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Why petroleum engineering?

Why petroleum engineering?

(OP)
Hello everyone,

I was wondering if it does worth pursuing a PhD in petroleum engineering considering the low oil prices as well as the fact that oil and gas in general are fossil fuels and world will run out of them eventually. I very much appreciate you.

RE: Why petroleum engineering?

With a PhD in Petroleum Engineering you once upon a time had a very viable career path at the research centers of the Majors (Amoco's facility in Tulsa is still talked about today even though it has been closed for nearly 20 years, there were several others, all closed today). The industry bought into the foolishness that proper research could only be done at universities. Today I would say a PhD in Petroleum Engineering would never get out of Academia (although I do know a half dozen PhD's, most with MBA as well who are in reservoir groups at various companies, none in drilling or production). The biggest problem with planning on a career at a University is the schools are all chasing a buck and with $120/bbl oil several new programs opened up and all of the established programs expanded. When the price dropped to $45/bbl last year some of those programs started closing, and others started making tenure harder and harder to get. I get the feeling that Pet Eng professors is even more of a boom/bust than the rest of the industry.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual. Galileo Galilei, Italian Physicist

RE: Why petroleum engineering?

With all due respect, you will be dead long before the earth runs out of oil and gas......way long before.

Agree with Zdas04. A good friend just retired from ExxonM and thought he would enjoy teaching a drilling class at the local university. They offered him a whopping $10K annual salary. Ouch!! He took it just so we all would have to call him "Professor" now.

RE: Why petroleum engineering?

Fossil fuels WILL run out. No one has a clue when, but my guess is the year 3400 (I make that "prediction" firm in the knowledge that I'll be long dead and way forgotten when that date is shown to be wrong). But it does not matter because actual hydrocarbon requirements (whatever they are, it will evolve) will be satisfied from harvesting contemporary biogenic methane so some version of Petroleum Engineering will always be around--the field has evolved since its creation and will never stop evolving.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual. Galileo Galilei, Italian Physicist

RE: Why petroleum engineering?

Atomic fusion will supply all power.
Petroleum derivatives will be highly valued lubricants.

Maybe we can list those under this one,
There is no future in AC. <Thomas A. Edison>

RE: Why petroleum engineering?

(OP)
Great Replied I received. Thank you very much for providing much information. I also appreciate other people if they have more comments.

RE: Why petroleum engineering?

I do think that they should first learn not to work on shale oil developent and other things that tend to put them out of business.

RE: Why petroleum engineering?

Well the stone age didnt end because the world ran out of stone, and even though E&P is my own bread an butter i hope the oil age will end way before we run out of oil. As a chem eng i believ there will always be a need for gas (and oil) as a feed stock for chemical processing but as an energy source i sincerely hope we have the alternatives within 20-30 years.

RE: Why petroleum engineering?

MortenA,
I agree, but I don't think that the "solution" will be evolutionary from today's technology. I'm expecting someone to stumble upon a relationship between things that creates an energy revolution that we can't even imagine today. When they do, engineers in the energy business will design the parts and pieces that will make it usable. I absolutely don't feel threatened by some future non-fossil energy source. I also don't fee threatened by wind and solar because they are both to diverse and too intermittent to ever be anything but an expensive sideshow.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual. Galileo Galilei, Italian Physicist

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