Enviro & Petroleum Engineer

Enviro & Petroleum Engineer

Oil Comp Engr

37 Years Experience

Houston, TX

Female, 59

I have worked at a major integrated oil company for over 30 years. I have degrees in Civil and Petroleum Engineering. I currently work with safety, health and environmental management systems. I have worked in operations and safety in both the upstream (finding and producing oil and gas) and downstream (refining, chemicals and distributions) areas. I have travelled all over the world. I enjoy my job but have endured both good & bad business cycles as well as good and bad managers.

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191 Questions


Last Answer on December 15, 2018

Best Rated

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

Asked by muyassar over 6 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.

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

Asked by jamal over 6 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.

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

Asked by tYLERdURDEN over 6 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 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 about 6 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).

Do you feel the oil industry has good growth prospects for soon-to-be grads? I'm curious as my son's about to graduate with an engineering degree.

Asked by Helen over 6 years ago

I think there is very good growth potential because there are a lot engineers in the industry in the 50 to 60 year age bracket who are getting ready to retire. Due to the cyclical nature of the oil business, there is not an even distribution of folks across all age ranges. People in our industry commonly talk about the "great crew change" that is coming and most of the major oil companies and large service companies have increased hiring in the last 5 years because they realize that ten engineers with 4 years of experience do not equal one engineer with 40 years of experience.

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 almost 6 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.

So if I worked in the future with a petroleum company and I have either mechanical or civil eng bachelor degree while I study petroleum eng in the master degree, what is the Nature of work if each one of them?

Asked by ddd over 6 years ago

If you work for a major integrated oil company you could be doing any of their entry level engineering jobs.  Suggest you check out their recruiting websites for more details.