Petroleum Engineering vs Chemical Engineering. Which is best for Oil & Gas? Watch

Coo Juice
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Is there anybody here who's on either of these courses, or knows about them?

Can anybody shed some light on which course is more enjoyable, or interesting (at your uni)? Or which is, in your opinion, more highly regarded and opens more doors?

I'm looking to apply to both, and don't know which order to put them in on my UCAS form. I'm looking at University of Aberdeen. I'm dead set on a career in oil and gas.

Any info greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
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addylad
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The only mistake you can make is choosing what other people want you to.

Have you researched both, and which one interests you more?

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Coo Juice
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Yes I've compared the syllabuses. But what I don't know is how much other people have enjoyed it, or themselves found interesting. The two have common modules with each other. I'm not asking for someone to tell me what to do, but looking for opinions from people who've done it to help me make a decision.

Also, I don't know which of those two is more highly regarded within the Oil and Gas industry. It may seem obvious which is more relevant, but for example sometimes a Maths degree will set you up better than a Finance degree, even though it's the 'Finance' industry you want to work in.
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sherace
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I'm currently in my second year of Chemical Engineering, and I personally think ChemEng is the way forward. It's a really interesting and dynamic course, and the depth and range that it offers does keep you stimulated and engaged!! I would suggest not limiting your options at such an early point. When I started my degree, I wanted to do oil and gas. Now, after going on industry visits, looking at case studies and learning more about the field; I find that I probably want to go into chemical manufacturing or pharmaceuticals. It suits my interests more. Oil and Gas straight away limits your job potential. But that may be a good thing. However, ChemEng jobs are not in short supply, so I wouldn't say that the specialism is particularly handy.


I really enjoy my course, however, apart from industry visits every few months, it doesn't get particularly specialised before 3rd year. ChemEng covers loads of general engineering topics, and isn't catered to one sector, nevertheless, it's very applicable to all sectors. When you do secure a job, in whatever sector, you get intensive training for that specific role, you learn a lot more about the industry especially if you enrol in a graduate scheme. My friend works for Total (petroleum). He is in his second year of his graduate scheme with them( he graduated with an 1st class MEng from Loughborough Uni), and they teach you everything about the industry, the expectation is that you will apply your general ChemEng skills that they expect you to arrive with to the various projects. I haven't met a friend of his that actually did an Oil and Gas Engineering degree. His friends all came from ChemEng courses, but that doesn't mean that they don't employ any.. it's just that I haven't really met one yet.

I would also encourage you to ensure that you take an MEng course, as most employers don't look at graduates with BEng. It takes a llooooott longer to progress with a BEng degree, when everybody else does have the MEng .

Good luck otherwise!! Feel free to ask any questions!
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Moulvisab
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(Original post by sherace)
I'm currently in my second year of Chemical Engineering, and I personally think ChemEng is the way forward. It's a really interesting and dynamic course, and the depth and range that it offers does keep you stimulated and engaged!! I would suggest not limiting your options at such an early point. When I started my degree, I wanted to do oil and gas. Now, after going on industry visits, looking at case studies and learning more about the field; I find that I probably want to go into chemical manufacturing or pharmaceuticals. It suits my interests more. Oil and Gas straight away limits your job potential. But that may be a good thing. However, ChemEng jobs are not in short supply, so I wouldn't say that the specialism is particularly handy.


I really enjoy my course, however, apart from industry visits every few months, it doesn't get particularly specialised before 3rd year. ChemEng covers loads of general engineering topics, and isn't catered to one sector, nevertheless, it's very applicable to all sectors. When you do secure a job, in whatever sector, you get intensive training for that specific role, you learn a lot more about the industry especially if you enrol in a graduate scheme. My friend works for Total (petroleum). He is in his second year of his graduate scheme with them( he graduated with an 1st class MEng from Loughborough Uni), and they teach you everything about the industry, the expectation is that you will apply your general ChemEng skills that they expect you to arrive with to the various projects. I haven't met a friend of his that actually did an Oil and Gas Engineering degree. His friends all came from ChemEng courses, but that doesn't mean that they don't employ any.. it's just that I haven't really met one yet.

I would also encourage you to ensure that you take an MEng course, as most employers don't look at graduates with BEng. It takes a llooooott longer to progress with a BEng degree, when everybody else does have the MEng .

Good luck otherwise!! Feel free to ask any questions!
hey, just passing by, I'm thinking of applying for ChemEng hopefully, worried about admission requirements. Just want to ask, what grades did you get to get into Meng Chemical Engineering, and do you anyone that go lower than you and got in? Also did you feel it was really competitive?...and what kind of extra-curriculars or other activities did you do that you think helped in your application?
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sherace
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(Original post by Moulvisab)
hey, just passing by, I'm thinking of applying for ChemEng hopefully, worried about admission requirements. Just want to ask, what grades did you get to get into Meng Chemical Engineering, and do you anyone that go lower than you and got in? Also did you feel it was really competitive?...and what kind of extra-curriculars or other activities did you do that you think helped in your application?
Hey Moulvisab! For my A levels I got ABCC for Chemistry, Math, Biology and Psychology. It's quite low for ChemEng, but the uni that I do my course at only started their course 3 years ago. So the entry requirement was BBB. I don't really know about the grades the others on my course recieved, but I know that as long as your math grades are high, then they will generally be lenient. Math is what they really care about. Because Chemical Engineering is about 60% math, and we only have one module per year that is Chemistry based.

