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

Mam should I do my masters for petroleum engineering.?

Asked by sai darshan almost 6 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 currently employed as a structural engineer with a consulting firm in New York w/3.5 years experience (B.S.C.E). Will getting a structural P.E. and a M.S. in PETE make me attractive to the O & G community? What opportunities would be available?

Asked by Bharring over 5 years ago

It depends on what you want to do in the oil and gas industry.  If you want to stay with structural engineering and work on designing platforms and the like, you would want a master's degree in Civil and you would likely be working for an Engineering & Construction (E&C) Firm and less likely to be working for a major integrated oil company.  If you wanted to work at a major integrated oil company and oversee the work being done by an E&C firm, that is also a possibility, but I think there are fewer jobs there and they are likely to hire an experienced person from an E&C firm.   If you want to get into the day to day operations, a BSCE plus an MS PetE will make you very attractive for a wide variety of entry level positions such as Drilling, Facilities Engineering, Reservoir Engineering and Subsurface Engineering.  There is a pretty large demand right now as the average age of our employees is getting pretty high and a shortage is predicted in the next few years.  Best of luck to you.

What are the chances of us hitting peak oil

Asked by Eli almost 6 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.


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 5 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. 

Are there realistic ways to decrease the US dependency on foreign oil, or are most of those efforts in vain?

Asked by gregg about 6 years ago

If the price of oil is high enough, there are unconventional reserves that are economic to develop. Plus, high oil prices will encourage conservation which will also help decrease dependence on imports. I think it is way too complicated to say all efforts are in vain.

I'm going into my senior year of high school and I want to major in petroleum engineering in college. I wouldn't graduate with a B.S. in PE until 2018. Do you think this would be a good long term career path?

Asked by Peter almost 6 years ago

The future looks pretty good right now for petroleum engineering.  We older folks talk about "the big crew change".  In the next 5+ years, there are a LOT of people who will be retiring, which increases the demand for new graduates.  I would definitely keep your options open, however, and try to stay as general as you can freshman year (math, physics, etc.) and part way through sophomore year.  See if you can take courses that satisify the requirements for Mechanical, Chemical or Civil in case the market changes or you don't like Petroleum. The best way to really find out is through summer internships, so be sure to apply for those.  Also, check out the scholarships offered by the Society of Petroleum Engineers.  Historically, they have been pretty good.

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 5 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.