Petroleum , or crude oil, naturally occurring oily, bituminous liquid composed of various organic chemicals. It is found in large quantities below the surface of Earth and is used as a fuel and as a raw material in the chemical industry. Modern industrial societies use it primarily to achieve a degree of mobility—on land, at sea, and in the air—that was barely imaginable less than 100 years ago. In addition, petroleum and its derivatives are used in the manufacture of medicines and fertilizers, foodstuffs, plastics , building materials, paints, and cloth and to generate electricity.


A petroleum engineer is involved in nearly all stages of oil and gas field evaluation, development and production. The goal of a petroleum engineer is to maximise hydrocarbon recovery at a minimum cost while maintaining a strong emphasis on reducing all associated environmental problems.

Petroleum engineers are divided into several groups:

  • Petroleum geologists find hydrocarbons by analysing subsurface structures with geological and geophysical methods;
  • Reservoir engineers work to optimise production of oil and gas via proper well placement, production levels, and enhanced oil recovery techniques;
  • Production engineers manage the interface between the reservoir and the well through such tasks as (but not limited to) perforations, sand control, artificial lift, downhole flow control and downhole monitoring equipment. They also select surface equipment that separates the produced fluids (oil, natural gas and water);
  • Drilling engineers manage the technical aspects of drilling both production and injection wells. They work in multidisciplinary teams alongside other engineers, scientists, drilling teams and contractors.











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