National Occupational Classification (NOC) 2021 Version 1.0


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21332 - Petroleum engineers

Petroleum engineers conduct studies for the exploration, development and extraction of oil and gas deposits; and plan, design, develop and supervise projects for the drilling, completion, testing and re-working of oil and gas wells. They are employed by petroleum producing companies, consulting companies, well logging or testing companies, government, and research and educational institutions.

  • Illustrative example(s)

    • oil and gas drilling engineer
    • oil and gas production engineer
    • petroleum engineer
    • petroleum reservoir engineer
    • petroleum well completion engineer
    • subsea engineer

    All examples

  • Exclusion(s)

    • Chemical engineers (See 21320 Chemical engineers)
    • Contractors and supervisors, oil and gas drilling and services (See 82021 Contractors and supervisors, oil and gas drilling and services)
    • Engineering managers (See 20010 Engineering managers)
    • Geological engineers (See 21331 Geological engineers)
    • Geoscientists and oceanographers (See 21102 Geoscientists and oceanographers)
  • Main duties

    This group performs some or all of the following duties:

    • Conduct feasibility assessment studies for developing new oil and gas fields
    • Direct and monitor oil and gas drilling operations
    • Develop drilling programs, select sites and specify drilling fluids, bit selection, drill stem testing procedures and equipment
    • Direct and monitor the completion and evaluation of wells, well testing and well surveys
    • Design and select artificial lift machinery, and well and surface production equipment and systems, and specify programs for corrosion control and oil or gas treatment
    • Develop specifications for and monitor and supervise well modification and stimulation programs to maximize oil and gas recovery
    • Analyze reservoir rock and fluid data to design optimum recovery methods and to predict reservoir performance and reserves
    • Monitor and forecast oil and gas reservoir performance and recommend oil recovery techniques which extend the economic life of wells
    • Design, develop and coordinate the installation, maintenance and operation of subsea well-head and production equipment.

    Petroleum engineers may specialize in drilling, production, reservoir analysis or subsea operations.

  • Employment requirements

    • A bachelor's degree in petroleum engineering or in a related engineering discipline is required.
    • A master's degree or doctorate in a related engineering discipline may be required.
    • Licensing by a provincial or territorial association of professional engineers is required to approve engineering drawings and reports and to practise as a Professional Engineer (P.Eng.).
    • Engineers are eligible for registration following graduation from an accredited educational program, and after three or four years of supervised work experience in engineering and passing a professional practice examination.
  • Additional information

    • There is mobility between petroleum engineering specializations at the less senior levels.
    • Supervisory and senior positions in this unit group require experience.
    • Engineers often work in a multidisciplinary environment and acquire knowledge and skills through work experience that may allow them to practise in associated areas of science, engineering, sales, marketing or management.
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