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.

SubscribeGet emails when new questions are answered. Ask Me Anything!Show Bio +


Ask me anything!

Submit Your Question

214 Questions


Last Answer on December 12, 2020

Best Rated

30 years? Wow. Is it common for oil company employees to stay with the same company for such long spans of time?

Asked by Sharon.86 almost 8 years ago

I would say that it is not extremely common as it is not the place for everybody. However, it is very common for engineers and geologists to start with a large company, get their training and then leave for smaller companies that can't afford to run their own training programs OR they leave to start their own business. The big money (and big risk) is running your own company. You have to get funding but if you have just one big success, you can become very wealthy. I'm a bit risk averse which is why I never took the plunge to go out on my own, plus I liked the environmental side of the business better than the frontline operations. Environmental work is a bit grueling at a consulting firm but at a large company it is a bit more of 9 to 5 job which was good for me and my kids as they were growing up. Also, I was attracted to the fact that, at a large company, there would likely be opportunities to work in different areas of the business without having to change companies and lose seniority and/or benefits. Also, if you don't like your boss, he/she will eventually get transferred (or you will). At a small company, you could get stuck with a bad boss or bad work group for decades.

what subjects do people in high school need to choose to be a petroleum engineer?

Asked by muyassar almost 8 years ago

Take as much mathematics as possible up to and including AP Calculus if offered. I would recommend basic Physics, basic Chemistry and AP Physics, if offered. If offered I would take Geology / Earth Sciences in lieu of Biology. Economics, if offered would be useful, but will be taught in college. Strong proficiency in writing will also be useful.

Do oil rigs move? Are they anchored to the bottom of the ocean?

Asked by tYLERdURDEN almost 8 years ago

You can probably find a good explanation if you visit wikipedia or Society of Petroleum Engineers websites. In a nutshell, a jack-up rig has three (sometimes four) legs which penetrate the ocean floor and it does not move. The water depth in which it can drill is limited by the length of the jack up legs, generally up to 400 feet. The other types of rigs are semisubmersibles and drill ships which are, strictly speaking, vessels which are connected to the ocean floor via a riser from which it can easily disconnect. Wikipedia can do this topic much better justice than I can. The fourth common type of rig is a platform rig, which sits on a production platform and can be removed, piece by piece, when the drilling is finished. The production platform itself is a fairly permanent structure which is connected to the ocean floor.

I want to become a petroleum engineer , so what is better to study in bachelor mechanical or civil eng before I study petroleum eng in master degree. And why???

Asked by ddd almost 8 years ago

Either one is good.  Civil should give you some basics in structural (steel and concrete) as well as soils and geotechnical that will be useful in drilling.  Mechanical engineering basics will help out with facilities design and understanding subsurface mechanical aspects. The first two years of both programs should be fairly similar.  I would pick the one that you enjoy the most.  if you are a glutton for punishment, fido what I did. Get your bachelor's degree and then go to school at niight for your masters in Petroleum while you are working for an oil company and let them pay for it.  In that case a mechanical degree is going to make you more marketable.  Some oil companies don't hire many Civils.


I completed MSc in Petroleum Engineering with PGDip(Postgraduate Diploma) at University. I am not able to get any job in the oil and gas field as they ask for experience. I am a fresher and would like even an entry level field engineer job

Asked by Cyb over 7 years ago

I wish I could help you, but it really depends the country in which you live and/or in which you are seeking work.  In the USA, you do not need to have experience if you are seeking an entry level position and have reasonably good grades/gpa. 

Hi! I'm 19 years old and I'm a Sophomore at Texas Tech University, majoring in Petroleum Engineering. I am originally Arab (from Jordan, fluent in Arabic), with a U.S citizenship. Will this SIGNIFICANTLY help me in finding a job in the Middle East?

Asked by Kassem over 7 years ago

Absolutely!  You should be in demand in the US as well.  Keep your grades up, try to get a good summer internship and best of luck to you.

Hi..I just would like to know, in being a petroleum engineer technologists..what would be a typical work week and work hours and how often do they travel away from the oil company they were hired at seeing as though the are only technologists?

Asked by Kenneth Morris over 7 years ago

That's a very good question.  It really depends on the individual company.  Some companies give their experienced technicians a fair amount of autonomy and authority and they travel to the field.  At one company, for example, it was a technician, not an engineer who provided a lot of support for completions and workovers.  He designed and ordered all the components of the gas lift system and then went to the field to ensure the installation went as planned.  During busy times they might work 50 or 60 hours weeks and typically, they are salaried (translation =  no overtime pay but also more flexibility to take personal time off).  

I have seen other companies and departments where the technicians do a lot of repetitious, routine tasks but work a 40 hour week and never go to the field.  They function a bit more like an administrative assistant than a true "technician".  To be fair, some of these technicians did not have college degrees, maybe high school plus just a year or two of community college.  If you are pursuing a career as a technician / technologist, be sure to ask companies you are interviewing with for their expectatations and typical career path.