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Petroleum Engineering
Graduate Program at Colorado School of Mines

Petroleum Engineering
Graduate Program at Colorado School of Mines

Petroleum Engineering Program Overview

Petroleum engineering students in the fieldThe Professional Master’s in Petroleum Reservoir Systems program, 30 credits, is designed for individuals who have petroleum industry experience and are interested in increasing their knowledge across the disciplines of geology, geophysics, and petroleum engineering. This is an interdisciplinary, non-thesis master’s degree for students interested in working as geoscience professionals in the petroleum industry.

Candidates for the non-thesis Master of Engineering in Petroleum Engineering degree must complete at least 30 hours of graduate course credit. This coursework-intensive program allows students to exponentially build on their skill set and advance their career, and can also serve as an excellent entry point into the oil and gas industry for engineers who earned a degree other than petroleum engineering.

The Master of Science in Petroleum Engineering requires at least 24 credit hours of coursework and a minimum of 6 hours of research credit. Earning this degree demonstrates an ability to observe, analyze and report original scientific research and prepares graduates for similar work in their careers or pursuit of a PhD.

Candidates in the Doctor of Philosophy in Petroleum Engineering program must complete at least 48 hours of graduate course credit and a minimum of 30 credit hours of research beyond the bachelor’s degree, resulting in a written dissertation. Graduates are prepared to work in academia, conduct research in commercial or government laboratories as well as make scientific discoveries that advance the industry.

The fully online 12-credit Graduate Certificate in Petroleum Geophysics program provides a solid foundation and proficiency in the latest geophysical methods, workflow and practices employed in the energy industry.

Also fully online, the 12-credit Graduate Certificate in Petroleum Data Analytics provides a comprehensive overview of the fundamental building blocks of the digital oilfield. Class time is dedicated to topics such as data science and advanced analytics, as well as reviewing how to apply data analysis to areas such as drilling and completions, production operations and reservoir management.

Degree Options

PhD

  • Petroleum Engineering

Master’s

  • Professional Master’s in Petroleum Reservoir Systems
  • Master of Engineering in Petroleum Engineering
  • Master of Science in Petroleum Engineering

Certificate

 

Now Accepting Applications for Fall 2021

  • International Students: March 1 deadline
  • Domestic Students: July 1
  • Graduate Certificate Program: July 1

Petroleum Engineering Program Facts

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Video: The Graduate Experience at Mines

Program Details

All graduate applicants must have taken core engineering, math and science courses before applying to graduate school. For Colorado School of Mines, this would be 3 units of Calculus, 2 units of Chemistry with Quantitative Lab, 2 units of Physics, Differential Equations, Statics, Fluid Mechanics, Thermodynamics and Mechanics of Materials.

Three letters of recommendation must accompany the application. The Petroleum Engineering Department requires the general test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) for applicants to all degree levels.

Applicants for the Master of Science, Master of Engineering, and Professional Master’s in Petroleum Reservoir Systems programs should have a minimum score of 155 or better and applicants for the PhD program are expected to have 159 or better on the quantitative section of the GRE exam, in addition to acceptable scores in the verbal and analytical sections. The GPA of the applicant must be 3.0 or higher. The graduate application review committee determines minimum requirements accordingly, and these requirements may change depending on the application pool for the particular semester. The applicants whose native language is not English are also expected to provide satisfactory scores on the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) exam as specified in the general section of this catalog.

*Due to COVID-19, students applying for non-thesis master’s and certificate programs for spring 2021 and fall 2021 are not required to submit GRE scores.

Professional Master’s in Petroleum Reservoir Systems, Non-Thesis, 30 credit hours

The program requires a minimum of 30 credit hours. Up to 9 credit hours may be at the 400 level; all other credits toward the degree must be 500 level or above.

  • 1 of the following 3-credit courses:
    • GPGN / PEGN 419: Introduction to Formation Evaluation and Well Logging
    • GPGN 519 / PEGN 504: Advanced Formation Evaluation
  • 2 of the following 3-credit courses:
    • GEGN / GPGN / PEGN 503: Integrated Exploration and Development
    • GEGN / GPGN / PEGN 504: Integrated Exploration and Development
    • GEOL 609: Advanced Petroleum Geology
  • 3 additional courses (9 credits) must consist of one course each from the three participating departments (Geology, Geophysics, Petroleum Engineering)
  • The remaining four courses (12 credits) may consist of graduate courses from any of the three participating departments or other courses approved by the committee. Up to 6 hours may consist of independent study, including an industry project.

Master of Engineering in Petroleum Engineering, 30 credit hours

Students must complete a minimum of 30 hours of graduate course credit, with at least 15 credit hours from the Petroleum Engineering Department. Up to 12 graduate credit hours can be transferred from another institution, and up to 9 credit hours of senior-level courses may be applied to the degree. All courses must be approved by the student’s advisor and the department head. No graduate committee is required. No more than six credit hours can be earned through independent study.

