Interview with a Petroleum Engineer

Interview with a Petroleum Engineer

We often get requests from students working on career projects for interviews with petroleum engineers. There is a wide range of specialties in the field and we get a variety of intriguing answers. So, we thought we’d share one our most recent student interviews!

Our guest interviewer is Joseph, a middle school student interested in studying engineering, and he is interviewing Mollie, a Field Engineer.

What education is necessary to be a successful Petroleum Engineer?

To be a successful Petroleum Engineer you should be willing to adapt to changing technology and constantly reading and talking to people about what’s going on in the industry. An advanced degree in engineering is necessary for most jobs; although you might not need a degree specific in petroleum engineering (mechanical engineering, chemical engineering and electrical engineering B.S. degree holders can also get jobs in petroleum field).

How would you describe your job?

My job is always changing. Working in operations I have many roles to fill and I have to make decisions that impact our business. If tools/ equipment break in the field, you have to use the resources available to you to fix it and you might not have a backup piece of equipment. You become very good, very quickly at all sorts of things: electrical wiring, computer repair, diesel engine maintenance just to name a few.

What does the day to day schedule of a Petroleum Engineer include?

My schedule includes trips to the well sites my crews are working on and many client meetings. I work on planning and designing field operations with instructions from clients on what they are looking for or with a problem they might be having with their well.

What advice would you give to someone interested in becoming a Petroleum Engineer?

Learn as much as you can about engineering and participate in any science fairs/ science projects you can in school and as part of after school activities.

What does the future in the industry of the Petroleum Engineering look like?

Busy. There are more and more fields being worked on for EOR (enhanced oil recovery) and for developing new technologies. Water along with oil will soon become one of the most precious resources that we have to use and manage. Fracing takes a lot of water and managing your water supply and recycling water for use in many wells will be becoming a common practice, even though the technology to do it right now is expensive.

Are there enough Petroleum Engineers to fulfill the demand for them?

No. There are many open positions available to Petroleum Engineers and many companies are hiring currently because there are not enough.

Why did you want to be a Petroleum Engineer?

When I was looking for jobs after college, I wanted a job that would allow me to engineer in the field and not behind a desk. I wanted to work on new and developing technologies. I worked on rigs and on frac sites and didn’t know that I wanted to be a Petroleum Engineer until I worked in oilfield operations and learned the impact I could make on the industry and operations.

Can you see the impact that you’re having on the world as a Petroleum Engineer?

Yes, every day I work with my crews on frac locations and know that we are completing wells which will produce energy for the US and the world. My crews and I strive to complete these wells with the highest degree of safety in mind and we also strive to protect the environment while working on these locations, minimizing our use of solvents and chemicals, separating our waste products and recycling what we can. We try to produce energy but not waste it.

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If you or a student you know is interested in interviewing an engineer, let us know! Contact us here – we’d love to put you in touch with one of our experts.

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