Uni's like Loughborough and Leicester are very very competitive. However, uni's like Hull, Portsmouth and Teeside have only just started their course, therefore their reputation for their version of the course hasn't been built yet, so they generally have a lower threshold. However, I would recommend north eastern universities as there is a huge Chemical Engineering hub in that region, and people that go to Uni's like Hull and Newcastle, do benefit a lot from the proximity of the Humber Estuary and various other chemical hotspots in the north. We go on so many site visits. And companies are forever coming in to advertise placements and tell us about their company- just because of our geographical position on the Humber Estuary.

I was head girl of my school, I volunteered in many different roles. I worked with disabled pensioners, and with young disabled children. I worked as a french and math teacher in primary schools. Volunteering in charity shops. It's hard to get industry specific roles. None of my work experience matched the degree, because I basically did them out of personal interest, so I wouldn't be bored in my summers. However, I used them to show my practical attitude to work, and my willingness to just get out there and do things! My leadership capabilities, practical skills, perseverance and intuitiveness.

I would encourage you not to be put off by the thousands of people telling you that their grades are A*A*A*a or A*A*Ab, or that your grades HAVE TO BE AAA. Some uni's do have and stick to that high threshold, however, most uni's are realistically looking for AAB. At the end of the day, you can get in with a lower grades than, A*A*A*- student room doesn't usually paint it that way, however. As long as you have at least BBB, you can be considered for certain courses, not the Loughborough or Imperial courses, but courses nonetheless. Chemical Engineering jobs are in abundance at the moment, so everyone realistically, with effort, can make their way through to a solid job, regardless of uni . But AAB is still the ideal mark, and I would strongly advise you to aim for that!

It's quite a challenging degree, but very doable if you have a mathematical mind!!

Good luck!
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Moulvisab
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(Original post by sherace)
Hey Moulvisab! For my A levels I got ABCC for Chemistry, Math, Biology and Psychology. It's quite low for ChemEng, but the uni that I do my course at only started their course 3 years ago. So the entry requirement was BBB. I don't really know about the grades the others on my course recieved, but I know that as long as your math grades are high, then they will generally be lenient. Math is what they really care about. Because Chemical Engineering is about 60% math, and we only have one module per year that is Chemistry based.

Uni's like Loughborough and Leicester are very very competitive. However, uni's like Hull, Portsmouth and Teeside have only just started their course, therefore their reputation for their version of the course hasn't been built yet, so they generally have a lower threshold. However, I would recommend north eastern universities as there is a huge Chemical Engineering hub in that region, and people that go to Uni's like Hull and Newcastle, do benefit a lot from the proximity of the Humber Estuary and various other chemical hotspots in the north. We go on so many site visits. And companies are forever coming in to advertise placements and tell us about their company- just because of our geographical position on the Humber Estuary.

I was head girl of my school, I volunteered in many different roles. I worked with disabled pensioners, and with young disabled children. I worked as a french and math teacher in primary schools. Volunteering in charity shops. It's hard to get industry specific roles. None of my work experience matched the degree, because I basically did them out of personal interest, so I wouldn't be bored in my summers. However, I used them to show my practical attitude to work, and my willingness to just get out there and do things! My leadership capabilities, practical skills, perseverance and intuitiveness.

I would encourage you not to be put off by the thousands of people telling you that their grades are A*A*A*a or A*A*Ab, or that your grades HAVE TO BE AAA. Some uni's do have and stick to that high threshold, however, most uni's are realistically looking for AAB. At the end of the day, you can get in with a lower grades than, A*A*A*- student room doesn't usually paint it that way, however. As long as you have at least BBB, you can be considered for certain courses, not the Loughborough or Imperial courses, but courses nonetheless. Chemical Engineering jobs are in abundance at the moment, so everyone realistically, with effort, can make their way through to a solid job, regardless of uni . But AAB is still the ideal mark, and I would strongly advise you to aim for that!

It's quite a challenging degree, but very doable if you have a mathematical mind!!

Good luck!
Wow thanks, yh I've heard that it is mostly maths and physics so I also chose further maths as well which will help get more experience in maths. I'm really grateful for the advice - sorry for the short reply, you've explained everything so well that I have no other questions.
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Smack
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(Original post by Daniel Crockett)
Is there anybody here who's on either of these courses, or knows about them?

Can anybody shed some light on which course is more enjoyable, or interesting (at your uni)? Or which is, in your opinion, more highly regarded and opens more doors?

I'm looking to apply to both, and don't know which order to put them in on my UCAS form. I'm looking at University of Aberdeen. I'm dead set on a career in oil and gas.

Any info greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
What's more "highly regarded" depends on the discipline in question. For example, if a firm is looking to recruit an electrical engineer or controls and instrumentation engineer, then electrical will be the best regarded. What discipline(s) are you actually interested in?

I would do chemical if you want to keep doors open, though. Petroleum is quite a niche skill-set within the industry, and not one that many of the big names that employ large amounts of engineering grads recruit. I work for an oil & gas consulting firm, and we don't, to my knowledge, recruit petroleum grads, but we certainly do recruit chem grads, alongside mechanical and civil.

From experience I would say that mechanical keeps open the most doors, since there's very few disciplines you couldn't wean your way into with it. Even at my current company, one of the lead process engineers had a mechanical degree. But if it's not something you're interested in, it doesn't matter. Ultimately, you should just do whatever you're actually interested in.
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