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A Petroleum Engineer is involved in nearly all of the stages of oil and gas field evaluation, development and production. The aim of their work is to maximise hydrocarbon recovery at minimum cost while maintaining a strong emphasis on reducing environmental impact.
Find hydrocarbons by analysing subsurface structures with geological and geophysical methods.
Work to optimise production of oil and gas via proper well placement, production levels and enhanced oil recovery techniques. Use computer simulations to assist in the identification of risks and to make forecasts on reservoir potential.
Manage the interface between the reservoir and the well through such tasks as perforations, sand control, artificial lift, downhole flow control and downhole monitoring equipment. Select surface equipment that separates the produced fluids (oil, natural gas and water).
Manage the technical aspects of drilling both production and injection wells. They work in multidisciplinary teams alongside other engineers, scientists, drilling teams and contractors.
Liaising with geoscientists, production and reservoir engineers, and commercial managers to interpret well-logging results and predict production potential.
Compiling detailed development plans of reservoir performance using mathematical models to ensure maximum economic recovery.
Selecting optimal tubing size and suitable equipment within the well for different functions.
Designing the completion - the part of the well that communicates with the reservoir rock and fluids.
Designing systems that help the well to flow, for example using submersible pumps.