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Undergraduate Study

Interested in studying petroleum engineering at the University of Adelaide?

Take the first step towards a diverse, challenging and innovative career and explore the bachelor degrees available at the Australian School of Petroleum.

  • What is Petroleum Engineering?

    Petroleum engineering is the practical application of physics and mathematics (with some chemistry and geology) combined with engineering and economic principles to the recovery of petroleum.

    Petroleum engineers are designers. They create, plan and supervise all aspects of petroleum recovery: helping to find oil and gas; assessing how much is there; designing the wells and processing facilities to get as much out as possible; supervising and optimising production operations and ultimately, planning for the abandonment of the project. All of these design and operational plans must be economic and safe from a human and environmental perspective.

    Being a petroleum engineer is not a single job. You could, for example, be a reservoir engineer using sophisticated computer models to determine the optimal petroleum recovery process and plan the number, type and location of wells. As a drilling or well completions engineer, you may be working with geoscientists and contractors in designing novel, high-tech wells or in supervising drilling operations. As a facilities or production engineer, you could be designing or managing a new development project (possibly located at the fabrication site of a foreign contractor) or maintaining and optimising existing production operations. Whatever the nature of the job, chances are you will be part of a multi-million dollar project, designing or using state-of- the-art technology.

  • Where Can Petroleum Engineering Take Me?

    Where Do Petroleum Engineers Work?

    A bachelor's degree in petroleum engineering opens the door to an exciting, challenging and rewarding career. Petroleum engineers work all over the world, on land and offshore, to extract oil and gas supplies. It is an industry rich in history and on the cutting edge of today's technologies.

    Explore the high seas, remote jungles, vast deserts and mountain ranges, developing oil and gas reserves where no one has drilled before. Live and work in many countries. Understand other cultures. Develop a network of friends and colleagues from all nations. As a petroleum engineer, travel and the opportunity to become a citizen of the world can be an important and exciting part of your career adventure.

    As a petroleum engineer, you will contribute to meeting mankind's energy needs while safeguarding the environment. Equally satisfying, petroleum engineers also gain responsibility faster and supervise important projects sooner than those in other engineering fields. Entry-level salaries for university graduates are among the highest of any engineering field. So are the long-term financial rewards.

    What Types Of Companies And Organisations Employ Petroleum Engineers?

    In addition to oil and gas companies and their major suppliers, you could find rewarding opportunities in fields such as teaching, consulting and government services.

    Petroleum engineers primarily work for:

    • public operator companies that find and produce petroleum (for example: Shell, Esso, Woodside, Chevron, Santos, BG Group)
    • national operator companies that also find and produce petroleum (for example: Petronas, Saudi Aramco, Pertamina)
    • service companies that supply software, equipment, consultancy and field services to the operators (for example: Schlumberger, Halliburton, Baker Hughes)
    • many smaller finders and operators, specialist or niche service companies and consultants
    • government departments responsible for development of a country or state's resources, performing research, or regulating the industry
    • banks and investment companies who fund major projects

    You could also become a manager, an entrepreneur, an economist or an environmentalist. Most senior industry business managers, and many executives, started as petroleum engineers or geologists - not with business, commerce or economics degrees.

  • Why Study With Us?

    What Will You Learn?

    Our curriculum addresses the profound new economic and technological changes sweeping the international oil and gas industry and prepares graduates to meet the imposing challenges of the global petroleum economy.

    A key feature of the University of Adelaide's petroleum engineering program is the modern curriculum, designed with strong industry input. It integrates core petroleum engineering with geoscience and management, leading to a skill-set that matches both the needs of industry and the way it operates.

    Students are introduced to the petroleum industry early in the first year, which also includes studies in mathematics, engineering and sciences, especially geology and geophysics, to enhance students' broad understanding of key underlying subject matter upon which the petroleum exploration and production industry is founded. In the second and thrid year these areas of study are developed and become more focused on petroleum-specific subject material. In the fourth year, students have an opportunity to carry out a significant research project while expanding their technical skills knowledge and picking up business management skills. The latter are a feature of the School and make its teaching curricula unique, providing graduates with an advantage in today's highly competitive world; engineers who understand how their work fits in the context of their organisation's goals are likely to progress quicker.

    Educational Goals

    • Be practical, employable and qualified petroleum engineers that can successfully persue careers in the oil and gas production and services industries or other similar pursuits. The School aims to produce graduates who are work-ready in that they are useful contributors upon arrival and have sufficient competencies to effectively and efficiently assimilate into job-specific training: formal or on-the job, software or practical.
    • Understand the fundamental principles of science and engineering behind the technology of petroleum engineering, in order to keep your education from becoming outdated, giving you the capability of self-instruction.
    • Serve society by encouraging the ideals of ethical behaviour, professionalism and environmentally responsible use of natural resources.

    Graduate Attributes

    • The ability to apply the knowledge of mathematics, chemistry, physics, geology, economics, computing and engineering to solve petroleum engineering problems.
    • The ability to formulate and solve petroleum engineering problems using modern techniques, tools and experimental procedures.
    • The ability to apply the knowledge of modern valuation and decision-making methods to optimise the use of corporate and personal resources.
    • The ability to design processes or systems to solve petroleum engineering problems.
    • The ability to communicate effectively in written and oral form.
    • The ability to work in teams and interact with colleagues and the public in an ethical, professional and safe manner.
    • An appreciation of, and an ability to continue to engage in, lifelong learning.

    Scholarships - Study Made Easier

    The Australian School of Petroleum offers undergraduate students the chance to apply for a Santos Scholarship of up to $40,000  over the four or five years of Bachelor of Engineering (Petroleum) program. With financial support, undertaking such an intensive program of study will be made much easier.

    For more information on the Santos Scholarship and other scholarships on offer, visit Scholarships.

  • What Can I Study?

    ASP offers a four year undergraduate program leading to an honours degree in:

    Several five year programs are available, where studies in petroleum engineering can be combined with other disciplines that are of relevance to the oil and gas industry:

  • Degree and Course Information

The below link will provide some information on the Small Group Discovery Experience Program offered to first year Petroleum Engineering Students:

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Australian School of Petroleum



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