What Does an Oil and Gas Engineer Do?

by Usama Chaudry on August 25, 2022

Oil and gas engineering is concerned with the manufacturing and extracting of raw materials for energy conversion, like oil and natural gas. Within this discipline, there are various specializations that center on particular stages of the oil production process. If you’re interested in pursuing a career in oil and gas engineering, it’s beneficial to comprehend these specialties so you may choose the best option for your job.

This article will discuss the four main types of oil and gas engineers, their job responsibilities, and their educational requirements. Furthermore, we will also review what the work environment of an oil and gas engineering job is typically like.

So without wasting a further second, let’s start our discussion right away.

Types of Oil and Gas Engineer

If you’re considering a career as an oil and gas engineer, it is worthwhile to learn about which of its sub-type you might like to pursue. The following is a list of possible fields of specialization in oil and gas engineering:

  1. Reservoir Engineer
  2. Drilling Engineer
  3. Production Engineer
  4. Completions Engineer

1. Reservoir Engineer

These oil and gas engineers examine reservoirs to understand their characteristics better and estimate the potential amount of resources they can produce. Knowing how much oil or gas a reservoir can yield can impact a site’s development strategies since experts are more likely to drill in a region with the potential to generate a substantial amount of oil. Reservoir engineers frequently operate in an office environment and employ software to develop models and simulations that estimate oil output.

2. Drilling Engineer

This oil and gas engineer creates the drill and schematics for each oil well. They closely collaborate with reservoir engineers to assess the site’s features to develop the sort of drill that may be most effective. Afterward, they supervise the construction of that drill. A drilling engineer’s main objective is to design a system that harvests natural resources as effectively and safely as feasible for the surroundings and employees. These experts spend most of their working hours in an office and out in the field.

3. Production Engineer

Production engineers oversee drilling locations after the fracking process is finished. These experts inspect the well’s condition after the firm has successfully extracted the desired oil to ensure it no longer drills and produces oil because this can result in spillage. They might also prolong the drill’s life expectancy so that more drilling can be done in the long run. The production engineers aim to guard the drill without letting the well flow out of control. These experts are employed both on-site and in offices. The duration of their stay in each setting frequently varies based on the organization they serve for.

4. Completions Engineer

Completions engineers are responsible for managing the overall production of oil wells after drilling engineers create the system. These experts carry out processes to guarantee that the well is constructed securely. Completion engineers’ primary objective is to control oil drilling expenses and decrease spending for the firm they operate for. They also develop strategies to avoid mishaps and leaks and keep an eye on the well’s surroundings and the workers’ safety. Completions engineers may spend their days in an office or drilling location depending on the corporation they function for.

Duties and Responsibilities of Oil and Gas Engineer

Following are the duties and responsibilities you will have to perform when doing an oil and gas engineering job:

  • Constructing and upgrading techniques for obtaining more oil and gas from existing wells.
  • Supervising the evacuation of the firm’s gear, reservoir shuttering, and trash disposal after the reservoir has been used up.
  • Examining, evaluating, and keeping track of the geological formation information to identify the hazards of extraction and the most effective extraction techniques.
  • Developing low-cost drilling and extraction strategies through inspections, experimenting, and analysis to assess new reservoirs and establish their profitability.
  • Assuring and developing the best extraction instruments and gear and handling machinery and manufacturing expenditures.
  • Figuring out the best approach for drilling through internal divisions in a solitary, freely flowing well.
  • Determining the best strategy for breaking up shale beds to release the gas or oil.
  • Monitoring ongoing manufacturing processes and ensuring extraction and transportation adhere to safety and environmental standards.

Educational Requirements of an Oil and Gas Engineer

Educational requirements for such engineers include obtaining an oil and gas engineering degree, like a bachelor’s degree in engineering or a related discipline. Mathematical, physical, chemical, and biological topics are frequently covered in a bachelor’s degree in an engineering curriculum. Additionally, specialized courses may offer fieldwork opportunities in geology and thermodynamics. A bachelor’s and master’s degree can be earned in five years through programs offered by several institutions. A graduate degree may potentially open doors to teaching engineering or engagement in the research and advancement of the oil and gas sector.

Professional Certification of an Oil and Gas Engineer

An oil and gas engineer typically requires a Professional Engineer (P.E) license. Usually, an oil and gas engineer receives this certification later in their career. It enables you to influence other engineers, manage projects, and render public services. Most states demand a bachelor’s degree, a satisfactory score on the PE exam, a few years of relevant job experience, and a fair FE exam score to get licensed. In addition, you may be required to complete a specific number of hours of ongoing education to keep this certification.

Work Environment of an Oil and Gas Engineer

Since oil and gas engineers are in demand globally, working conditions differ greatly depending on the area and organization. Typical components of an oil and gas engineer’s workplace environment include:

  • Routinely visit possible drill locations to assess their suitability for utilization.
  • Developing strategies for effective oil- and gas extraction through technical knowledge.
  • Designing and evaluating novel gear designs while spending long periods in a lab or office.
  • Working a full-time schedule with the potential for overtime owing to travel obligations.


Oil and gas engineering is a branch of engineering with the main focus on oil and gas production. Experts in this discipline assess oil and gas reservoirs to estimate profitability and guarantee that drilling is carried out as safely and effectively as feasible.

If you are interested in knowing how to get a job in the oil and gas industry, we suggest you check out our blog.

Usama ChaudryUsama has a Bachelor's Degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Alberta. Computations of electrical and thermal characteristics are among his research interests. Usama's hobbies outside of professional work include reading, playing tennis, and trekking.


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