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What is Petroleum Engineering?

In today’s world, energy plays an integral role in our lives. Affordable and equitable access to energy is more important than ever. With over seventy percent of the energy consumed within the United States coming from petroleum, to best ensure our future, a balance between sustainability, efficiency and affordability must be maintained. Petroleum engineering aims to address these concerns and offer solutions.

Petroleum engineers come from a variety of backgrounds but all have a strong foundation in math, physics, geology and chemistry and are skilled in the use of advanced computer technology. They work with and in nature to develop and apply new technologies and techniques for improved oil and gas recovery while minimizing its impact upon the natural world. Petroleum engineers are master problem solvers who face challenges such as technology, economics and politics during the course of their projects. A career in petroleum engineering provides new experiences each day, and, because of the global operations of the industry, plenty of opportunities exists to experience a vast array of unique places and cultures.

MPGE is dedicated to preserving its history of excellence and advancements to the profession by preparing the next leaders of the energy sector through our industry-focused curriculum. Students will have proficiency in math and science, humanities, engineering principles along with advanced course work in the three primary petroleum engineering specializations:

• Drilling Engineering facilitates the drilling and cementing of the borehole deep within the earth and ensures that a well is ready for production.

• Production Engineering determines the optimal way to extract hydrocarbons from the reservoir under specific conditions and surface facility design for the produced hydrocarbons. Production engineering also interprets how production will decline over the life of a well and how to maintain production efficiently over this time.

• Reservoir Engineering evaluates rock formations and determines the quantities of oil and gas found below the earth through studies and simulations that help determine the optimal way to obtain the hydrocarbons.

All of this is carried out in our advanced undergraduate laboratories and learning facilities led by renowned faculty and researchers, providing real-world perspectives that allow MPGE students to gain first-hand knowledge and expertise throughout their time at OU.

Professional Program Information

Admission to the Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy (MCEE) is separate from the MPGE Professional Program. Students can be in the College (MCEE) but not eligible to enroll in upper division PE courses. To be in the MCEE, you will need to complete at least 24 credit hours, including CHEM 1315 and either  MATH 1823 and 2423 or  MATH 1914 with a C or better, and have an OU retention and combined retention GPA of 2.5 or higher.

The MPGE Professional Program is the ability to enroll in Upper Division (3000 and 4000 level) PE courses. Admission to the MPGE Professional Program signifies that you have the technical foundation for success in the upper level PE courses. The first set of upper division courses are offered the spring semester of the sophomore year: PE 3022 (Technical Communications), PE3213 (Reservoir Rock Properties), and PE 3221 (Rock Properties Lab).

For more information please see our Professional Program Information Sheet (PDF).