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What is the Future Demand for Petroleum Engineers?

At the end of a presentation on BP’s annual energy outlook last year, a petroleum engineering student from Greece asked, “Is a job as a petroleum engineer a good idea for the next decade?”

Then BP CEO Bob Dudley responded by saying, “A job or training as an engineer of any kind is so important. There is going to be a huge need for that as you can see from Spencer’s outlook.”

He was referring to the presentation made by Spencer Dale, group chief economist for BP, whose outlook showed oil demand likely growing until 2030, and remaining around 100 million B/D through 2050 while natural gas demand continues to rise.

But how many oilfield engineers will be working in the decades ahead? A short JPT online story about that question struck a nerve with readers. It was one of the most-read stories online over the past year, with 21,000 views.

The most downloaded SPE paper in 2019 on OnePetro was “The End of Petroleum Engineering as We Know It,” which predicted a significant change in what engineers do and the number needed to do it over the long term (SPE 194746). The idea for the paper came when 2016 SPE President Nathan Meehan said he began to have doubts about whether the assurances he was offering when asked that question by students were a realistic appraisal of the future.

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What is the Future Demand for Petroleum Engineers?

Stephen Rassenfoss, JPT Emerging Technology Senior Editor

01 March 2020

Volume: 72 | Issue: 3

No editorial available

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