges and Employers and the insight of Bob Chase,

bachelor's degree candidates in petroleum engineering received starting offers averaging

$55,987 year, and the average annual salary for a petroleum engineer in 2002 was

$83,370, where the middle 50 percent earned between $63,390 and $105,920 year2, 3.


       The field of petroleum engineering is a technical but also an exciting profession.

Due to the large number of oil-field employees retiring in the near future, the industry is

projected to be very promising for petroleum engineers. While society continues to

operate on petroleum, there will always be a demand for petroleum engineers.

                                     Works Cited

1. O*Net Online. 29 August 2005. Occupational Information Network <http://online.


2. U.S. Department of Labor. 29 August 2005. Bureau of Labor Statistics <http://bls.


3. Chase, Bob. Interview with Bob Chase. Marietta College Department Chair.

       Marietta. 28 August 2005.

4. Yergin, Daniel. The Prize. New York: 1992.

5. Selley, Richard C. Elements of Petroleum Geology. Second Edition. Academic

       Press. San Diego, California. 1998.

6. Maverick Energy. 2002 Maverick Energy, Inc <http://www.maverickenergy.


7. Paleontological Research Institution. 13 September 2005. <http://www.priweb.


8. The Career Planner. 1997-2004, Careerplanner.com <http://www.careerpanner.com/



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