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Transition from other engineering to Production Engineering (Oil and Gas)

Transition from other engineering to Production Engineering (Oil and Gas)

Transition from other engineering to Production Engineering (Oil and Gas)

My degree is mechanical engineering, and my professional background is oil and gas facilities engineering (surface production facilities; tank battery, wellhead, pipeline, gathering systems, etc. design, project, construction). I have a good awareness of drilling, completions, production, in shale, but not by training and experience.

I am very interested in production engineering. Are there courses or training programs that one can take to be able to have the confidence to start an entry or even associate level production engineering (oil and gas).

Thank you in advance for your help.

As much as possible, do it right the first time...

RE: Transition from other engineering to Production Engineering (Oil and Gas)

I work in the production department for a decently sized publicly traded independent oil and gas company. Production is a lot more stable environment than some of the other disciplines and I no longer get phone calls at 4:00 AM on Sunday morning. I have worked with many production engineers who have engineering degrees other than petroleum. (Mining, electrical, mechanical, & natural gas.) There are two sides of production engineering in my opinion: recompletions and continuing operations. Recompletion work is better suited for people who have an understanding of the reservoir, are able to read logs, and are interested in finding oil. I think the mechanical engineers tend to be better trained at the continuing operations side of the equation: optimizing mechanical equipment, specifying new equipment, and troubleshooting well and well work issues. Though, I have seen engineers excel at both sides of the equation.

I cannot recommend one particular class, but I would I recommend reading up on pore pressure, fracture gradients, inflow performance relationship (IPR), the 5 reservoir fluids, and reservoir drive mechanisms. Mechanically, I recommend reviewing the different downhole tools in a fishing catalog, reading about beam pumps, submersible pumps, and gas lift. (Schlumberger, Baker Hughes, and NOV come to mind for the catalogs.) You will quickly grasp the downhole tools once you go out to the field and see them being used. I recommend the book "The Beam Lift Handbook" by Bommer and Podio if you think you will be working with rod pumps. The most enjoyable part of my job is going out to the field to see the work in action. I hope this helps.

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