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ryan2323 (Mechanical)
29 Sep 12 18:57
I am a recent graduate from tamu with a degree in mechanical engineering. I have been working in the oil and gas industry for NOV designing oil feild equipment for 8months.

I would like to work for a major oil and gas company doing drilling engineering or production engineering type of work.

I initially thought that I should get a MS in Pete engineering, but I would rather have work experience.

How do I get employed with a major(BP, ExxonMobile, ConocoPhillips, etc.) doing drilling engineering.

What is the work life as a drilling engineer such as total hours per week? Do you work shifts? Are you on call?





BigInch (Petroleum)
30 Sep 12 14:08
The majors don't do drilling. They sub that out to their drilling contractors... Transocean, Pioneer, Atwood, Precision, Rowan ..

"People will work for you with blood and sweat and tears if they work for what they believe in......" - Simon Sinek

ryan2323 (Mechanical)
30 Sep 12 15:25
Don't the majors like ConocoPhillips have a peteroleum engineer at the drill site to support the company man to manage the drill site?
BigInch (Petroleum)
1 Oct 12 0:09
Theoretically, but in any case you don't get there with an entry level position.
You gotta do the time and pay some dues before you get to the cush jobs.
15-20 years should be enough, if you're good.

"People will work for you with blood and sweat and tears if they work for what they believe in......" - Simon Sinek

ryan2323 (Mechanical)
2 Oct 12 0:17
Why do companies hire drilling engineers at entry level for ConocoPhillips and chevron, bhp billion?
BigInch (Petroleum)
2 Oct 12 8:26
Have they started doing that. I don't know why. Maybe they want to get some shale gas while its still legal.

"People will work for you with blood and sweat and tears if they work for what they believe in......" - Simon Sinek

ryan2323 (Mechanical)
2 Oct 12 18:55
Can I get on with a major with a mechanical engineering background from tamu.and if so where do I start. I want to do somekind of peteroleum engineering and start building my resume do peteroleum engineering.
BigInch (Petroleum)
2 Oct 12 23:56
Drive to Houston, or see the TAMU student employment office. At UT we had one that assisted with new graduate placement. They know all the phone numbers.

"People will work for you with blood and sweat and tears if they work for what they believe in......" - Simon Sinek

hydromarine (Mechanical)
11 Oct 12 16:00
Take a job as a roughneck (if you can get one)with one of the drilling contractors...look learn and listen...and take it from there ..you cant beat experience
BigInch (Petroleum)
11 Oct 12 19:59
That seems like extreme advice, given you are already employed designing oil field equipment.

"People will work for you with blood and sweat and tears if they work for what they believe in......" - Simon Sinek

hydromarine (Mechanical)
12 Oct 12 3:45
Yes the advice is extreme,but every one wants to make it to the top these days in ultra quick time .

More and more finding graduates with so many qualifications but no practical experience and in some cases lack of common sense.there are some execeptions to this but few and far between ...my advice is always to get onsite/field experience first and plenty of it.
BigInch (Petroleum)
12 Oct 12 6:28
yes, of course certain field experiences are indeed invaluable to engineers in training, but I don't see roughnecking as having enough engineering content to qualify as engineering experience. It would be far more valuable to be assigned as a drilling engineer's assistant. He could get coffee and other stuff, and maybe even learn to calculate the pressure of a column of drilling fluid, while observing how to solve typical problems that come up are solved. Roughnecking is a necessary and valuable contribution to the effort, but please let's not go so far as to say it qualifies towards PE experience, unless PE means physical education.

"People will work for you with blood and sweat and tears if they work for what they believe in......" - Simon Sinek

hydromarine (Mechanical)
12 Oct 12 17:19
Big Inch I think your correct in what you say, I was a little harsh perhaps . but have actually seen persons take this route i.e roughneck...study ,study study and climb the ladder to drilling engineer , and very good engineers at that. You dont see it so often now because of the various graduate schemes which companies are running.
Helpful Member!  DubMac (Petroleum)
13 Oct 12 0:30
Every single Oil Co. that drills wells has drilling engineers. Drilling contractors drill the wells, but the drilling program for each well and the entire field is completely designed by the operator's Exploration Dept; the contractor only does what he is told by the operator (that is why Transocean is still in business).

Between the ages of 17 and 30 I did nothing but roughneck and obtain a PetE Degree from A&M.

The center of the Oil & Gas business is in the middle of the rotary table. Pulling slips, making tongs bite, weighing mud, making up every tool that goes in the hole provides an unmatchable engineering perspective.

That being said, you are an idiot if you ever think of roughnecking. I only did it because I had to feed a wife and kid and pay for school. You can learn much faster from the books and company training; and your back and fingers will last much longer. As valuable as it can be, at this point in your life, the time required to get that "hands on knowledge" is past. As an engineer, you can always go sit on the brake with the driller, and have him pass along field knowledge until your sick of it.

If you work for NOV as a tool designer, you most likely will not get on with a major as a drilling engineer; they hire 4.0s direct out of school. The independents however are another story. With the shale boom going on, there is a huge need for engineers. You should make the most out of your A&M connections. I'm not so sure about he Placement office, but maybe. Run every trap you can for connections who are working at Oil Cos. and you should be able to land something.

If you do start with a drilling company, you will probably never be able to move to an operator. People just don't move from service cos. to operators; extremely rare. If you are deadset on being a drilling engineer, then try to get on as some sort of Field Supt./ company man, etc. The Apache's, LLOG's, McMorans, and the like are good places to start looking. It is the most fascinating business in the world, but you will spend a lot of time away from your family.
BigInch (Petroleum)
13 Oct 12 1:09
DubMac Great!

"People will work for you with blood and sweat and tears if they work for what they believe in......" - Simon Sinek

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