Master of Science in Petroleum Engineering, 30 credit hours

Candidates must complete at least 24 graduate credit hours of course work, approved by the candidate’s graduate committee, and a minimum of 6 hours of research credit. At least 12 of the course credit hours must be from the Petroleum Engineering Department. Up to 9 credit hours may be transferred from another institution. Up to 9 credit hours of senior-level courses may be applied to the degree. For the MS degree, the student must demonstrate ability to observe, analyze, and report original scientific research.

Doctor of Philosophy in Petroleum Engineering, 78 credit hours

A candidate for the PhD must complete at least 48 hours of course credit and a minimum of 30 credit hours of research beyond the bachelor’s degree. A student with a master’s degree is allowed to transfer up to 24 hours of course credit from the master’s degree into the PhD program upon approval of the department and the student’s thesis committee. Students may additionally transfer up to 21 graduate credit hours of course work from another institution with the approval of the graduate advisor, under the condition that these hours were not previously used for a degree or a certificate. PhD students must complete at least half of their minimally required course credit hours from the Petroleum Engineering Department and a minimum of 6 credit hours of their required course credit outside the Petroleum Engineering Department. The student’s faculty advisor, thesis committee, and the department head must approve the course selection. Full-time PhD students must satisfy the following requirements for admission to candidacy within the first two calendar years after enrolling in the program:

  1. Have a thesis committee appointment form on file,
  2. Complete all prerequisite courses successfully,
  3. Demonstrate adequate preparation for and satisfactory ability to conduct doctoral research by successfully completing a series of written and/or oral examinations and fulfilling the other requirements of their graduate committees as outlined in the department’s graduate handbook.

Graduate Certificate in Petroleum Geophysics, 12 credit hours

  • GPGN 519: Advanced Formation Evaluation
  • GPGN 547: Physics, Mechanics and Petrophysics of Rocks
  • GPGN 558: Seismic Data Interpretation and Quantitative Analysis
  • GPGN 651: Advanced Seismology

All PE graduate students are required to complete 3 credit hours of course work in writing, research, or presentation-intensive classes as agreed to by their graduate advisor.

Graduate Certificate in Petroleum Data Analytics, 12 credit hours

  • DSCI 403: Introduction to Data Science
  • MATH 530: Statistical Methods
  • PEGN 551: Petroleum Data Analytics – Fundamentals
  • PEGN 552: Petroleum Data Analytics – Applications

All PE graduate students are required to complete 3 credit hours of course work in writing, research, or presentation-intensive classes as agreed to by their graduate advisor.

» VIEW CATALOG

The Petroleum Engineering Department conducts research into the following areas:

  • Rock and fluid properties, phase behavior, and rock mechanics
  • Geomechanics
  • Formation evaluation, well test analysis, and reservoir characterization
  • Oil recovery processes
  • IOR/EOR Methods
  • Naturally fractured reservoirs
  • Analytical and numerical modeling of fluid flow in porous media
  • Pore-scale modeling and flow in nanopores
  • Development of unconventional oil and gas plays
  • Geothermal energy
  • Gas Hydrates
  • Completion and stimulation of wells
  • Horizontal and multilateral wells
  • Multi-stage fracturing of horizontal wells
  • Drilling management and rig automation
  • Fluid flow in wellbores and artificial lift
  • Drilling mechanics, directional drilling,
  • Extraterrestrial drilling
  • Ice coring and drilling
  • Bit vibration analysis, tubular buckling and stability, wave propagation in drilling tubulars
  • Laser technology in penetrating rocks
  • Environment, health, and safety in oil and gas industry

The department is home to a research institute, the Unconventional Natural Gas and Oil Institute; two research centers, the Marathon Center of Excellence for Reservoir Studies and the Center for Earth Mechanics, Materials, and Characterization; and two research consortia, the Fracturing, Acidizing, Stimulation Technology Consortium and the Unconventional Reservoir Engineering Project Consortium.

PEGN501. APPLICATIONS OF NUMERICAL METHODS TO PETROLEUM ENGINEERING. 3.0 Semester Hrs.

The course will solve problems of interest in Petroleum Engineering through the use of spreadsheets on personal computers and structured FORTRAN programming on PCs or mainframes. Numerical techniques will include methods for numerical quadrature, differentiation, interpolation, solution of linear and nonlinear ordinary differential equations, curve fitting and direct or iterative methods for solving simultaneous equations. Prerequisites: PEGN414 and PEGN424. 3 hours lecture; 3 semester hours.

PEGN502. ADVANCED DRILLING FLUIDS. 3.0 Semester Hrs.

