Careers
Companies
Topics
Get Started
Interview Coach 1:1
Gain the confidence you need by asking our professionals any interview scenario, question, or answer you are unsure about.
Let Us Review Your Answers
Our interviewing professionals will gladly review and revise any answer you send us. Allowing you to craft perfect responses for your next job interview.
Interview Questions by Topic
Interview Questions by Career
Interview Questions by Company

Petroleum Engineer Interview
Questions

25 Questions and Answers by Ryan Brown

Question 1 of 25

What does mud logging entail?

1000s of Interview Questions

Win your next job by practicing from our question bank. We have thousands of questions and answers created by interview experts.

Petroleum Engineer Interview Questions

  1. 1.

    What does mud logging entail?

      Mud logging is reservoir evaluation at the surface while drilling. Basic mud logging services now typically track drilling rates, lithology, visual hydrocarbon indicators, total combustible gas in mud and individual hydrocarbon compounds in the gas along with numerous drilling parameters. The mud logger monitors and evaluates a broad range of surface indicators to compile a concise record of subsurface geology, hydrocarbons encountered and significant drilling events. The mud exits the drillstring through nozzles in the bit. As a bit drills through the subsurface, the rock it grinds--along with water, oil or gas in the formation--is carried back up the hole by the drilling fluid. Upon reaching the surface, the fluid exits through a flowline above the blowout preventer and is deposited over a vibrating mesh screen at the shale shaker, which separates formation cuttings from the liquid mud. The liquid portion of the drilling fluid falls through the screens to the mud pits, ready to be pumped back into the well; the rock cuttings on the shaker screen provide the basis for determining downhole lithology.

      Ryan's Answer

      "Mud logging involves doing tests on the drilling mud and cuttings coming out of the hole. The drilling mud may carry traces of hydrocarbons; therefore, analyzing the mud and cuttings can provide important information regarding the formation that currently being drilled."

  2. 2.

    Why do you want to work for our company?

      Describe what interests you about the oil and gas industry. Be descriptive! Don't just say the money.
      Describe what you think is special about the company. This may include researching an interesting project the company did or even describing a particular department that you would like to work for one day.
      Describe any training or career advancement opportunities the company can provide for you.


      Ryan's Answer

      "I decided I wanted to become a petroleum engineer in high school after watching the movie Deep Water Horizon. I was inspired to study petroleum engineering because petroleum is not only an important energy source, but it is an important part of the economy - world wide. I am interested in working at this company because it provides me with training, education, and the ability to advance in my career. This company provides a variety of training and certifications for their field engineers, and I believe this can allow me to grow in my career here. With a combination of training and field experience, my goal is to eventually become a reservoir engineer."

  3. 3.

    How do you practice safety on the job?

      Safety is an extremely important concept in any job. Ignoring safety regulations can cause loss of time, money, equipment, or even lives. Oil and gas companies usually have a designated safety department which develops manuals and safety tools for every aspect of the job. It is important to take these safety rules and regulations seriously as they are usually part of the company culture.

      Ryan's Answer

      "In my last internship, I had to do field visits to a land rig. Before the visit, I read about the project and the potentially hazardous equipment they would have onsite. I made sure my coveralls were in good condition as well as my steel toes and hard hat. I realized I did not have my safety glasses upon arrival to the site, and I immediately informed my supervisor of this. Once I had all my PPE on, I carefully read the JHA and paid attention during the safety briefing. It is important to take safety on the job seriously to prevent lost time or injury of personnel."

  4. 4.

    Why did you study Petroleum Engineering?

      Interviewers ask this question to get to know you or because they are curious! They also ask this to see if you will be a good fit within the company. There are many reasons to choose a certain career path including having a parent push you to study it. Remember to answer positively and enthusiastically.
      Throughout university, think of any skills or experiences you have gained through studying petroleum engineering. This may include any assignments or projects that related to the potential job.

      Ryan's Answer

      "I studied petroleum engineering because I was always fascinated by geology. As I grew up, I enjoyed traveling to mountainous regions and national parks with my family. After watching Deep Water Horizon, I knew I had to study petroleum engineering. I enjoyed all my classes in university with my favorite being production engineering. I would love to be part of the future of finding oil and gas reservoirs as well as designing and developing efficient ways to extract oil."

  5. 5.

    Give an example of how you worked on a team.

      To answer this question, use the STARR approach.
      Situation- Set up and describe the situation
      Task - What was the general goal or purpose of the assignment?
      Action - What was your role and contribution?
      Relationship - Who was involved?
      Result - What was the outcome? How did you make an impact?
      The interviewer wants to know how well you work with others and how you operate in a team setting. It is important to be prepared with specific examples and experiences.

