Engineers in the oil and gas industry, also known as the petroleum industry, look to find, extract, refine transport and then market petroleum products. Companies in this space may build, operate, and/or maintain oil wells and/or rigs that extract resources; refine them for use; and then distribute or sell them to retailers, utility companies, or other users.
Use this Firsthand guide to access exclusive information about this industry.
Sample Employers in LionSHARE
Focus Areas in Oil and Gas
Here is a sample list of applied areas in this industry:
Within energy, consultants provide expertise and advice to businesses and other organizations on a wide range of energy issues such as plant construction and management, renewable energy, and compliance with local, state, and federal laws such as the Energy Policy Act.
Geologists may, through the use of theoretical knowledge and research data, locate groundwater, oil, minerals, and other natural resources. They play an important role in studying and preserving the environment. They advise construction companies and government agencies on the suitability of locations being considered for buildings, highways, and other structures. They also prepare geological reports, maps, and diagrams.
Geophysicists study the physical properties and structure of the earth such as land surfaces, subsurfaces, and bodies of water.
Petroleum engineers apply the principles of geology, physics, and the engineering sciences to the recovery, development, and processing of petroleum. As soon as an exploration team has located an area that could contain oil or gas, petroleum engineers begin their work, which includes determining the best location for drilling new wells, as well as the economic feasibility of developing them. They are also involved in operating oil and gas facilities, monitoring and forecasting reservoir performance, and using enhanced oil recovery techniques that extend the life of wells.
Columbia University Resources
- Check out what we have learned about this industry in our blog CCE On the Road: Striking Oil (& Gas, and Energy) in Texas
- Connect with students interested in oil & gas by joining CU AIChE
- Read some highlights from Insider Info on companies like Chevron, ConocoPhillips, and more
- Learn helpful industry tips from our Alumni Profiles featuring alumni currently working in engineering fields
- Connect with the Chemical Engineering department which provides programs in biomedical or environmental or material science
- Learn about research opportunities for chemical engineering students
- The Columbia Genome Center is another great place to enhance what you’ve learned in the classroom with hands-on experience