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Petroleum and natural gas engineering

Petroleum engineering is the branch of the engineering sciences that deals with the economic production of hydrocarbons within the earth. Petroleum engineers are employed primarily by energy corporations to design wells and measures to get hydrocarbons from the earth and deliver them to market. Petroleum engineers are also involved in the exploration and estimation of hydrocarbons in the ground.

Drilling engineering - The discipline that deals with the design and operational aspects of drilling operations that aim to access the underground hydrocarbon (crude oil and gas) reserves.

Production engineering - The discipline that deals with the operation, troubleshooting and optimization of producing oil or gas wells; and design and operation of facilities for production and transportation of oil and gas.

Reservoir engineering - The discipline that is concerned with the quantitative estimation of underground reserves of hydrocarbons, as well as understanding the model of reservoir so that optimum exploitation scheme can be used.

The above disciplines supplement the geoscience discipline that attempts to understand and map subsurface hydrocarbon containing structures.

Traditionally, petroleum engineering has focused on the exploration and exploitation of naturally occurring oil and gas reservoirs. However, due to the increasing demand for hydrocarbons, the production of hydrocarbons from other fossil fuels or sources is also getting increasing attention. Examples of such alternative sources are hydrocarbons from coal, biomass, solid waste, etc. Further, hydrocarbons can be obtained from coal in several ways: The naturally occurring methane gas in coal beds can be produced through boreholes, the mined coal can be subjected to various reactions to produce liquid or gaseous hydrocarbons, deep coal deposits that are difficult to mine are subjected to gasification, etc.