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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212 Questions


Last Answer on October 16, 2020

Best Rated

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).

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 over 7 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.

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 about 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.

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

Asked by muyassar over 7 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 over 7 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.

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.


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 about 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.