EDA, Incorporated

Petroleum Engineering

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What is a Petroleum Engineer?  (Career Profile)

The subtitle for Petroleum Engineering 101 at Stanford University reads "How to dig oil wells," and that is for the most part what a petroleum engineer does.  He is involved in all phases of oil exploration, from choosing the prospective site through taking down the drilling rig after extracting the oil.  This can mean travel, long stays in unusual (and sometimes inhospitable) locations, and uncertain working conditions.  "It's a gambler's life," wrote one petroleum engineer, and others agreed.  "If you're into engineering and gambling, petroleum engineering is for you," wrote another.  Those not attracted to both should steer clear of this high-risk field.  A petroleum engineer usually works for a petroleum company in various capacities.  The typical petroleum engineer works in the field. First, he scouts prospective sites that have a strong likelihood of containing oil or gas below.  Then, he takes samples from the site and determines the amount and quality of oil, the depth at which these resources lie, and the equipment that will be needed to properly extract them.  The PE then supervises construction and operations at the site and adjusts plans accordingly.  Finally, when the well or pocket is exhausted, he supervises the removal of the drilling equipment and the safe return of the land to structural stability, and he oversees the removal of any waste (hazardous or otherwise) left at the site.  These stages of work can be quick three-month stints or can be extended to as long as two years.  Patience, sound judgment, and maturity are all required features for the successful PE.  "You've got to be able to see problems before they happen," wrote one veteran Californian PE, "otherwise you're right in the middle of them."  Self-confidence is also crucial, as onsite decisions have to be made quickly and surely.  Another said, "You have to be able to handle failure" if you want to survive in this industry.  Speculative oil-well drilling is somewhere between a science and an art; expect to frequently plant rigs that prove barren or that only yield limited amounts of oil.  But despite the frustrations that go with the turf, petroleum engineers seem to enjoy being out in the field, where they can get their hands dirty.  One big satisfaction for many we surveyed was that they worked with both their minds and their hands.  Some petroleum engineers do work in offices, however, analyzing the reports and recommendations of field engineers and advising corporate decision-makers on whether to proceed.  These positions are usually held by veteran personnel with experience as field engineers, drilling engineers, and reservoir estimators.  While these people are crucial to the success of the industry as a whole, their levels of satisfaction were slightly lower than those of field engineers; the gambling lifestyle, it seems, is less exciting from behind a desk.

Career Profile

# of people in profession: 14,000
% male: 95
% female: 5
average hours per week: 50
average starting salary: $ 42,000
average salary after 5 years: $ 70,000
average salary after 10 to 15 years: $ 90,000
Professionals Read: Petroleum Engineering, Oil and Gas Journal, International Petrochemical Report
Book, Films and TV Shows Featuring the Profession: A Year in Saudi Arabia, Black Gold, The OPEC Builders

Major Employers:
1007 Market Street
Wilmington, DE 19898
Tel: 302-774-1000
Fax: 302-774-7321
Contact: Human Resources Professional Staffing
Amoco Corporation
200 East Randolph Drive
Suite 3408
Chicago, IL 60601
Tel: 312-856-5111
Contact: Human Resources
Chevron Corporation
1300 South Beach Boulevard
La Habra, CA 90632
Tel: 562-694-7655
Fax: 562-694-7962
Contact: Julie Osborn
Consolidated Natural Gas Company
625 Liberty Avenue
CNG Tower
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Tel: 412-227-1000
Fax: 412-690-7620
Contact: Human Resources
You'll Associate With: Drilling Rig Operators, Geologists, Geophysicists, Lab Technicians

Major Associations:
American Petroleum Institute
1220 L Street, NW
Suite 900
Washington, DC 20005
Tel: 202-682-8000
Fax: 202-682-8569
Junior Engineering Technical Society
1420 King Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
Tel: 703-548-5387
Fax: 703-548-0769
Contact: Cathy McGowen
Society of Petroleum Engineers
222 Palisades Creek Drive
Richardson, TX 75080
Tel: 972-952-9393
Fax: 972-952-9435
Contact: Jan Ouellet
Parts taken from Review.com

For free calculations go to the Calculator page.  The calculators should be used with caution.  Many of these calculators are not verified and are only intended to provide for a starting point in performing a design calculations.  All final design calculations should  be performed using verified and validated programs or calculators that have documented evidence of the verification and validation.

The following links have been reviewed and approved to be the best petroleum engineering information available on the internet, so please enjoy and if you have a better link of petroleum engineering information, email it to SiteManager@i-edainc.com .



Australian Petroleum Cooperative Research Centre
Peruse project descriptions, a mission statement, annual reports, newsletters and a list of publications.


Center for Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering
Facility at the University of Texas, Austin, presents its purpose, research staff, sponsors, community and contact information.


Centre for Oil & Gas Engineering
Located at the University of Western Australia in Nedlands, this institute offers petroleum engineering courses and develops technology.


Crisman Institute
Research projects cover drilling, well performance and reservoir management. Based in Texas A&M University's petroleum engineering department.


CSIRO Petroleum
Profiles oil and gas research projects conducted by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation of Australia.


Delft University of Technology - Dietz Laboratory
Conducts studies of reservoir engineering, production technology and petrophysics. Located in the Netherlands.


Imperial College PERM Research Group
Find a staff directory, a list of publications and project descriptions from the Petroleum Engineering & Rock Mechanics group. Located in London.


