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Join Date: Sep 2015
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Petroleum Engineering in Italy

09/29/2015 12:37 PM

Hello everyone, I am new to the forum and I wish to introduce myself before I discuss my question. I'm a high school student here in Italy, and am currently 2 years away from my diploma (here we have a 5-year high school system), and I am seriously considering the petroleum engineering route, and was particularly interested in drilling more than reservoir or production, even though I might change my mind on that in the future. I am currently 17 y/o and looking to be 18 at the time of H/G graduation. It would all be so perfect, if only we had one single university offering a Petroleum Engineering course. There is only ONE university that currently offers a 2 years post-graduate master, IN THE WHOLE COUNTRY! To access the master I would need a regular 3-year degree in a non-petroleum related field of engineering (like mechanics, aerospace, energy, chemical, etc...). The 2 year master that I am interested in is fully provided in English, which is not a problem at all by the way, and courses is described in the following link: [link https://didattica.polito.it/pls/portal30/gap.a_mds.espandi2?p_a_acc=2016&p_sdu=32&p_cds=33&p_lang=IT] . Now my question is: Is this master's program sound? Is it actually worth anything to the employer that is looking for a drilling engineer? Do I get a 3 year degree in one of the fields from the ones described earlier (mechanics, aerospace, energy, chemical, etc...), and then get the 2-year PE master, or am I just better off spending the big money and attending a US university and getting a 4-year bachelor degree in PE? Which of the two would be more valuable to the employer and, ultimately, also to me? Thank you immensely for your time, and I wish you a good day.

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#1

Re: Petroleum engineering in Italy

09/29/2015 3:16 PM

Is this master's program sound? Only a local graduate of the program would know if it is good or not. Most forum members are in the US, but it is a worldwide forum.

Is it actually worth anything to the employer that is looking for a drilling engineer? Again, only the prospective employer can say for sure.

Do I get a 3 year degree in one of the fields from the ones described earlier (mechanics, aerospace, energy, chemical, etc...), and then get the 2-year PE master, or am I just better off spending the big money and attending a US university and getting a 4-year bachelor degree in PE? You will need to talk to petroleum companies and recruiters for these answers, as well.

Which of the two would be more valuable to the employer and, ultimately, also to me? Again, who can say what the petroleum industry will look like in 5 years?

I'd start with a mechanical engineering or geology degree if a petroleum specific degree is not readily available.

Speak to your parents, who will have to pay the bills, your school councilor and some employment agencies.

First, here is the place to begin your quest:

About API - American Petroleum Institute

Start here: Oilfield Training Program - American Petroleum Institute

Publications, Standards & Statistics - American Petroleum ...

Certification Programs - American Petroleum Institute

Again, who knows what the world will look like in five years. You are still young.

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#2

Re: Petroleum engineering in Italy

09/29/2015 3:31 PM

Clearly you feel that working the oil fields is bot lucrative and something that you want to do. It would be in your best interests to find someone who is already working the fields and let them give you some first hand insights into the reality vs. the dream.

As far as education goes, my own bias is to learn as much of the engineering basics as you can, then pick a concentration. If all you study is petroleum engineering then you may find it difficult to transition outside of the oil patch, on the other hand if you study the basics of mechanical engineering for two years then start mixing in some geology, organic chemistry, process engineering, instrumentation, civil engineering, etc. you will have a broader base of knowledge that consequently has a wider appeal to hiring managers than a degreed wildcatter.

Unless you have an economic incentive to apply to the only school in your country, you may find it advantageous to look at what schools in other countries have to offer, especially if you can find some sort of cooperative education program where you alternate between meaningful work assignments and classroom study. You might as well find out sooner rather than later that spending a year living on a drilling platform in the North Atlantic or the Indian Ocean isn't quite what you had in mind.

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#5
In reply to #2

Re: Petroleum engineering in Italy

10/02/2015 8:43 AM

Clearly you feel that working the oil fields is bot lucrative and something that you want to do. It would be in your best interests to find someone who is already working the fields and let them give you some first hand insights into the reality vs. the dream.

As far as education goes, my own bias is to learn as much of the engineering basics as you can, then pick a concentration. If all you study is petroleum engineering then you may find it difficult to transition outside of the oil patch, on the other hand if you study the basics of mechanical engineering for two years then start mixing in some geology, organic chemistry, process engineering, instrumentation, civil engineering, etc. you will have a broader base of knowledge that consequently has a wider appeal to hiring managers than a degreed wildcatter.

