Job Descriptions in the Oil and Gas Industry

This article gives a description of the common position for science and engineering professionals in the oil and gas exploration and servicing firms, especially in Nigeria.

Civil Engineer

Civil engineering is the discipline dealing with the design, construction, and maintenance, typically of public works such as roads, bridges, canals and buildings. Civil engineers can be involved in nearly every stage of a construction project – from site selection, writing specifications for materials, reviewing bids, and supervising construction. They aim to design and build structures that meet requirements for safety, reliability, cost, and energy efficiency.


Corrosion Engineer

Corrosion engineering is a discipline of engineering intended to prevent deterioration and damage to assets due to the chemical process known as corrosion. A corrosion engineer’s main focus is to study, monitor, control and prevent the corrosion process, both safely and economically. In the oil and gas industry, corrosion engineers are especially valuable because almost all oil and gas products must pass through steel at some point, whether it be during drilling, transporting through a pipeline, or in a refinery setting. Corrosion engineers use a combination of skills but typically have a chemical, material science, or metallurgical background.


Drilling Engineer

A drilling engineer’s main responsibility is to manage the drilling of a well to produce oil or gas as safely and efficiently as possible. Drilling Engineers are involved from the initial well planning and design, through well testing, completion, and finally abandonment. Designing and maintaining the equipment used for oil and gas extraction is another one of their responsibilities, as well as performing cost estimates and keeping track of drilling rates. Drilling engineers work in both the office and the field, which could be either onshore or offshore. Generally drilling engineers complete an engineering degree in petroleum, mechanical or chemical engineering.

Engineering Manager

Engineering managers bring together their administrative, planning and organizational abilities along with their knowledge of engineering principles to manage an engineering function. They are required to apply both business practice and engineering principles to oversee technical projects from conception to completion. The combination of technological and business knowledge required in engineering management are important for effective and efficient operations and overall project success.

Electrical Engineer

Electrical engineering deals with the study, design, development and testing of electronics and electrical equipment. Engineers in this field can specialize in several sub-disciplines such as power, controls, electronics, instrumentation, communications and more. It is a broad field that spans the industry and requires in-depth knowledge of electronic theory, mathematics, CAD systems, reading schematics and circuit layout.

Environmental Engineer

Environmental Engineers are concerned with protecting the environment by developing solutions to environmental problems created by company operations or activities. They assess the impact of projects in the environment and ensure systems and facilities are compliant with environmental regulations.


Facilities Engineer Jobs

Facilities engineers oversee the design and construction of various production and utility systems in a given facility, ranging from offshore platforms to onshore plants. They assist with designing the layout and systems including everything from power sources, climate control, water and lighting to more specialized systems such as those processing chemicals or environmental controls. Many facilities engineers are also involved with the ongoing operations of this equipment, suggesting maintenance schedules and consulting on future renovations and construction.

Geoscientist

Geoscientist is a general term used to describe the individuals responsible for locating, evaluating and developing oil and gas reservoirs. Geoscience professionals use technology and applied science to maximize the recovery of oil and gas. They are present at all phases of the reservoir life cycle, from exploration, through drilling, production and eventually abandonment. They will measure and map seismic, magnetic, and other earth forces that affect the earth, as well as study and interpret data that is useful in locating oil and gas reservoirs. Geochemists, geologists, geophysicists, as well as geoscience technicians all fall into this category.

HSE Manager

HSE Engineers or Managers are responsible for all matters related to HSE (Health, Safety & Environment) and direct the HSE division by providing guidance to ensure all regulatory standards and company policies are followed. They advise senior management to guarantee effective HSE support to the business.

Instrument & Controls Engineer

Instrument & Controls engineers design, install, manage, and maintain equipment which is used to monitor and control engineering systems, machinery and processes. Instrumentation is vital in measuring and controlling parameters such as pressure, flow, temperature, current, and voltage by gathering information from the field and then changing its parameters via a control loop. Instrument & Controls engineers therefore aim to improve productivity, stability, safety, continuity and optimization through measurement, automation and control processes.


Metallurgist / Materials Engineers

Metallurgy is a branch of engineering that studies the chemical and physical elements of metals, their compounds, and their mixtures, known as alloys. Materials engineers manage the research, analysis, specification, design and development of materials through understanding their behaviors and properties. This is vital to improving the performance, durability, cost-effectiveness and technological advancement of finished products.

Marine Engineer

Marine engineering involves the design, development, operation and maintenance of the propulsion, powering and mechanization aspects of a ship or other marine vessels. They specialize in the anchoring, steering, cargo handling, hvac, communications and electrical power generation equipment onboard. Marine engineers in the oil and gas industry may also focus on fixed marine structures, such as oil rigs, platforms, or offshore windfarms.

Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical engineering is a discipline that deals with the design, analysis, manufacturing, installation, operation and maintenance of engines, machinery and tools. It involves the application of principles such as materials science, physics, thermodynamics and more. In an industry such as oil and gas, mechanical engineering can work with a wide variety of machines, tools and mechanical systems.

Naval Architecture Jobs

Naval architecture focuses on overall design, construction, maintenance and operation of a marine vessel and its propulsion through the water. Naval architects must be able to integrate electrical, mechanical, piping, and structural systems to develop ships and other floating structures. This engineering field is multi-disciplinary by nature, and requires knowledge of hydrostatics, hydrodynamics, structural analysis, maneuvering, resistance and propulsion.

Project Engineer

Project engineers combine project management skills with engineering knowledge to lead the technical team in the completion of a project. Scheduling, project controls, problem solving, vendor management, coordinating and managing the project team are just a few of the skills that may be required in this role. They may also work closely with management to ensure projects are technically sound from an engineering perspective, completed safely, and delivered on time and within budget.

Petroleum Engineering

Petroleum engineers handle many responsibilities, but on a basic level they are responsible for locating, recovering and maintaining the world’s oil and gas supplies. Petroleum engineers design and develop methods for extracting oil and gas from below the earth’s surface. Their duties can also include managing an oil or gas producing property once it is operational and maximizing the performance and profitability of a well. Petroleum engineers are involved in all stages of well production, from helping to locate a potential well site, through drilling, production, processing and transportation. Some job titles a petroleum engineer may carry include reservoir engineer, drilling engineer or production engineer.

Pipeline Engineer

Pipeline engineering consists of the planning, design, construction, integrity, maintenance and operations of pipelines and associated facilities, both onshore and offshore. Pumping stations, compressor stations, storage terminals, manifolds, and control systems are just a few of the facilities where the technical expertise of a pipeline engineer are required. Pipelines consist of pumps, valves and control devices to carry liquids and gases over long distances, therefore requiring multi-disciplinary engineering knowledge to handle any issues or improvements as needed.

Process Engineer

Process engineers are found in almost all industrial plants, and they are responsible for the design, operation, control and optimization of chemical processes. Process engineers in the oil and gas industry work in all sectors of the oil and gas industry from upstream, to midstream and downstream including chemical plants and refineries. Due to the extensive knowledge of chemical processes that these positions require, process engineers usually hold chemical engineering degrees.

Piping Engineer

Piping engineers apply the principles of mathematics, physics and chemistry to assure the design of pipe systems used to convey liquid or gas from one location to another. Specialists in this field may focus on materials, design or stress analysis, and they ensure that piping systems are designed, fabricated, installed, inspected, operated and maintained. This is extremely important to the safety of personnel, public safety, and facility reliability.

Production Engineer

Production engineers monitor and evaluate the production and efficiency of an oil or gas well. They develop methods to improve extraction, oversee drilling activities and will determine the need for new or improved tools. One of their main responsibilities is to evaluate the flow between the reservoir and the wellbore. Production engineers monitor the entire production process and will design completion systems and select equipment that will increase production rates. Production engineers are usually petroleum engineers, however sometimes an engineer from a different discipline will be trained on production engineering tasks.


Project Manager

Project Management is the process of planning, monitoring, motivating and organizing procedures and people in relation to achieving a specific goal, target or project. The Project Manager efficiently pulls together all business units, to work towards one unified goal, composed of many smaller tasks. Each project is unique in that it is designed to produce a new product, service or enhancement, and can involve different teams.

Reservoir Engineer

A reservoir engineer is concerned with underground oil and gas reserves, specifically finding the most efficient way to extract their resources. The reservoir engineer can work through all phases of a well’s lifespan, from helping petroleum geologists find well sites, through field development, planning, forecasting, testing and drilling. Their duties are varied and can include simulation and surveillance of the well, production forecasting, and development planning. Reservoir engineers are especially concerned with determining the economic viability of a well, finding out how much the well can produce, and making sure that the well is cost effective. They are also responsible for reporting reserve numbers to regulatory agencies. Reservoir engineers are usually petroleum engineers, however occasionally chemical or mechanical engineers can be trained for this position.

Safety Engineer

Safety Engineering is an engineering discipline that applies engineering principles in order to design and implement systems with acceptable levels of safety. Safety Engineers evaluate and review specifications of machinery to ensure they meet safety regulations and are safe to operate. They design and implement safety programs to prevent and decrease the possibility of human error in engineered environments.

Structural Engineer


Structural engineering is a field focusing on the analysis, design or evaluation of structures that are required to support or resist a load. This can include buildings, towers, bridges, dams, or structures such as oil rigs. Structural engineering ensures that throughout the stresses and pressures of the environment, structures will remain safe, stable and secure.