— Written by Kamal Bansal
The petroleum and energy industry is not all about spending months at a time on the oil fields. It offers an array of diversified job profiles where aspirants can explore their passion and drive an economic growth story. The industry, despite being an unconventional career choice, promises an exciting career with opportunities to work overseas, travel, and ensure the sustainability of essential resources that are potent for the biggest world economies.
Exploring oil and gas fields, extracting natural resources, and refining them to make them useable, is one of the biggest industries in the world. Several successful multinationals and public and private companies operate in this sector and due to diversification of roles, aspiring students have plenty of options — to either work on geological studies, reservoir modelling and simulation, production engineering, refining and petrochemical sector to modern digital oil fields, fire, and safety to health safety and environmental engineering among others.
Here is a look at a list of some top courses that ensure an exciting career for aspirants:
BTech Applied Petroleum Engineering Upstream: The undergraduate course in applied petroleum engineering incorporates an array of specialisations that one can strive for as per their interest. Reservoir engineering, drilling engineering, production engineering, enhanced oil recovery, geomechanics, petroleum geology, and well site operations are the options that students can choose while having hands-on experience on oil and gas software in specialised labs.
Students graduating in this programme are eligible to work as MWD engineers, production engineers, reservoir engineers, drilling engineers, well-logging engineers, and well-testing analysts in the petroleum industry. Some of the leading companies like ONGC, Shell, RIL, Exxon Mobil, Schlumberger and Halliburton are always on a lookout for professionals who are ready to take up roles as a data scientist and digital officers among others.
MSc Petroleum Geosciences: This programme focuses to develop knowledge and skill of students in the exploration and production of hydrocarbons. It is also designed to produce a professional geologist for the mineral and mining industry. It is a two-year programme with industrial visits and an industry internship as part of curriculum.
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While the first semester is focused on building core geological knowledge in tectonics, structural geology, petrology, stratigraphy, and paleontology, the second and third semesters focus on petroleum, mineral, mining and other applied aspects of Geology. The fourth semester is dedicated to industry internship and projects.
MTech Petroleum engineering: This is a specialised postgraduate programme that grooms students in basic and advanced aspects of petroleum engineering. It is for students who have graduated with engineering degrees from different backgrounds including petroleum, chemical, and mechanical among others. Students are taught advanced reservoir simulation methods, enhanced recovery techniques, drilling operations, petroleum geology, unconventional production. Students get the opportunity to work on industry software and internships, guided by industry experts.
BTech Applied Petroleum Engineering (Spl. in Gas Stream): It is a unique undergraduate programme that aims to provide fundamental to advance domain knowledge in upstream oil and gas Exploration and Production (E&P); with specialisation in gas processing and distribution. This unique blend of knowledge of both upstream and downstream practices enables students to have a proficient and comprehensive learning experience. It provides an end to end know-how of the hydrocarbon industry.
BTech Chemical Engineering (Spl. in Refining and Petrochemicals): This is an emerging programme. It offers basic Chemical Engineering courses like mass transfer, heat transfer, fluid mechanics, chemical reaction engineering, process controls, etc, along with specialised courses on refining and petrochemicals including petroleum refining technology, petrochemical process technology, petrochemical and refinery design etc. The graduates have immense opportunities in the field of both hardcore chemical engineering sector along with the refining and petrochemical sectors.
BTech Fire and Safety Engineering and MTech Health Safety and Environment: These two programmes are unique and provided by very few Institutions across India. Every industry having more than 300+ employees must have a Fire and Safety / Health and Safety Engineer as per the government norms irrespective of the nature of industry, whether it is chemical, polymers, plastics, refinery, warehouses, offices, institutions, etc.
— The author is dean, School of Engineering, UPES