Complementing a Petroleum Engineering degree: Part 2
By, Sriniketh Sukumar
Disclaimer: The content in this article does not constitute formal academic advice and should not be treated as such. Always check with your academic advisor(s) before registering for courses or planning out your degree.
Are you looking to push your limits beyond the BS PETE degree? Looking to add value to your career without taking on significant additional cost? Consider doing a minor! In our previous post, we shared our views on some of the easiest and most beneficial minors for PETE majors. You can read it here: http://thewelllog.com/2018/10/07/complementing-your-petroleum-engineering-degree/
Of course, the list doesn’t end there! Here we talk about three more fascinating options for you to consider as you go on the course of your degree.
From drilling to fracture treatments to EOR, the petroleum engineer is tasked with choosing the right fluids for the right formation. In a way, the practicing petroleum engineer serves as the bridge between the several sciences behind almost any technical upstream oil and gas project. Of course, the key to a successful drilling operation lies in the choice and regulation of fluids, and the same can be argued of fracking, chemical flooding and EOR. There is an important advantage to be gained from knowing the properties and suitability of the several classes of chemicals like surfactants, gels, corrosion inhibitors, additives to name but a few. There lies a world of complexity in linking these to a real subsurface formation. Another benefit lies in being proficient in green chemistry, which adds to the engineering of reducing emissions and engineering an overall cleaner operation. There are many other examples of why having a chemistry minor helps your theoretical understanding of essential petroleum engineering, will help you excel on the job. At TAMU, the minor, while having a challenging workload of about 18 credit hours, features a balance between lecture and lab components and offers a wider variety to choose from. Check it out here: http://catalog.tamu.edu/undergraduate/science/chemistry/minor/#programrequirementstext
We hear it almost every day now: Machine learning, artificial intelligence, data management… All these things are tied inherently through the use of computing, a field around which the whole revolves. Of course, oil and gas is no different: Every oil and gas company today invests millions of dollars into improving their data management, computational efficiency, not just in more typical reservoir engineering sense, but also in any engineering operations. High performance computing is the key to meet the world’s growing energy demand. However, the need for skilled engineers is perhaps even greater. And that’s exactly why you should consider minoring in computer science, which provides a solid foundation of the essential theoretical background the computer scientist has to offer. Once again, the versatility of petroleum engineering is featured in that we serve as the link between theory and practice. At TAMU, the minor is the typical 18 hours, with the major downside being that no electives are offered. However, no practicing engineer today will overlook the importance of computing in the course of his/her daily line of work. If you can’t consider the full minor, you might want to consider a couple more computationally inclined courses in petroleum engineering itself, counting it as a technical elective.
Material Science and Engineering
Oil and gas technology today revolves around design of stronger and more resilient materials, as oil and gas explorations venture into further hostile and inhospitable territories, such as deep sea offshore. Design of these components goes beyond the scope of typical petroleum engineering, and pursuing material science will enable you with the theoretical knowledge to evaluate which technical components are most suitable for an engineering operation, even going so far as to design them if so inclined. Important issues such as material capability and duration, corrosion inhibition and polymers go into both the spectrum of important topics as well as the minor (of 15 credit hours). In addition, this minor will help you gain a better understanding of nanotechnology, an important field of emerging technology in the oil and gas industry. Read more about the applications of nanotechnology in a previous well log article. Check it out here! http://thewelllog.com/2018/09/16/applications-of-nanotechnology-in-the-oil-and-gas-industry/
Read more about the material Science minor here! https://engineering.tamu.edu/materials/academics/degrees/undergraduate/minor.html