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How Do I Become a Reservoir Engineer?

Reservoir engineers must have a degree in chemical, mechanical or petroleum engineering.
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  • Written By: N. Kalu
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 14 October 2014
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To become a reservoir engineer, you must become quite familiar with the oil and gas industries as well as specific engineering principles related to extracting oil and natural gas from reserves around the world. Most of these positions require that you have a bachelor's or a master's degree in specific engineering disciplines so that you can obtain this knowledge. Previous internship experience shadowing reservoir engineers can also be useful. Being able to communicate complex technical concepts and data is another part of the requirements to become a reservoir engineer.

Having the right kind of education is paramount in the reservoir engineering field. This engineering training typically begins by getting a bachelor's of science or bachelor's of engineering degree in chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, or petroleum engineering. Any of these subjects will teach you the practical knowledge necessary to efficiently manage high-level reserve extraction operations.

Calculating the costs of using one technique over another and evaluating the risk involved in a particular reservoir simulation exercise is just one of the responsibilities that you will face when you become a reservoir engineer. You can learn how to perform these tasks as an undergraduate engineering student, but you may want to consider getting a master's degree as well. Obtaining your master's degree in engineering will help you understand the field of reservoir engineering in greater detail. It will also allow you to take on real-world projects through independent study and lab dissertation projects.

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Whether you choose to finalize your education at the undergraduate level or whether you continue on to a graduate level program, having experience in the field can prove invaluable when you are looking for positions as a professional reservoir engineer. Universities will usually assist you in finding opportunities for internships in recognizable oil and gas companies all over the world. Many oil and gas companies have special internship programs for top engineering students at both the graduate and undergraduate level.

In order to become a reservoir engineer that both managers and clients trust, you will need to develop keen sense of business communication skills. You will have to be able to explain difficult technical scenarios to field operation personnel who may not be familiar with engineering jargon or vocabulary. As an important member of the reservoir team, you will have to use your engineering training as well as your interpersonal skills to make sure that all personnel associated with the field project are kept up to date on your work progress.

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