In this lesson, we learned about the basics of the modern oil and gas industry. In particular, we learned that naturally occurring hydrocarbons exist in subsurface, porous rock formation called reservoirs. We also learned that these naturally occurring hydrocarbons can be found as liquids (crude oil) or as gases (natural gas).
In addition, we learned about the structure of the oil and gas industry. The modern oil and gas industry is broadly composed of three sectors based on the role that sector plays in delivering petroleum products to consumers. These sectors are:
- the upstream sector: responsible for the discovery and extraction of hydrocarbons from the subsurface reservoirs;
- the mid-stream sector: responsible for transporting oil and natural gas from remote oil and gas fields to refineries and markets; and
- the downstream sector: responsible for the storage, refining, and marketing of refined products.
We also discussed the three disciplines in petroleum engineering and their roles in the industry. These petroleum engineering disciplines are:
- drilling engineering: responsible for planning and drilling all wells in the field;
- production engineering: responsible for monitoring and remediating individual wells to ensure that they are producing or injecting at their optimal potentials; and
- reservoir engineering: responsible for planning and implementing development plans for the oil and gas fields.
In addition, we briefly discussed the career potentials of up and coming petroleum engineers. We learned that petroleum engineers are typically hired into the upstream sector of the industry. In addition, with the aid of the resource triangle, we discussed some of the challenges that future petroleum engineers can expect to take on during their careers in the oil and gas industry.
Finally, we discussed the ethics of the engineering profession, in particular, petroleum and natural gas engineering. We also discussed Environmental Stewardship and its role in crude oil and natural gas extraction.
Complete all of the Lesson 1 tasks!
You have reached the end of Lesson 1! Double-check the to-do list on the Lesson 1 Overview page to make sure you have completed all of the activities listed there before you begin Lesson 2.