      Ryan's Answer

      "In my previous internship, I worked with 3 other interns and one lead engineer on a project. The lead engineer explained to us the project, and informed us he would be available for technical assistance if needed. Although he was available, he required the 3 of us to work as a team to distribute the work fairly and ask each other for help which in turn allowed us to communicate more effectively. Because of this, the team was able to progress quickly and efficiently. During our weekly progress meetings with the lead engineer, we were always ahead of the game! At the end of the project, our team presented to a few of our supervisors as well as the client. Everyone was impressed at our hard work!"

  6. 6.

    What is hydraulic fracturing and why is it important in petroleum engineering?

      Hydraulic fracturing is the process of injecting a high pressured solution of water, sand, and other chemicals into the formation-through the well-which fractures the formation of interest, and allows oil and gas into the producing well. This process allows for low permeability rocks to increase oil and gas flow into the well.

      Ryan's Answer

      "Fracking is the process of injecting a high pressured solution into a formation which produces fissures in the rock and allows for an increase of oil and gas production. Fracking allows for low permeability rocks to increase oil and gas flow into the well from oil-bearing formations."

  7. 7.

    What is the purpose of Artifical Gas Lift?

      Artificial lift is a process used on oil wells to increase pressure within the reservoir and encourage oil to the surface. When the natural drive energy of the reservoir is not strong enough to push the oil to the surface, artificial lift is employed to recover more production.
      A type of artificial lift is gas lift injects compressed gas into the well to reestablish pressure, making it produce. Even if a well is producing without artificial gas lift, a form of natural gas lift is utilized. In artificial gas lift, the compressed gas is injected down the casing tubing annulus, entering the well at numerous entry points called gas-lift valves. As the gas enters the tubing at these different stages, it forms bubbles, lightens the fluids and lowers the pressure. The injected gas reduces the pressure on the bottom of the well by decreasing the viscosity of the fluids in the well. This process encourages fluids to flow more easily to the surface.

      Ryan's Answer

      "Gas Lift is a type of artificial lift that injects compressed gas into the well which decreases the pressure on the bottom of the well and encourages the fluid to flow easily to the surface. This is method is popular in low productivity, high gas/oil ratio wells or deviated wellbores."

  8. 8.

    What can you tell me about the BP oil spill?

      It is important to be well versed in the current events affecting the oil and gas industry. The internet can provide multiple sources for information regarding the BP oil spill including the causes and effects of the events that occurred. The BP oil spill is one of many the recent current events. If anything relevant is happening within the industry today, it is important to research and familiarize yourself with it.

      Ryan's Answer

      "The BP oil spill occurred on April 20, 2010 on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig located in the Gulf of Mexico. Although the explosion was due to multiple failures, the most critical cause of the explosion was due to failure of the blowout preventer (BOP) which caused approximately 53,000 bbl/day of crude oil to be realized into the Gulf of Mexico (GOM)."

  9. 9.

    What does OPEC stand for?

      OPEC is the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. It's mission is to coordinate and unify the petroleum policies of its Member Countries and ensure the stabilization of oil markets in order to secure an efficient, economic, and regular supply of petroleum to consumers, a steady income to producers and a fair return on capital for those investing in the petroleum industry.

      Ryan's Answer

      "OPEC stands for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. "

  10. 10.

    How do you handle stressful situations?

      The interviewer wants to know if you can handle job related stress and how you manage it. Make sure to prepare this answer in advance. Without preparation, it may look like you are not a suitable fit for the position.
      For the answer, describe to the interviewer how you manage stressful situations while providing a successful outcome.
      You can mention that a little stress is a motivator for you or that you are able to focus on situation at hand without getting overwhelmed stressed.

      Ryan's Answer

      "I find that being under stress motivates me to accomplish my tasks quickly and efficiently. I have always enjoyed working in an environment that challenges me. Stress motivates me in a way to keep my focus and stay on top of the tasks at hand."

  11. 11.

    What is the current price of oil?

      The interviewer may ask this simple question, but it is important to be a well rounded candidate. Make sure to keep up with the price of oil - as well as any dramatic increases or decreases in oil prices and why.

      Ryan's Answer

      "Today the price of oil is around $48.50 / bbl."

  12. 12.

    What can you tell me about tertiary recovery and reservoir simulation modeling?

      Tertiary recovery is also known as Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) and can allow between a 50% to 80+% recovery (as compared to primary recovery which allows ~30% recovery). Examples of EOR include thermal methods, gas injection methods, or chemical methods. EOR involves changing the downhole physics to allow in a favorable end result.
      Every reservoir contains different parameters which includes geometry, porosity, permeability, relative permeability, fluid properties...etc. By using reservoir modeling, one can simulate different methods of EOR to determine which method is appropriate for the reservoir.

