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A Master’s in Petroleum Engineering from a Canadian university prepares students for specialised work in the oil and gas industry. Programs educate students in all aspects of the industry, including the production, transport and processing of petroleum products. International students will benefit from education and research programs immersed in Canada’s rich history in the petroleum industry.
What Is a Master’s Program in Petroleum Engineering?
Petroleum engineering is a highly focused field that prepares students for a variety of work in the oil and gas industry. A Master’s degree provides a specialised education that builds on the knowledge and skills developed in undergraduate engineering study. Petroleum engineering integrates engineering principles and techniques from various engineering disciplines and may appeal to a variety of engineering students.
Curriculum's provide students with a set of core courses and a selection of electives that allow them to gain expertise in a specific field within the industry. Studies of the ‘downstream’ sector concentrate on issues related to processing, refining and distributing petroleum products. Students may also focus on the ‘upstream’ sector of the oil industry – dealing with exploration and production operations and oil and gas reservoir facilities.
Students can expect core courses to cover the following areas:
- Reservoir engineering.
- Petroleum geo-science.
- Drilling engineering.
- Production technology.
What Are the Benefits of Getting a Master’s in Petroleum Engineering in Canada?
The study of petroleum engineering prepares students to delve into practical, real-world problems and find the necessary solutions. Graduates with a Master’s in Petroleum Engineering will have the opportunity to participate in a vibrant research community. Research in petroleum engineering does not simply study problems; it affects real change in the world by locating practical solutions to engineering issues.
Canadian universities are exceptionally equipped to enable a hands-on approach to studying the petroleum industry. The Schulich School of Engineering at the University of Calgary, for example, is located in the energy capital of Canada. The school has a close relationship with the oil and gas industry, and professors are knowledgeable about the challenges the industry faces. These relationships place Canadian universities in a unique position to prepare students for successful careers in the petroleum industry.
There are a number of other benefits of graduate study in petroleum engineering. These include:
- Hands-on experience that includes internships and professional projects that prepares students for their future careers. Students apply their knowledge and skills to real, practical industry situations, gaining the expertise and experience they will need in their future careers.
- For those with a desire to travel, a career in petroleum engineering can afford opportunities to live and work overseas. These opportunities are greater for those with a Master’s level or higher education in the field.
- Career outlooks for those with a Master’s in Petroleum Engineering are strong. Graduates will have a leg up on those holding only Bachelor’s degrees, which do not generally afford an emphasis specifically on petroleum engineering.
What Kind of Career Can You Expect With a Master’s in Petroleum Engineering?
Petroleum engineers generally work for companies that produce and distribute oil and gas. Work often takes place in plants, labs or offices, but some engineers work outdoors at oil and gas exploration and production sites. Some positions require extensive travel abroad to work sites and plants, while others are stationary. Jobs in research and development most often require post-graduate degrees.
Petroleum engineers hold a variety of positions with varied daily tasks.
- Manage the daily operations of oil and gas production.
- Work to lower operating expenses and increase revenue.
- Design production equipment.
- Maintain communications with regulatory agencies, partners and service companies.
- Perform reservoir modelling studies to assess field performance.
- Analyse the economic value and potential risks of development programs.
- Estimate reserves for development and production properties.
- Develop and implement reservoir monitoring and optimisation programs.
- Supervise drilling operations for safety, environmental concerns and cost-efficiency.
- Prepare cost estimates and risk assessments.
- Implement technological innovations in drilling locations.
- Work onsite in a variety of locations, including overseas.
Petroleum engineering is an industry with potential for growth and an excellent career outlook, especially for those with a Master’s degree. Changing environmental concerns and industry regulations mean this work requires flexibility, adaptability and the skills provided by a graduate-level education.