Petroleum Engineering: Courses & Syllabus

  • By Christy J. Varghese
  • 22 February 2023
petroleum engineering

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Petroleum Engineering is a branch of engineering that deals with the exploration, extraction, and production of oil and natural gas. Petroleum engineers use a combination of geology, mathematics, and engineering principles to design and implement methods for recovering hydrocarbons from the earth. They work on projects related to the drilling of wells, the completion of wells, and the management of oil and gas production operations. 

A Bachelor of Technology degree in petroleum engineering can offer the first stepping stone to a lucrative career. Keep reading to know more about the B.Tech subjects for petroleum engineering, admission criteria, or whether choosing this engineering stream will be worthwhile at all.

Scope Of Petroleum Engineering In India And Abroad

In India, the oil and gas industry is a major contributor to the economy, and the government has taken several measures to encourage domestic production. As a result, there is a growing demand for petroleum engineers to work on exploration, production, and refining projects in the country.

Abroad, the demand for graduates of petroleum engineering is also high, particularly in countries with significant oil and gas reserves. Many international oil companies have operations in these countries and are always in need of talented petroleum engineers. Additionally, with the increasing focus on renewable energy, there is also a growing demand for petroleum engineers who can work on projects related to the development of alternative energy sources.

Some of the areas where the scope of petroleum engineering is high are:

  1. Exploration: Petroleum engineers use geological and geophysical data to identify potential oil and gas reserves, and they design and plan drilling operations to confirm their findings.
  2. Drilling and completion: Petroleum engineers design and implement drilling programs and are responsible for the design and execution of the completion of wells.
  3. Production: Petroleum engineers play a crucial role in the optimization of oil and gas production, which includes the implementation of methods to improve recovery and the management of production operations.
  4. Reservoir management: Petroleum engineers use their understanding of subsurface geology and fluid behaviour to develop strategies for maximising the recovery of oil and gas from reservoirs.
  5. Environment and safety: Petroleum engineers work to minimise the impact of the industry on the environment and to ensure that all operations are conducted safely.

Careers after Completing Petroleum Engineering

 After completing a B.Tech course in petroleum engineering graduates can explore various job opportunities in the oil and gas industry, such as:

  1. Drilling engineer
  2. Production engineer
  3. Reservoir engineer
  4. Exploration geologist
  5. Petroleum economist
  6. Health, safety, and environmental specialist
  7. Operations manager

With the increasing demand for energy, the scope of petroleum engineering is expected to continue to grow in the coming years. The field offers a wide range of opportunities for professionals with a passion for science, technology, and problem-solving.

Eligibility to Pursue Petroleum Engineering 

  1. Educational Qualification: If you are choosing the engineering stream post class 12 to pursue a Bachelor of Technology in petroleum engineering, the candidate must have passed 10+2 or equivalent examinations with Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics as mandatory subjects.
  2. Minimum Percentage: The candidate must have secured a minimum of 50% marks in aggregate in their 10+2 or equivalent examination.
  3. Entrance Exams: The candidate may have to appear for entrance exams such as JEE Main, JEE Advanced, BITSAT, and other state-level engineering entrance exams. Some institutes may also conduct their own entrance exams.

Admission to B.Tech Petroleum Engineering 

  1. Choose the right institute: Research various institutes offering B.Tech in petroleum engineering, and compare their fees, course content, faculty, infrastructure, and placement record to choose the right one for you. 
  2. Prepare for entrance exams: Top universities in India accept scores in national-level entrance exams like JEE Main, JEE Advanced, BITSAT, and other state-level engineering entrance exams. The admission process for B.Tech in petroleum engineering may vary from institute to institute, so it is important to check the specific requirements and the entrance exams accepted by the institutes you are interested in. (Take a look at the top engineering entrance exams.)
  3. Submit the application form: Submit the application form for the institute of your choice, along with the required documents and fees.
  4. Appear for the interview: Some institutes may conduct an interview or group discussion as part of the admission process. Be prepared to answer questions related to your academics, interests, and why you want to pursue a career in petroleum engineering.
  5. Wait for the admission results: The institute will announce the admission results, and the candidates who meet the eligibility criteria and have passed the entrance exams and interview will be offered admission.

Petroleum Engineering Syllabus

B.Tech subjects are often extensive and equip students with technical knowledge of the course that is needed to build a strong career. The Bachelor of Technology degree in petroleum engineering spans a vast number of topics that are essential to understand the in and out of the domain.

Linear Algebra

Reservoir Engineering


Petroleum Production Operations

Differential equations

Offshore Drilling and Production Practices

Complex variables

Petroleum Formation Evaluation

Probability and Statistics

Oil and Gas Well Testing

Numerical Methods

Health Safety and Environment in Petroleum Industry

Petroleum Exploration

Enhanced Oil Recovery Techniques

Oil and Gas Well Drilling Technology

Latest trends in Petroleum Engineering


With the increasing focus on renewable energy, there is also growing demand for petroleum engineers who can work on projects related to the development of alternative energy sources. Pursuing a B.Tech course in petroleum engineering is a unique opportunity to build a career at the forefront of the energy industry. While petroleum engineering offers a great job prospect, cracking the top interviews is not easy. To prepare for the top interviews, you need a good grasp of communication. Sunstone can help you in that case. 

You can sign up with Sunstone and access its soft skill development training modules. 

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