About This Career
Petroleum Engineers are involved in the exploration, development and production of oil and gas. They provide specialty expertise in oil and gas drilling and completions, reservoir management and production. Roles vary depending on the operating environment (e.g., land or offshore) and the company. Specialties include:
- Drilling and Completion Engineers plan, design and implement drilling and completion programs for all types of oil and gas wells. They ensure safety and economics are taken into account.
- Reservoir Engineers conduct simulation studies to determine optimal development plans for oil and gas reservoirs. Their plans may include overall field development, well placement, proper production and injection rates and enhanced oil recovery techniques.
- Production Engineers analyze, interpret and optimize the performance of individual oil and gas wells. They design 'connections' between the reservoir and the well. They also evaluate artificial lift methods and develop surface equipment systems to separate oil, gas and water.
- Exploitation Engineers monitor and evaluate oil and gas reservoir performance and identify, develop and oversee the implementation of techniques to improve oil and gas recovery.
Education: A post-secondary degree in petroleum, chemical or mechanical engineering from an institution accredited by Engineers Canada is typically required.
Employment: This occupation is found in both onshore and offshore environments and is typically employed in the exploration and production (E&P), oil sands and oil and gas services sectors of the oil and gas industry.
Example titles: Drilling and Completions Engineer, Well Planning Engineer, Reservoir and Petroleum Engineering Specialist, Production Engineer, Exploitation Engineer, Field Engineer
Mild Physical Activity
High Stress Situations
Office or Field Based
- Public administration, including regulatory
- Professional, scientific and technical services
Exploration and production
Oil and gas services
- Post-secondary degree
- Specific health and safety certifications will be determined by job requirements
- To obtain a licence as a professional engineer (P.Eng) you must obtain a degree from an accredited engineering program, pass a professional practice exam and have three or four years of engineering experience, of which one year must be gained in Canada. You must also have Canadian citizenship or proof of permanent residency in Canada.
- Unlicensed engineers must work under the supervision of P.Eng.