Enviro & Petroleum Engineer

Enviro & Petroleum Engineer

Oil Comp Engr

38 Years Experience

Houston, TX

Female, 60

I recently retired from a major integrated oil company after 38 years. I have degrees in Civil and Petroleum Engineering. I worked with safety, health and environmental management systems and operations in the upstream (finding and producing oil and gas) and downstream (refining, chemicals and distributions) areas. I travelled all over world, enduring good & bad business cycles and good and bad managers.

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214 Questions


Last Answer on December 12, 2020

Best Rated

After the BP spill, a lot of people thought the CEO wasn't remorseful enough in the press. Do you think that was all drummed-up media outrage, or do you agree that it was a huge PR gaffe?

Asked by brokenup almost 8 years ago

Huge PR gaffe

Are there any real appreciable differences in regular vs. premium gasoline, or is it just a marketing gimmick? What grade of gasoline do you use?

Asked by JTflash almost 8 years ago

I am a petroleum engineer, not a refinery engineer.   I suggest you check out this website and decide for yourself:  http://www.consumerenergycenter.org/transportation/consumer_tips/regular_vs_premium.html

You mention that gas prices are simply the product of supply and demand, but haven't oil company profits skyrocketed in recent years?

Asked by hmmm almost 8 years ago

I think you are confusing profits with return on investment. Yes, oil companies have made a lot of profit in sheer # of dollars but if you look at the capital employed, the rate of return is nowhere near what Apple or Microsoft makes. The other thing to take into account is that oil companies don't control the lion's share of oil and gas reserves any more. The nationalized oil companies in places like Saudi Arabia, Russia, Iran and Venezuela control most of the reserves and impact the price of oil and gas.

Is their anything ya'll wish to change in your field

Asked by jamal almost 8 years ago

I wish that small companies were held to the same high standards for safety, health  and the environment that large companies have imposed on themselves.  This would level the playing field.

With computers able to handle the number-crunching, why is mathematics so important in preparation for this profession?

Asked by CurlyGold almost 8 years ago

Mathematics is about so much more than "number crunching". Computers do more than just add lots of numbers. Mathematics is about solving problems and building models that simulate natural phenomena. Engineers either build those mathematical models OR they have to study mathematics and computer science to be able to understand whether the models they use are valid for the problem they are attempting to solve.  if you want to delve deeper, I recommend a fascinating book called, " Is God a mathematician?". You can find it Amazon or most large bookstores.

Is the oil industry male-dominated, and have you ever felt disadvantaged being a woman in that business?

Asked by PBJtime almost 8 years ago

There is a higher percentage of women engineers now than when I started 30 years ago, but it is still male dominated as are most engineering fields. I have never felt disadvantaged likely due to the fact that I entered the industry in the days just after the Arab Oil embargo when crude oil prices were high and projected to continue to climb. Oil companies were competing vigorously for engineers, men or women. Also, I was fortunate in that many of the rig superintendents I worked with were my dad's age and had daughters going into the industry. So, if anything, for me it was reverse discrimination when I went to the rigs. The guys had to sleep with the roughnecks, but I typically got my own room. I have noticed some subtle discrimination, however. For example, I notice that at meetings the men often interrupt each other and never get called on it. However, if I interrupt someone, I am chided to be patient and "wait my turn". As with all engineering fields, women engineers do struggle with the on ramping and off ramping if they significant time off (i.e. years) to raise kids. This does not seem to be as big an issue for doctors and lawyers. Also, we still need to make more progress in offering part time work to women engineers.

I am a senior going for a bachelor's in Civil Eng. I want to work in the Oil/Gas Industry as a Petroleum Eng. Is it better to get a 2nd bachelor's in PEtr Engr or a master's? And what about getting an online bachelor's or master's deg in Petr Eng?

Asked by jameson over 7 years ago

If your grades and resume are pretty good, I would try to get on with one of the major oil companies (Chevron, Shell, ExxonMobil, etc.) and let them train you.  Most of them will pay your tuitiom if you want to pursue a masters degree at night.   You will find a LOT of engineers who work as petroleum engineers have a degree in ME, ChE, CE , etc.  If your grades are not so great or this is not an option, then consider getting a Master's degree in PE from one of the top notch schools for PE like LSU, Penn State, Univ of TX or  Texas A  & M.  The demand is so great for petroleum engineers right now that you can probably enter their program with a BS in Civil and with a few courses to catch up, get a Masters in PE.  The scholarships in PE are pretty good right now.  Also, the courses you have taken as a civil will probably be good prequisites for the PE masters courses.  For example, I have a BS in Civil and a Masters in PE.  When I took courses in geology and casing design, they were a cinch.  Tulane University used to have a Masters in PE that was designed just for those with a bachelors in something other than PE.  They closed that program in the 1990's but maybe other universities have a similar program.  I would probably not pursue a bachelors in PE (I think you would be bored) nor an online degree (I don't think they have credibility yet).