Entry Senior

Petroleum Geologist

Courtesy of Cenovus

About This Career

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.

Education: A post-secondary degree in geology, geochemistry or geophysics is typically required or certain college diplomas.

Employment: This occupation is found in both onshore and offshore environments and is typically employed in the exploration and production, oil sands and oil and gas services sectors of the oil and gas industry.

Example titles: Exploration Geologist, Geological Specialist, Geologist, Geoscientist, Mine Geologist, Project Geologist

Work Activities
Analyzing Data or Information
Analyzing and interpreting geological, geochemical or geophysical information from sources such as survey data, well logs, bore holes, public well files or aerial photos.
Applying Information
Working on multidisciplinary teams to design exploration and/or development drilling programs.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers or Subordinates
Participating in team meetings to discuss ongoing and upcoming drilling programs and projects.
Documenting/Recording Information
Recording notes from daily activities and inputting data either in bulk form or individually into software.
Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events or Information
Estimating the size, porosity, thickness and water saturation of geological structures/deposits by contour mapping in order to calculate hydrocarbon reserves.
Getting Information
Collecting geological information, such as samples, field measurements, formation tops, wireline logs and geochemical data.
Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others
Interpreting the results of geological evaluation for hydrocarbon reserves to senior management.
Processing Information
Managing and understanding the database of well tops, porosity, permeability, thickness, lithology, clay content, mineralogy, petrophysical properties, pressures and geochemical data.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
Staying current with the latest industry intelligence and activity.
Complex Problem Solving
Attention to Detail
Critical Thinking
Computer use
Career Path
  • Geochemist
  • Geomodeller
  • Mud Logger
  • MWD Tech/Directional Drilling Tech
  • Reservoir Modeler
  • Sedimentologist
  • The following are examples of progressive or lateral career paths associated with this occupation:
  • Wellsite Geologist
Related Careers
Available Jobs
  • Here are the two most recent postings:

Mine geologist

Posted on Jul 09 2019

By iamgold corporation

Longueuil Dependant upon experience

Posted on Jun 18 2019

By teck resources limited

Trail Dependant upon experience
View All Jobs (3)
Working Conditions
  • Field 2
    Field Visits
  • Field 2
    Field Visits
  • Physical
    Mild Physical Activity
  • Physical
    Mild Physical Activity
  • Office
    Office Based
  • Office
    Office Based
  • Steeringwheel
    Driving Required
  • Steeringwheel
    Driving Required
  • Variable weather
    Inclement Weather
  • Variable weather
    Inclement Weather
  • Road
    Remote Locations
  • Road
    Remote Locations
  • Overtime
    Some Overtime Required
  • Overtime
    Some Overtime Required
Similar Jobs In Other Industries
Careers also exist in the following industries:
  • Construction of buildings (non-residential and residential)
  • Finance
  • Mining and quarrying
  • Petroleum and coal product manufacturing
  • Professional, scientific and technical services
  • Public administration, including regulatory
  • Utilities, including renewable energy
Job Details

Job Category

Geosciences Professionals



Oil and gas services

Oil sands



Qualifications + Experience


  • Post-secondary degree


  • 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.