Unless you have an economic incentive to apply to the only school in your country, you may find it advantageous to look at what schools in other countries have to offer, especially if you can find some sort of cooperative education program where you alternate between meaningful work assignments and classroom study. You might as well find out sooner rather than later that spending a year living on a drilling platform in the North Atlantic or the Indian Ocean isn't quite what you had in mind.

Thank you very much for your reply RAMConsult, but I think you got it quite wrong on your last point. I have made a firm decision, and believe it or not, one of my most powerful motivator is the picture of myself working on an oil platform in the sea, weeks at a time. Although the path to achieving what I want here in Italy isn't quite as clear, I've decided to get a 3-year degree in Mechanical engineering or in Energy engineering first, the Master's degree in petroleum engineering second and then the post-graduate degree that "Eni",(the company that manages the majority of oil traffic in Italy) offers to Pet.Eengineers here in italy, (of which existance I have just found out), and in therory that could potentilly lead me to working with them.

Again, thank you for spending your time in replying to me and have a good day.

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#6
In reply to #5

Re: Petroleum engineering in Italy

10/02/2015 11:34 AM

Thanks for the feedback! I'm an engineer, not a mind reader. I based my last comment on my experience working for a major international EPC firm that produced turnkey deep sea drilling platforms. I never was on a platform but had many conversations with personnel who had done offshore duty. Good luck in your studies.

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#7
In reply to #6

Re: Petroleum engineering in Italy

10/02/2015 12:18 PM

Thank you very much!

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#8
In reply to #5

Re: Petroleum engineering in Italy

10/02/2015 1:43 PM

NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, IN YOUR EMPLOYMENT LIFETIME-------> Never limit you employment skill to only one segment of engineering or any other profession, trade, locality. If you do you are creating very potential problems for yourself in your future employment. In the last 50 years things have reversed with job security, longevity and appreciation. These words of wisdom are intended for others besides yourself.

Example #1, PhD in Classical Literature from Princeton. Unemployed for the past 3 years. Reason, cut back in funding.

Example #2, Teacher has taught for past 48 years. Graduated with a teaching degree in speech therapy. same for masters degree in evenings. 10 years did speech therapy, 15 years teaching the severely hearing challenged, balance in Resource Room (teaching students who need extra instruction). Has survived numerous cut backs in funding. Does private instruction in civilian life. Never has had a lack of employment. Still teaches because she likes the kids. (She is my wife)

Which type of career do you want? Some of the clerks at the Unemployment Office can be a really bad pain in the a$$! More engineers have been there than will admit it.

Good Luck, Old Salt

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#9
In reply to #8

Re: Petroleum engineering in Italy

10/02/2015 9:46 PM

An addendum to #8

"Oil bust saps U.S. students' enthusiasm for petroleum degrees" from the news letter Marcellus.com that reports on the oil discovery and process industries.

The article says:

NEW YORK, Oct 2 (Reuters) - Enrollment in U.S. petroleum engineering degree programs fell for the first time in 13 years this fall, as an oil industry slump makes college students wary of entering the boom and bust world of oil and gas.

The drop, revealed this week in annual data provided by the country's 21 petroleum engineering departments and made available to Reuters, is modest - the number of enrollments dipped just 1 percent from a record high of 11,332 hit last year when oil was around $100 a barrel.

With oil now at around $45, the 21 departments estimated that enrollments would fall by a further 7 percent next year.

Coming after years of steep gains that could mark the start of a long slide similar to one that followed a price slump in the 1980s and continues to leave a hole in the industry's workforce, some department heads and industry experts said.

"The students who haven't made a long term commitment yet are making a change based on what they are seeing," said Lloyd Heinze, professor of petroleum engineering at Texas Tech University, who compiled the data.

Penn State University will graduate its largest petroleum engineering class ever next year, according to Turgay Ertekin, the head of the university's department of energy and mineral engineering. But enrollment this year dropped to 782 from 860, and the university estimates it will drop further to 565 in 2016.

"Petroleum engineering degrees will lose attractiveness in the years to come," Ertekin said. "Last time it lasted for 20 years," he said.

