Petroleum Engineering MEng

H851 (4 Years) 

Producing oil and gas from reserves effectively and safely is of immense economic importance, and requires a broad spectrum of knowledge and skills. Petroleum Engineering is one of the primary disciplines in the exploration and production of oil and gas. It requires an understanding of fundamental geoscience, chemical, mechanical and materials engineering and mathematics. 

A degree in Petroleum Engineering leads to exciting careers in the oil and gas industry, including reservoir, production and drilling engineering, which offer the scope to work across the world, in technically challenging and financially rewarding jobs. University of Manchester graduates have a very high employability record, and the course is recognised as a leading programme by international oil companies. Its accreditation with the Energy Institute provides graduates with partial (BEng) or full (MEng) requirements to apply as chartered engineers.

The four year MEng degree gives you the opportunity to deepen your understanding of specific aspects of petroleum engineering by focusing on a research project and attending masters-level classes.

Study Details

Petroleum Engineers work at the interface of geoscience, geophysics, mechanical and chemical engineering to optimise the exploitation of oil and gas reserves. On completion of this programme you will be able to:

  • understand and utilise the engineering, mathematical and geological principles that underpin hydrocarbon exploration and production; 
  • understand and describe how geological processes control the way rocks store and flow hydrocarbons, and quantify rock physical properties using industry-standard methods;
  • understand the origin and composition of hydrocarbons and simulate the flow of reservoir fluids;
  • understand the processes by which a well is drilled and completed, and how fluids are brought to surface;
  • assess the life-cycle economic value of an oil and gas field within a safe operating environment.

Year 1-4

  • You will be introduced to the fundamental concepts that you will need to study Petroleum Engineering. Since many of our students have no previous experience of Earth systems, you will receive an overall introduction to Earth Science so that you are aware of its importance to the exploitation of hydrocarbons.

    You will also receive grounding in the fundamental physical, chemical and mathematical concepts necessary to describe fluid flow in porous media. We will tutor you in learning techniques and help you to develop skills that allow you to make the most of what you are taught in lectures, perform well in exams and find the information that you need online and in the University library.

    Field course to: North Wales

    Course unit details for Year 1

  • Year 2 of the Petroleum Engineering degree builds upon the knowledge that you have learnt in year 1. We will introduce to you the processes that create the large-scale stratigraphic relationships on the Earth. We will discuss the fundamental tectonic processes that control the development of faults, folds and basins and generate much of the architectural characteristics of petroleum systems. We will introduce you to remote sensing methods (e.g. seismic and wireline logging tools) that are foundations of petrophysical rock characterization of sediments in petroleum systems.

    We will demonstrate how natural processes operating at the Earth's Surface interact to generate different sediment geometries over many scales of observation. We will introduce you to drilling. We will teach you the advanced mathematical skills that you will need to quantify and model fluid flow through these complex natural media and discuss the natural contstraints on multiphase fluid flow in these environments. We will review the role of thermodynamics in natural mineral fluid systems, provide you with enhanced laboratory skills. We will also teach you how to develop scientific arguments, and communicate scientific ideas using both written and oral methods.

    Course unit details for Year 2

  • During your third year you will deepen you understanding of Petroleum Engineering. You will learn the principles of hydrocarbon production and field development strategies, including petroleum economics. The methods by which downhole geophysical measurements and drilling data can be used to calculate in-place volumes and assess hydrocarbon recovery efficiency will be advanced. 

    Training in drilling, production and surface facilities engineering will allow you to investigate how hydrocarbon production is optimised and brought to the surface. A key component of your study in year three is a group-based Design Project in which you will simulate flow within a reservoir, develop a field development plan and design well placement. 

    During this final year of the BEng, we aim to teach students to cope with a demanding work schedule and to be aware of the level of expectation and planning required for success in final year assessments. Teaching styles will become more diverse and  will allow you to ensure that you understand how to develop scientific arguments and communicate scientific ideas using written and oral methods.

    During your third year you will be advised of forthcoming career opportunities and have time to meet and discuss graduate recruitment with representatives of major energy companies and technical service providers.

    Field course to: Dorset

    Course unit details for Year 3

  • Those students who choose to study for an MEng progress in Year 4 to a programme that both enhances their capacity as individual learners, and deepens their understanding of Petroleum Engineering. Students in Year 4 undertake mandatory modules in Communication skills, as well as masters-level options in advanced petrophysics, reservoir engineering, petroleum technology and economics. Half of the credits in year four are allocated to an individual research project, which is designed in collaboration with academics in both Earth Science and Chemical Engineering. 

    Course unit details for Year 4

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