February 23, 2014
Petroleum engineering is a field of engineering concerned with the activities related to the production of crude oil or natural gas. Crude oil is a truly nontoxic, natural, and biodegradable product. It is the most important natural resource of the industrialized nations. It can generate heat, drive machinery and fuel vehicles and airplanes. Its components are used to manufacture almost all chemical products, such as plastics, detergents, paints, and even medicines. According to Carlyle Ryan, oil is a widely-traded, high-competitive commodity market; this explains why oil companies are some of the largest publicly-traded companies in the world (33). It is a job that provides workers with an opportunity to contribute to a vital part of the U.S. and world economy with the advantages it has, such as working conditions, salary, opportunities to travel around the world; but also faces some challenges.
Petroleum engineers help the world economy flourish by finding and refining oil. The job of most petroleum engineers revolves around the production of oil and gas. When a new reservoir is located, petroleum engineers analyze it to determine whether it can be profitably exploited. The major products produced directly from distillation processes include gasoline, kerosene, lubricants, and waxes. John Anderson reports that the heaviest products obtained directly from oil are lubricants, asphalt, and coke. These products have both domestic and industrial uses (944). Petroleum engineering focuses on estimation of the recoverable volume of resources using detailed understanding of the physical behavior of oil, water, and within rocks at high pressure. With crude oil being the most efficient source of energy, it is widely used for several purposes. Vikram Janardhan and Bob Fesmire report that "today, close to 84 percent of crude oil is used for producing...