This week is National Engineering Week. Therefore, this is the perfect opportunity to celebrate engineering. I thought it would be appropriate to discuss some of the cool projects I have done in my petroleum engineering emphasis classes. Many of these projects give a valuable insight into the different sectors of petroleum engineering and what working in the field would be like.
The fall of my junior year, I took PTE 461 – Formation Evaluation. This class was all about methods for analyzing the subsurface geology to look for deposits of oil and gas. Therefore, for our final project, we were given a certain oilfield, and we had to analyze the subsurface geology through generated reports provided to us. Then, we had to present our findings and suggest if it is economically viable to drill in this oil field. It was an interesting project and gave a good glimpse into how to present technical information in a helpful and informative way, keeping in mind profit demands.
The spring of my junior year, I took PTE 464 – Petroleum Reservoir Engineering. This class focused on the engineering behind getting the oil and gas out of the ground and up the well to the wellhead. Different topics included modeling reservoir systems, determining the amount of oil, gas, and water in a given reservoir, borehole dynamics, and modern techniques for production. To incorporate these different concepts, we had a final project at the end of the semester where we were given a reservoir of interest, and we needed to analyze various production methods for extracting the hydrocarbons from the reservoir and up to the wellhead. Different possible scenarios were based on injecting a certain amount of produced gas back into the reservoir to stimulate the production and increase the secondary recovery of hydrocarbons from the reservoir. We needed to compare which injection scenario yielded the highest recovery and greatest financial return. The results obtained from this project are displayed below.
FInally, this past semester, I took PTE 465 – Drilling Technology and Subsurface Methods. I really enjoyed this class, and even though it was on Tuesday nights, the professor kept the class entertaining and interesting. In this class, we learned about the engineering from the moment you decide where you want to drill a well to the moment you end drilling and completions. Topics included learning about the different parts of a drilling rig, drilling fluids, drilling hydraulics, drill bits, design of casing, cementing in the well, and various completion methods. To synthesize all these concepts, we had to write a drilling program for our final project, which essentially gives a layout of every step of the drilling process, including the following:
- Listing all necessary services that will be needed during job
- Listing all equipment, specifying parameters
- Giving a description of each step, with exact specifications for drilling mud, drilling bits, casing, and cement.
- Lay out a drilling schedule of how long each step should take
This project ended up being 27 pages long! I think doing this project, even though difficult, was really neat, because it gave a sense of how a real drilling program would be organized and written. Here are some pages out of my report:
I really enjoyed my petroleum engineering classes, and doing these projects helped me get a sense of what working in the industry would be like, presenting professional reports that will dictate how oil drilling or production will be carried out. Also, taking the concepts from my PTE 461 and PTE 464 classes I took my junior year and being able to see how they carried over to the oil and gas industry at my one week experience at Schlumberger FIELD Camp was awesome. It was neat to be able to see how a real company puts these concepts into practice. You can read all about my experience at FIELD Camp here!