      Ryan's Answer

      "By using reservoir modeling, one can simulate different methods of Enhanced Oil Recovery to determine which method is appropriate for the reservoir."

  13. 13.

    Tell me about a time when you had to present complex information. How did you ensure that the other person understood?

      To answer this question, use the STARR approach.
      Situation- Set up and describe the situation
      Task - What was the general goal or purpose of the assignment?
      Action - What was your role and contribution?
      Relationship - Who was involved?
      Result - What was the outcome? How did you make an impact?


      Ryan's Answer

      "While on a job in the field, I was in contact with a client who had little knowledge about the oil patch. Because it was my duty provide the client with a desirable end result, I would call him multiple times a day to give him status updates on his job which includes any bumps along the road. Sometimes I would get the feeling he didn't really understand, so I made sure to not use overly technical language or industry specific terms incase he was not familiar with the jargon. If he was still unsure, I would send him pictures of equipment or diagrams I would hand draw. I felt like it was crucial for everyone to be on the same page, so it was important for me to take the time to explain what I was doing in non-technical terms. He really appreciated me going above and beyond in explanations and even requested me to be on his next job."

  14. 14.

    What is the formula for hydrostatic pressure in a well?

      Hydrostatic pressure is the force exerted by the column of drilling fluids at a determined static depth. It is related to the vertical depth and the density of the fluid.
      The hydrostatic pressure at depth z is calculated by Hydro P (psi) = 0.052 * Mud Weight (ppg) * Z (ft)

      Ryan's Answer

      "The hydrostatic pressure at depth z is calculated by Hydro P (psi) = 0.052 * Mud Weight (ppg) * Z (ft)."

  15. 15.

    How would you handle an unexpected issue if working in the field?

      Unexpected issues can arise while working in the field which may make the job much more difficult and stressful. Most oil and gas companies provide on-the-job training where you will learn how to troubleshoot and problem solve while in the field. A combination of your engineering degree in addition to any applicable experience will allow you to approach any issue with both a technical and practical background.

      Ryan's Answer

      "I have previous experience in Wireline where my tools were not properly calibrated before going downhole. Luckily, we were ahead of schedule and I was able to notice the issue before beginning to collect any data. Because I noticed this issue, I did not have any obsolete data that required deleting. I was able to present the client with accurate information right on schedule."

  16. 16.

    If approached by someone from the media and asked about the company's stance on a current event related to oil, how would you handle the situation?

      View All 25 Petroleum Engineer Answers
      Sign up to access our library of 50,000+ Answers,
      plus coaches for one-on-one support, so you can interview more confidently.
  17. 17.

    What is the difference between True Vertical Depth (TVD) and Measured Depth (MD)?

      View All 25 Petroleum Engineer Answers
      Sign up to access our library of 50,000+ Answers,
      plus coaches for one-on-one support, so you can interview more confidently.
  18. 18.

    What do you know about our company?

      View All 25 Petroleum Engineer Answers
      Sign up to access our library of 50,000+ Answers,
      plus coaches for one-on-one support, so you can interview more confidently.
  19. 19.

    Tell me about a time where you had to deal with a stressful situation on the job.

      View All 25 Petroleum Engineer Answers
      Sign up to access our library of 50,000+ Answers,
      plus coaches for one-on-one support, so you can interview more confidently.
  20. 20.

    What can you tell me about this job position?

      View All 25 Petroleum Engineer Answers
      Sign up to access our library of 50,000+ Answers,
      plus coaches for one-on-one support, so you can interview more confidently.
  21. 21.

    What experience can you bring to our company?

      View All 25 Petroleum Engineer Answers
      Sign up to access our library of 50,000+ Answers,
      plus coaches for one-on-one support, so you can interview more confidently.
  22. 22.

    Tell me about a time when you gave your supervisor a negative work update.

      View All 25 Petroleum Engineer Answers
      Sign up to access our library of 50,000+ Answers,
      plus coaches for one-on-one support, so you can interview more confidently.
  23. 23.

    Would you be willing to travel for work? Where? For how long?

      View All 25 Petroleum Engineer Answers
      Sign up to access our library of 50,000+ Answers,
      plus coaches for one-on-one support, so you can interview more confidently.
  24. 24.

    How do you feel about a rotational schedule?

      View All 25 Petroleum Engineer Answers
      Sign up to access our library of 50,000+ Answers,
      plus coaches for one-on-one support, so you can interview more confidently.
  25. 25.

    What is the difference between porosity and permeability. Why are these concepts important in petroleum engineering?

      View All 25 Petroleum Engineer Answers
      Sign up to access our library of 50,000+ Answers,
      plus coaches for one-on-one support, so you can interview more confidently.