Petroleum geologists are geoscientists who are typically employed by oil and gas companies, and their work revolves around determining geographical points at/in which to search for natural resources; in the specific field of petroleum geology, the focuses are discovery and production of oil. They generally surmise where to drill for oil by obtaining an idea of the areas beneath the surface, formulating a three-dimensional image measured against time, and preparing subsurface maps and diagrams of stratigraphic data which depict possible oil deposits. They obtain these ideas by studying various elements in the Earth's surface, including the presence of certain rocks and structural features. Although this information is studied using a variety of geophysical methods, the general location is determined using aerial photographs before these processes begin.
Petroleum geologists may also be involved in recommending contracts and releases regarding acquisition, retention, and release of land property. Candidates for this position are expected to have comprehensive knowledge of engineering, stratigraphy, and structural geology.
Petroleum geologists generally work during traditional business hours, although those who are self-employed may work more as consultants, particularly on weekends. Their work requires some communication with others, but primarily their employers for consultations. Their work is both indoors and outdoors, as they may conduct reports and analyze data from an office but also spend extensive time at drilling sites. Some employers may require a master's degree in a geology-related field, and some states require those who work with the public to obtain state-issued licenses.
Petroleum Geologist Tasks
Provide technical input and guidance for exploring, appraising, and developing potential sites.
Integrate many types of data and computations to create simulations, models, and hazard analysis.
Scope and frame projects, including assigning roles and tasks.
Model and create requirements for reservoirs and their use.