PNG 301
Introduction to Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering

1.5 Engineering Ethics


Throughout history, the engineering profession has played a pivotal role in generating growth and improving the quality of life of society. Due to its very nature, the engineering profession requires strict ethical standards to continue providing this growth in sustained, principled manner. The National Society of Professional Engineers has codified these ethical standards into its Code of Ethics. This ethical code is provided in the following three links:

In light of Climate Change and Global Warming, one aspect of engineering ethics that is becoming more critical to the petroleum and natural gas engineering profession is environmental stewardship. Environmental stewardship refers to the use of conservation and sustainable practices to protect the environment. This is done by using modern best practices to:

  • Reduce oil spills and gas emissions with the goal of eliminating them altogether
  • Minimizing the environmental footprint of all oil and gas extraction operations
  • Minimizing gas flares (intentional burning of natural gas to the environment) with the goal of eliminating them altogether (Note, often a minimal amount of gas may need to be flared to act as a pilot light as part of the safety system required for some oil production operations)
  • Protecting freshwater aquifers and ground water used by humans and wildlife