- Exploration and production
- Oil and Gas Services
- Oil sands
- Post-secondary degree
About This Career
You’re a scientist and a storyteller. Half the job is finding out where to drill and the other half is constructing a story to convince company leaders and investors to follow your reasoning. The Petroleum Geologist is at the front end of projects, figuring out where to drill, how and why. Geologists can come in many forms. While a Wellsite Geologist will be out on the rigs, steering the wells and looking at the rock samples, the Petroleum Geologist is at the head office, imagining the project into being.
Petroleum Geologists are responsible for the discovery and identification of oil and gas deposits. In addition to determining locations to drill, they envision, strategize, coordinate and execute drilling programs.
These geoscience professionals look at the structural and sedimentary aspects of the rock deep underground to identify possible oil and gas traps. They determine the origin, amount, maturity and movement of oil and gas resources underground, as well as any obstacles that impede the movement of these resources. Petroleum Geologists use a variety of techniques to discover this information, such as petro-physical analysis, geochemical analysis and seismic interpretation.
Geologists may specialize in fields such as coal geology, environmental geology, geochronology, hydrogeology, mineral deposits or mining, petroleum geology, stratigraphy, tectonics or volcanology. They may also be involved in other aspects of oil and gas production.
When you start in this occupation activities may include:
- Analyzing and interpreting geological, geochemical or geophysical information from sources such as survey data, well logs, bore holes, public well files or aerial photos
- Recording notes from daily activities and inputting data either in bulk form or individually into software.
- Participating in team meetings to discuss ongoing and upcoming drilling programs and projects
- Managing and understanding the database of well tops, porosity, permeability thickness, lithology, clay content, mineralogy, petrophysical properties, pressures and geochemical data
As you advance in this career, you may take on additional tasks including:
- Working on multidisciplinary teams to design exploration and/or development drilling programs
- Mentoring junior geologists
- Liaising with wellsite personnel and managers and regularly updating them on current interpretations and recommendations
- A post-secondary degree in geology, geochemistry or geophysics is typically required or certain college diplomas.
- Standard and emergency first aid
- Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS)
- H2S Alive
- Licensing with a provincial or territorial association of professional engineers, geologists, geophysicists or geoscientists is required for employment and is mandatory to practice in Newfoundland and Labrador, Alberta, British Columbia, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.
- Geologists and geophysicists are eligible for registration following graduation from an accredited educational program and after several years of supervised work experience and, in some provinces, after passing a Professional Practice examination.
You have the skill to take concepts from your head to the page or computer screen and from there to reality. That means you apply conceptual thinking using your strong grasp of math, chemistry and physics.
- Computer use
- Critical thinking
- Attention to detail
- Complex problem solving
- Judgment and decision making
- Planning and organizing
- Engineering and technology
- Quality control analysis
- Finance and insurance
- Mining and quarrying
- Professional, scientific and technical services
- Public administration
Related Careers in Oil & Gas
Also known as
- Exploration Geologist
- Geological Specialist
- Mine Geologist
- Project Geologist
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