Information Seeking Behaviour of Petroleum Engineers in Niger Delta Region of Nigeria: A Survey

By Ebiye, Edonkumoh V.; Ngwuchukwu, M. N. et al. | Library Philosophy and Practice, November 2015 | Go to article overview

Information Seeking Behaviour of Petroleum Engineers in Niger Delta Region of Nigeria: A Survey


Ebiye, Edonkumoh V., Ngwuchukwu, M. N., Agyo, Emmanuel, Library Philosophy and Practice


INTRODUCTION

Petroleum engineers are professionals who specialize in a field of engineering that is concerned with the activities related to the production of hydrocarbons, which can be either crude oil or natural gas. Their expertise is often called to bear on Exploration and Production commonly found within the upstream sector of the oil and gas industry. Petroleum Engineers are involved in virtually every stage of the exploration and production of oil and gas. Their major aim according to Jeff (2013) is to maximise hydrocarbon recovery at minimum cost while maintaining a strong emphasis on reducing environmental impact.

The major task of petroleum engineers is to manipulate scientific and engineering technology driven related information in handling production, management, distribution and marketing of petroleum and natural gas products. This is in line with the central purpose of engineering which is to design technological devices or structures based on new concepts or modifications of existing ones. Petroleum Engineers are regarded as subject specialists that execute specialized tasks. According to Hertzum & Pejtersen (2000) engineers can be described as practising an applied science and can be characterised as subject specialists performing rather complex tasks.

Petroleum engineers are categorized into various professionals based on diverse areas they major in. Thus it will be imperative to have a brief look of at the various professionals and their major responsibilities. This exposition will create the chance to know the kind of information they work with and possibly how they go about seeking these information to meet their needs professionally.

Categories of Petroleum Engineers and their Duties and Responsibilities

Generally there are five main basic petroleum engineering professionals who are: Reservoir Engineers, Drilling Engineers, Production Engineers, Natural Gas Engineers and Petroleum Economists. Each of these various professionals specializes in different areas of exploration and production of oil and natural gas and they harness their technical know-how together to achieve the aims and objectives of the oil and gas industry.

Reservoir Engineers takes charge of assessing or ascertaining oil and natural gas deposits. Their primary duty is to determine the size of a reservoir and work out modalities on how to maximise the economic gains from extracting them. The ultimate responsibility of the reservoir engineer according to UNSW (2015) is to maximise the output of the reservoir without causing overproduction. They work together with geologists and geophysicists to find the reserves of oil and gas relying on the basic laws of physics and chemistry that affect the behaviour of liquid and vapour phases of oil, natural gas, and water in rock (Wikipedia, 2015). Surveillance Engineers, Simulation Modelling Engineers and Geothermal Engineers are all regarded as Reservoir Engineers.

Drilling Engineers is in charge of drilling well logs to produce oil or gas. They take responsibility of developing, planning, costing and supervising all operations required for drilling oil and natural gas wells. They are involved from the initial design of the well to testing, completion and, finally, abandonment. In the planning phases, the Drilling engineer would be involved in estimating the value of the reserves, estimating the costs to access them, acquiring necessary property by lease, conducting a geological survey, designing a well bore plan, and providing a layout of the type of equipment required to reach the depth of the well (Wikipedia, 2015). Completion Engineers, Workover Engineers, Well Abandonment Engineers, Deepwater Drilling Engineer are all categories of Drilling Engineers.

Production Engineers focus more on the everyday production of oil and gas as compared to most of the others who focus on finding more oil and gas in new and existing reservoirs (Hjelle and Montenereo, 2011). …

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