MRI Petrophysical Applications Center
Located at Texas Tech University, this facility offers magnetic resource imaging services for oil and gas research.


Nat'l Gas and Oil Technology Partnership
Describes research projects jointly operated by the Dept. of Energy and the petroleum industry.


Nat'l Petroleum Technology Office
Find information on petroleum technology and reports, download document-viewing software, or explore energy-related links.


Offshore Technology Research Center
Operated by Texas A&M Univ. and the Univ. of Texas. Offers a mission statement, project descriptions and a staff directory.


Petroleum Recovery Institute
Discover descriptions of the research organization's reservoir engineering technologies, products and services. Located in Calgary, Alberta.


Petroleum Technology Transfer Council - Central Gulf
Explore event announcements and links to Louisiana oil and gas statistics. Based at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.


Petroleum Technology Transfer Council - Nat'l Home Page
Read about new oil and gas exploration technologies, check the event calendar, or examine case studies and reports.


Petroleum Technology Transfer Council - Southwest
Discover a mission statement, event announcements, newsletters, downloadable software and data for New Mexico's oil industry.


Sarkeys Energy Center
Located at the Univ. of Oklahoma, this institute researches oil and gas exploration and production.


Southwest Research Institute - Company Homepage
Nonprofit applied engineering and physical sciences research and development organization presents its technical divisions and patents.


Stanford University Petroleum Research Institute
Learn about reservoir simulation, thermal oil recovery and well drilling projects.


Univ. of Oklahoma Well Construction Technology Center
Develops technology for drilling, completions and production operations in the oil and gas industry. Tour the center, or view reports.


University of Tulsa Drilling Research Projects
Learn about the group's efforts to develop drilling technology for the oil and gas industry.





GO-TECH Petroleum Web
Access links to companies, newsletters and prices and data for the petroleum industry.


Offshore Technology
Information for the offshore oil and gas industry. Contains industry news, A-Z of companies, and links to organizations, worldwide.


Oil & Gas Database
Database of products, services and surplus materials for the oil and gas industry, plus listing of facilities for sale.


Petro Assist
Offers a directory of technical and commercial companies in the oil industry.


Petroleum & Geosystems Engineering
Collection of pointers for mining and petroleum engineers. Includes commercial sites, software and publications.


Sci.geo.petroleum Internet Resources
Links to companies, suppliers, professional and industry associations, academia and research institutions.


Survey news from the oil industry, find oil and gas prices, browse the company directory, or access World Oil Magazine.


Hydrocarbon Online
Community and marketplace for the hydrocarbon industry includes the latest news on equipment and technology. Join a mailing list.


National Petroleum Council
Federally chartered and privately funded committee which advises the Department of Energy. Order research reports.


Refining and Petrochemical
Lists companies and organizations related to the refining, petrochemical, and chemical industries.


World Petroleum Congresses
Organization hosts international conferences where the oil industry is discussed. See which countries participate.


Cartel of oil-producing countries offers press releases, profiles of member nations and a guide to its publications. Includes contact details.


Office of Pipeline Safety
Maintains the safety, quality, and environmental standards for pipelines. Access its library or view regulations and statistics.


Tiger Hightest Magazine
Online version includes sample articles of this print magazine that is dedicated to petroleum collectibles, history and marketing.


Early Petroleum History Index
Lists a collection of Web sites pertaining to the history of the early petroleum industry in America. Highlights states such as Kansas and Texas.


Marathon Brand Products
Descriptions and technical data about oil manufacturer Marathon's products. Includes information on their gasolines, and motor and gear oils.


MSN Encarta - Org of Petroleum Exporting Countries
Find out the member roster of this oil pricing and policymaking group, and read about its past accomplishments. Has news and pertinent links.


Shell Chemicals
Part of the Royal Dutch/Shell Group of companies that specializes in research and development of the petrochemical industry.


Atlantic Richfield Company - Corporate Homepage
Explores, produces, and markets crude oil and natural gas. Includes ARCO news, financials, products and services, company reports, and jobs.


BP Amoco - Corporate Homepage
Overview of its oil and gas exploration and production activities, petroleum products, news, annual reports, and job vacancies.


Phillips Petroleum Company
Oil and gas explorer, producer, refiner, and Phillips 66 service station operator. Includes businesses, products, services, news, and financials.


Exxon - Corporate Homepage
Petroleum company provides its corporate news, financial information, and a note on the Valdez. Examine its press releases.


Learn how this energy company locates and extracts fuel. Read about field technology, recent industry announcements, and job openings.

Company Profile

EDA, Incorporated provides quality-engineering services on time, on schedule and within budget.  EDA, Inc. is able to do this by performing the work correctly the first time. We accept the most challenging problems and look forward to working with the client as a team member.  EDA believes that the client should be an active participant in the work process to ensure that the product is commensurate with client expectations and is delivered within schedule and budget constraints.

EDA, Inc. belongs to the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE), the Society of Instrument Control Engineers, Society of Professional Engineers (ISA) and the American Nuclear Society (ANS).

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For more information on EDA, Incorporated services, please contact Client Service Manager at:

Client Service Manager

EDA, Inc.

6397 True Lane

Springfield, VA 22150


or email  the Client Service Manager at SiteManager@i-edainc.com .

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Contact Information

Virginia Office (703) 313-9138
Postal address
6397 True Lane
          Springfield, Va 22150
Electronic mail
General Information:  Site Manager@i-edainc.com