Past data shows it takes about two years for a dive in oil prices and a subsequent slowdown to discourage students in meaningful numbers. A quick rebound in prices could temper the enrollment drop.

Still, it is a worrying prospect for oil companies that have struggled with a graying workforce and skill shortages for much of the previous decade; many workers that joined in the early 1980s are now retiring.

http://marcellus.com/news/id/129578/oil-bust-saps-u-s-students-enthusiasm-for-petroleum-degrees/

As said before---Avoid petroleum engineering at this time. Get a degree in a field that's expanding, one you can sell yourself in. Good luck, you sound like an intelligent person who has his head screwed on right.

Good Luck, Old Salt

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#10
In reply to #8

Re: Petroleum engineering in Italy

10/06/2015 1:22 AM

Thank you for your advice old salt, I will now organize my university plans according to your and RAMConsult's advice, you folks were very useful indeed!

Thank you again for your help and Good Day.

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#3

Re: Petroleum Engineering in Italy

09/29/2015 10:35 PM

Your goals are very good and sound for the future you are seeking. #1 and #2 are very fine explanations of what you have to do to get that education and employment.

Unfortunately, as many of the older engineers will tell you, the market for pet. engineers and many other specializations of engineer is a volatile one (no pun intended). After the moon landing and the shuttle crashes many aeronautical engineers were unemployed. In my career as a chemical engineer I tried to avoid this by taking my father's words of wisdom "Learn a trade" just in case. Now I am glad I did. Periods of unemployment in chemicals was supplemented by these trade skills and made me a better engineer.

The petroleum industry is very slow now. Drillers are scrapping their platforms and drilling ships. Tankers are headed to the scrap pile. Exploratory companies are trimming back to subsistence, orders for all types of equipment are being cancelled and other things. Proof of this is the low price of gasoline. That gallon that cost $3.50 to $4.00/gal is now less than half that. This will not change for quite a few years analysts predict. When you do get your degree, if the employment market opens up you will be competing against much higher skill engineers who have been unemployed for a while for the few jobs. Employment changes down are fast and the ups are very slow.

This all means that you should find a different engineering field to pursue. There will be only a small market, if any, for pet. engineers. Talk to your teachers and engineers with more experience and find out what specializations have more future in them. Don't get an education in anything that you can't sell your skills in. You can always change careers in the future if things are not what you thought they would be. Many of us changed careers and found out we hated engineering after finding a better career.

Good Luck, Old Salt

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#4

Re: Petroleum Engineering in Italy

09/30/2015 7:15 AM

Welcome to CR4.

This has little or nothing to do with your question, but by laying out your post in a more easily readable manner, you are more likely to get useful responses. Also it helps to use the hyperlink tool (highlight the link text, then use on the CR4 post editing menu bar). Below is my version of your post. As CR4 is an English language site, I have changed the "lang=" switch in the link.

___________________________________________________________________________

Hello everyone, I am new to the forum and I wish to introduce myself before I discuss my question. I'm a high school student here in Italy, and am currently 2 years away from my diploma (here we have a 5-year high school system), and I am seriously considering the petroleum engineering route, and was particularly interested in drilling more than reservoir or production, even though I might change my mind on that in the future. I am currently 17 y/o and looking to be 18 at the time of H/G graduation.

It would all be so perfect, if only we had one single university offering a Petroleum Engineering course. There is only ONE university that currently offers a 2 years post-graduate master, IN THE WHOLE COUNTRY! To access the master I would need a regular 3-year degree in a non-petroleum related field of engineering (like mechanics, aerospace, energy, chemical, etc...). The 2 year master that I am interested in is fully provided in English, which is not a problem at all by the way, and courses is described in the following link:

https://didattica.polito.it/pls/portal30/gap.a_mds.espandi2?p_a_acc=2016&p_sdu=32&p_cds=33&p_lang=EN

Now my question is: Is this master's program sound? Is it actually worth anything to the employer that is looking for a drilling engineer? Do I get a 3 year degree in one of the fields from the ones described earlier (mechanics, aerospace, energy, chemical, etc...), and then get the 2-year PE master, or am I just better off spending the big money and attending a US university and getting a 4-year bachelor degree in PE? Which of the two would be more valuable to the employer and, ultimately, also to me?

Thank you immensely for your time, and I wish you a good day.

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