Petroleum Engineering

What is Petroleum Engineering?

Petroleum and natural gas engineering is a diversified discipline concerned with the exploration, development and conservation of oil and natural gas. An engineer is capable of planning and supervising drilling and well completion programs, estimating reserves, and managing oil and gas properties. 

Why choose a career in Petroleum Engineering?

The oil and gas industry is a progressive and highly technical business which offers opportunities to engineers, both in the United States and abroad. A graduate may obtain a responsible position with a major integrated oil company, a small local independent producer, a service company, establish a consulting business, or work for a state or federal institution specializing in petroleum-related activities.

The Future of Petroleum

Oil and natural gas is an affordable energy source providing our needs in fuels for transportation, heating and cooling, and raw materials for countless products from plastics to synthetics. To meet the worldwide demand of 75 million barrels per day is a continuous challenge. In the future, advances in technology and creative solutions from engineers will continue the trend of supply meeting demand.

Undergraduate Program in Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering

The four-year program includes 38 hours of petroleum engineering courses, balanced in the areas of drilling, production, and reservoir. These discipline-specific courses are based on foundations of math, chemistry, physics, geology and engineering sciences. The program has been awarded the maximum of six-year accreditation from the engineering accreditation board, ABET.

A recently published survey ranks the Petroleum Engineering program as one of the top ten in the nation for research. The focus is on both applied and basic research to improve oil and gas recovery, with emphasis on New Mexico oil and gas fields. As an example, a major project is improving recovery from tight gas formations in the San Juan Basin. Furthermore, the Petroleum Research and Recovery Center (PRRC) and the New Mexico Bureau of Mines and Mineral Resources (NMBMMR) at New Mexico Tech, have many highly trained professionals performing leading edge research, who provide invaluable expertise and assistance to the department.

Dozens of energy companies are represented by New Mexico Tech alumni, including: Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Apache, Devon, BP Alaska, Halliburton, Tengasco, PathFinder, Energen and Baker Hughes, among many others.


Many petroleum companies with the cooperation SPE and AADE provide scholarships wanting to study in the field of petroleum engineering. Scholarships

Additional Information:

For additional information on why petroleum engineering is a safe and secure job future go to Energy for Me