Dr. Rahul Joshi is presently working as Assistant Professor and Head, School of Petroleum Engineering, Dr. Vishwanath Karad MIT World Peace University, Pune, Maharashtra, India. He has a wide teaching experience of 21 years a 4 years of industry experience. His qualifications include Ph.D. Geology, M.Sc. (Geology) and B.Sc. (Geology). He is actively involved in civil and petroleum engineering courses. His areas of interests are Petroleum Exploration, Petroleum Geology, Reservoir Characterization, Engineering Geological Investigations and Rock Mass Characterization.
Energy plays an important role in our daily lives, from our smartphones to our automobiles to our homes, it helps us to improve our standard of living. Petroleum engineers power the globe by collaborating and thinking creatively.
Petroleum engineering is the amalgamation of many engineering disciplines, including mechanical, chemical and civil. Innovation, exploration, and expansion are roots of petroleum engineering.
Dating Back to History
The drilling of the first oil well took place way back in 1859 in Titusville, Pennsylvania, USA. Since then, a lot has changed in the exploration and production of crude oil.
Earlier, almost every single oilman working in the industry had to do the work by hand. Now, one can sit in a corner of the globe and still be able to drill and effectively produce oil and gas from another corner. Of course, in the era of advanced computing, it is not unachievable.
The question at the moment is whether the oil and gas industry has an adequate supply of manpower who understand the upcoming challenges of the new era where the industry is moving from rig site to desktop?
Rise in Petroleum Engineering
In last 150 years, close to 5 million oil wells have been drilled across all the continents. Each oil-producing well generates a few terabytes of information in terms of all activities, which means, this is a data-intensive industry.
Ability to identify, aggregate, store and analyze this vast data is giving competitive edge to oil companies. As is the saying that “Data is the new Oil and Oil is the new Data”, we are noticing a great surge in industry demands for manpower that is well-versed in both core Exploration and Production (E&P) operations and Big Data Analytics tools.
With fluctuating oil prices and rapidly changing supply and demand scenario, oil industry is finding knowledge of data handling tools such as Artificial Intelligence Machine Learning (AIML) a strategic resource to reduce the potential risk of decision making.
Multiple facets in Petroleum Engineering
Tech Petroleum Engineering program is offered in many public universities across India like IIT Kharagpur, ISM Dhanbad, IIT Bombay, IIT Madras. MIT World Peace University, Pune is also among the institutions that offer Petroleum Engineering to address these emerging manpower needs of oil industry. The curriculum of this programme is structured in a way that give inputs to the graduating students in core engineering sciences (such as Fluid Mechanics, Thermodynamics, Mathematical modelling), core exploration and production engineering domain along with grounding in Big Data and tools such as AIML.
The B. Tech program is designed to give varied and challenging career opportunities in Big Data and Oil and Gas sector at national and global level. Most of these companies (oil & gas as well as software) are a part of the Fortune 500 list and students can secure entry in any one of these companies.
Career Avenues in Petroleum Engineering
The primary focus of petroleum engineering is hydrocarbon production (crude oil, natural gas, etc.) The need for such hydrocarbons is growing exponentially with each passing day. As a result, oil corporations are constantly looking for innovative ways to meet this need. They’ll require young and bright engineers in a variety of fields, including reservoir management, drilling, and production, among others.
The students are introduced to this unique discipline through internship. These are arranged with major Oil and Gas Companies as well as software firms working in Big Data Analytics. In senior years, the emphasis is placed upon meaningful integration of Petroleum Engineering with adequate laboratory backup provided for both E&P and Data Analytics courses.
After Successful completion of the program, graduates become eligible to get employed in core oil and gas sector as well as IT. Many IT giants such as Wipro, Infosys, TCS have verticals dedicated to oil and gas.
In recent years, advances in other fields such as computer modelling, probability, and statistics have broadened the scope of petroleum engineering. Few other emerging areas such as supply chain management, petroleum finance and economics and piping engineering are also offering very good career opportunities.
This provides petroleum engineers with numerous prospects in the business. Big multinational corporations like ONGC, OIL, and Indian Oil provide high packages to petroleum engineers.
The private sector also offers many lucrative opportunities to a budding engineer in India as well as abroad. This is the only area where multinational companies (MNCs) such as Schlumberger, Halliburton, Weatherford and Exxon Mobil directly recruit fresh graduates. In terms of investment from the students seeking a career in Petroleum Engineering, it becomes a win-win situation.