Enviro & Petroleum Engineer

Enviro & Petroleum Engineer

Oil Comp Engr

36 Years Experience

Houston, TX

Female, 57

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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Last Answer on August 21, 2017

Best Rated

What are the chances of us hitting peak oil

Asked by Eli over 4 years ago

Whole novels have been written about peak oil, so I could not do it justice here.  I would just say that because petroleum delivers an unbeatable amount of btu's per unit volume as compared to other energy sources and because there is a mature and highly functioning infrastructure to refine and deliver it to the market, it can continue to command high prices.  The high prices fuel technological motivation to find more oil.  Horizontal drilling combined with fracturing is a splendid example of how we have now economically unlocked reserves that we knew were there.  Because we can drill multiple wells from one surface location, we are able to produce the oil (and gas) with a smaller impact on the environment than previously.  I think more breakthroughs will come in the future so it is hard to predict when/if we will hit peak oil.

Mam should I do my masters for petroleum engineering.?

Asked by sai darshan over 4 years ago

This is not an easy question to answer.  Getting a masters degree in any engineering area depends on why you want the degree.  In some fields, having a masters degree is a prerequisite for entry.  For example, if you want to do research, you need a masters or even a PhD.  This is generally not the case for petroleum engineers who want to do entry level work.  However, you also need to weigh the cost of pursuing the advanced degree with the benefits it will return.  In the USA, someone with a Masters in PE may start at a higher salary than someone with a bachelor's degree, but after 4 or 5 years on the job, the person who is a best performer may command the best salary.  Also, it depends on what the hiring environment is like.  During some of the down cycles, students may do better to stay in school and get a Master's degree if companies aren't hiring.  That's a gamble, but if you can get a good scholarship, it could be worth it.  Also, I have interviewed some students who did not get great grades as an undergraduate and they pursued a Master's degree in order to demonstrate that they had turned things around and could master the material.  Sorry, that I can't just give you a "yes" or "no" answer, but there are lots of factors you need to consider.

I am a 43 years old. I am returning for a degree in mechanical engineering (I currently have a degree in business). What obstacles do you see in me getting a position considering my age?

Asked by Frank over 4 years ago

The market is so good for engineers in the US, I don't really see any obstaclesm especially in the petroleum industry.  If you are willing to work hard and show how your prior experiences can benefit your employer, I think your chances are good.  We are all so concerned about the "big crew change", employers are doing everything they can to keep valued employees from retiring.  SPE has done some surveys on the demographics of engineers in the oil industry, so you might want to check that out.  Many oil companies are looking for folks that are willing to relocate, so be aware of that.  I can't really speak for companies outside the oil industry.  I won't sugar coat this, however, and tell you that every potential employer is going to welcome you with open arms.  Some will probably quiz you about why you made the change to engineering and whether you are going to stick with this, etc., but I got asked when I was interviewing about whether I was going to get married, start having babies and quit.  This was 30+ years ago and interviewers know that they can't ask those types of questions.  What I have learned in my career is that there are no "sure" things and that hiring decisions need to be made based on merit and whether there is a good fit between the company's culture and the potential employee's interests & personality.   Hope this helps.

What is PET. E like? Do you often work at oil sites and outdoors? Please just describe the work experience both inside the office and outside

Asked by Girl over 4 years ago

One of the things I like the most about Petroleum Engineering is the wide variety of things you might end up doing.  Starting out, you need to spend a fair amount of time in the field to learn how things really work.  I recommend that everyone get some experience in either drilling, workovers, completions or surface facilities (processing units or small gas plants).  When I have worked in those types of assignments, I typically spend about 25% to 40% of my days at the site and the remainder in the office.  This may make me sound ancient, but we did not have laptops or even desktops back then, so there were some things that had to be done back at the office.  These days, some of the new engineers spend 75% or 80% of their time in the field.  After getting a good 4 or 5 years of field experience, you will either be ready to move into management or take a broadening assignment in reservoir engineering.  When I worked as a reservoir engineer, I went to the field far less (maybe 10% of the time), BUT by that time, I knew a lot of the field personnel, so it was easy to call them on the phone, understand what they were doing and get the information I needed.  As a reservoir engineer, you have a lot more influence on what gets done.  Reservoir engineers (along with geologists) make the proposals to management on which wells to drill or workover, whether to shut in or abandon a well, lay a pipeline, etc.  So although you are stuck at a desk, you have more of a long term, business focus.  Another thing that can really impact how much time you spend in the office vs the field is the type of fields that you are working.  If you are assigned to a complicated project, you might spend a lot of time in the planning phase (i.e. - a year or more in the office to plan a well  that will cost a hundred million dollars to drill and take several months).  If you are working on a mature field with uncomplicated wells and facilities, the planning phase will be much shorter.   No matter what job you have as a petroleum engineer, however, you need to enjoy working in teams with people of all different levels of experience and education.

Hi there,
I am 47 current and have a degree in civil Engineering having worked as a civil engineer and construction safety for 15 years. If I did a masters in petroleum engineering, can I get into the oil and gas industry as a reservoir Engineer?

Asked by Shahid over 4 years ago

Yes, you might be able to get a job as a reservoir engineer, but be aware that while companies are not allowed to discriminate based on age, they may feel obligated to pay a competitive salary to you based on your 15 years of work experience.  This may or may not make price you out of the market.  That said, starting salaries for petroleum engineers probably meet or exceed the salary of a "typical" civil engineer working for a municipality.   You should be very candid with potential employers regarding the starting salary you desire.  The Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) regularly conducts salary surveys so you should be able to see the current starting salaries.  Last time I checked, a BSPE was getting around $90k.   Also, keep in mind that the industry can change quickly, so it is always a bit of a gamble if you decide to go to school full time and give up your current job.  If you can go to school at night while working, it will take you longer but could be less risky.  Best of luck to you. 

HI,

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 4 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. 

Thank you so much! We def have a great SPE ch; but the PE dept keeps snowballing students into taking extra sems by offering classes only once a yr & w/ intense prerequisites to the point where its like 18 hrs evry sem jus to grad timely. What to do?

Asked by Farhana over 4 years ago

This is a great opportunity for you to get some practice solving problems (like you will have to do every day as an engineer).  I suggest you team up with some other students and perhaps a sympathetic alumni or practicing engineer and propose a solution to the problem and meet with the administration.  Employers (and professors) don't want to hear "There's a problem and I'm not happy about it".  They want to hear "I think there's an opportunity to make some improvements and here are some potential solutions.  Can we explore this together?"  There may be some facts that you are not aware of and the administration may not be aware of the impact on their schedule decisions on the students.  Don't go into this assuming that they are trying to make this hard on you.  Go into with an open mind.  One of my favorite pieces of advice is the adage, "Grant me the courage to change what I can, the strength to endure what I cannot change and the wisdom to know the difference".  So, figure out what you might be able to change and if you can't change it or endure it, then switch to another program or university.  Good luck.