What is Petroleum Engineering?

Petroleum engineering is the practical application of physics and mathematics (with some chemistry and geology), engineering and economic principles to the safe and efficient management and recovery of subsurface energy resources and geostorage of carbon dioxide and hydrogen.

As well as being an important source of energy that underpins society’s transition to renewables, petroleum provides a vast range of critical everyday products, from most plastics and synthetic textiles to cosmetics and even medicines.

It is widely recognised that petroleum engineering knowledge will be essential for global efforts to rapidly achieve net-zero emissions through expertise in the safe and secure geostorage of carbon dioxide. GeoEnergy engineering encompasses petroleum, CO2 storage, Hydrogen production and storage, and geothermal energy resources.

Petroleum engineering

Careers in petroleum and geoenergy engineering

A degree in petroleum engineering can open the door to an exciting, challenging and rewarding career in disciplines that are amongst the highest paid internationally. Our graduates are highly regarded by employers, and the global nature of the energy resources industry offers excellent opportunities to travel and work within Australia or overseas.

Our graduates are typically office-based, with work including advanced computer modelling or project design and management, or field based to ensure safe and efficient operations. Whatever the nature of the job, you will likely be part of a multi-million or billion dollar project and using state of the art technology.
Petroleum engineers primarily work for:

  • Public operator companies that find produce and supply energy
  • Service companies that supply high-tech software and equipment to operators
  • Government departments or scientific organisations, regulating the industry or performing research
  • Banks and investment companies who fund major projects.

Because our degrees help develop substantial knowledge in subsurface engineering and resources, career options also include exploring for metallic and critical minerals, groundwater management and geothermal energy production.

Our degrees provide a very strong foundation in carbon storage technologies that are an increasing focus of companies around the world, and in hydrogen storage which will be an important industry contributing to future decarbonisation.