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Can a chemical engineer work as a petroleum engineer?

firered786firered786 Posts: 291Registered User Junior Member
edited July 2012 in Engineering Majors
Does it happen? If so, how?
Post edited by firered786 on

Replies to: Can a chemical engineer work as a petroleum engineer?

  • yg7s7yg7s7 Posts: 876Registered User Member
    No. Chemical Engineer can work in petroleum industry (downstream), but can't do what Petroleum Engineers (people who majored in PetE) do (upstream)
  • viciouspoultryviciouspoultry Posts: 837Registered User Member
    Technically you could work upstream if a company wanted to place you there for whatever reason, but if your goal is to work upstream Chemical Engineering is not the preferred degree. Mechanical, Geodetic, and obviously Petroleum Engineering are better degrees.
  • ken285ken285 Posts: 3,882Registered User Senior Member
    Technically you could work upstream if a company wanted to place you there for whatever reason, but if your goal is to work upstream Chemical Engineering is not the preferred degree
    That's true. A chemical engineering education won't teach you petroleum engineering, but that's not to say a company won't choose to place you in such a position for whatever reason. That begin said, if you want to be a petroleum engineer, you should major in that field to maximize your chances.

    I was a civil engineering major in school but my company wanted to hire me specifically for a position related to mechanical and electrical engineering instead. Why? No idea. At the last minute though, somebody else within the company decided to hire me for a position more related to my educational background.
  • TXAggie92TXAggie92 Posts: 341Registered User Member
    Yes chemEs can be placed upstream. Just with pete you are guaranteed to be upstream.
  • magneticmagnetic Posts: 165Registered User Junior Member
    What's the difference between the two streams?
  • you_of_ehyou_of_eh Posts: 753Registered User Member
    The upstream oil sector is also known as the exploration and production (E&P) sector. The upstream sector includes the searching for potential underground or underwater oil and gas fields, drilling of exploratory wells, and subsequently operating the wells that recover and bring the crude oil and/or raw natural gas to the surface.

    The downstream oil sector is a term commonly used to refer to the refining of crude oil, and the selling and distribution of natural gas and products derived from crude oil. The downstream sector includes oil refineries, petrochemical plants, petroleum product distribution, retail outlets and natural gas distribution companies.
  • zingzingzingzing Posts: 1Registered User New Member
    Is there got any salary difference for upstream and downstream?
  • penguin2012penguin2012 Posts: 21Registered User New Member
    Upstream tends to make more. For ChemEs, no problem getting into both. For example, the staple job for a ChemE is in refining, which is downstream. However, in upstream you also need process engineers (ChemEs) for free water knockouts, pipeline, dehydrators, etc. etc.

    In upstream, ChemEs are more suitable to a production engineering job as opposed to reservoir or drilling, but that is a very, very general statement (lots of exceptions, ifs and buts). Yes, it is possible to do PetE if you're a ChemE, although I agree that if you want to work as a PetE then it's more logical to get a PetE degree.

    Quite frankly, there's too many engineering jobs required in the petroleum industry, you'll be okay as long as you actually try to get in the industry.
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