The physical properties and purpose of drilling fluids are investigated. Emphasis is placed on drilling fluid design, clay chemistry, testing, and solids control. Prerequisite: PEGN311. 2 hours lecture, 3 hours lab; 3 semester hours.

PEGN503. INTEGRATED EXPLORATION AND DEVELOPMENT. 3.0 Semester Hrs.

(I) Students work alone and in teams to study reservoirs from fluvial-deltaic and valley fill depositional environments. This is a multidisciplinary course that shows students how to characterize and model subsurface reservoir performance by integrating data, methods and concepts from geology, geophysics and petroleum engineering. Activities include field trips, computer modeling, written exercises and oral team presentations. Prerequisite: none. 2 hours lecture, 3 hours lab; 3 semester hours. Offered fall semester, odd years.

PEGN504. INTEGRATED EXPLORATION AND DEVELOPMENT. 3.0 Semester Hrs.

(I) Students work in multidisciplinary teams to study practical problems and case studies in integrated subsurface exploration and development. The course addresses emerging technologies and timely topics with a general focus on carbonate reservoirs. Activities include field trips, 3D computer modeling, written exercises and oral team presentation. Prerequisite: none. 3 hours lecture and seminar; 3 semester hours. Offered fall semester, even years.

PEGN505. HORIZONTAL WELLS: RESERVOIR AND PRODUCTION ASPECTS. 3.0 Semester Hrs.

This course covers the fundamental concepts of horizontal well reservoir and production engineering with special emphasis on the new developments. Each topic covered highlights the concepts that are generic to horizontal wells and draws attention to the pitfalls of applying conventional concepts to horizontal wells without critical evaluation. There is no set prerequisite for the course but basic knowledge on general reservoir engineering concepts is useful. 3 hours lecture; 3 semester hours.

PEGN506. ENHANCED OIL RECOVERY METHODS. 3.0 Semester Hrs.

Enhanced oil recovery (EOR) methods are reviewed from both the qualitative and quantitative standpoint. Recovery mechanisms and design procedures for the various EOR processes are discussed. In addition to lectures, problems on actual field design procedures will be covered. Field case histories will be reviewed. Prerequisite: PEGN424. 3 hours lecture; 3 semester hours.

PEGN507. INTEGRATED FIELD PROCESSING. 3.0 Semester Hrs.

Integrated design of production facilities covering multistage separation of oil, gas, and water, multiphase flow, oil skimmers, natural gas dehydration, compression, crude stabilization, petroleum fluid storage, and vapor recovery. Prerequisite: PEGN411. 3 hours lecture; 3 semester hours.

PEGN508. ADVANCED ROCK PROPERTIES. 3.0 Semester Hrs.

Application of rock mechanics and rock properties to reservoir engineering, well logging, well completion and well stimulation. Topics covered include: capillary pressure, relative permeability, velocity effects on Darcy?s Law, elastic/mechanical rock properties, subsidence, reservoir compaction, and sand control. Prerequisites: PEGN423 and PEGN426. 3 hours lecture; 3 semester hours.

PEGN511. ADVANCED THERMODYNAMICS AND PETROLEUM FLUIDS PHASE BEHAVIOR. 3.0 Semester Hrs.

Essentials of thermodynamics for understanding the phase behavior of petroleum fluids such as natural gas and oil. Modeling of phase behavior of single and multi-component systems with equations of states with a brief introduction to PVT laboratory studies, commercial PVT software, asphaltenes, gas hydrates, mineral deposition, and statistical thermodynamics. Prerequisites: PEGN310 and PEGN305 or equivalent. 3 hours lecture; 3 semester hours.

PEGN512. ADVANCED GAS ENGINEERING. 3.0 Semester Hrs.

The physical properties and phase behavior of gas and gas condensates will be discussed. Flow through tubing and pipelines as well as through porous media is covered. Reserve calculations for normally pressured, abnormally pressured and water drive reservoirs are presented. Both stabilized and isochronal deliverability testing of gas wells will be illustrated. Prerequisite: PEGN423. 3 hours lecture; 3 semester hours.

PEGN513. RESERVOIR SIMULATION I. 3.0 Semester Hrs.

The course provides the rudiments of reservoir simulation, which include flow equations, solution methods, and data requirement. Specifically, the course covers: equations of conservation of mass, conservation of momentum, and energy balance; numerical solution of flow in petroleum reservoirs by finite difference (FD) and control volume FD; permeability tensor and directional permeability; non-Darcy flow; convective flow and numerical dispersion; grid orientation problems; introduction to finite element and mixed finite-element methods; introduction to hybrid analytical/numerical solutions; introduction to multi-phase flow models; relative permeability, capillary pressure and wettability issues; linear equation solvers; streamline simulation; and multi-scale simulation concept. Prerequisite: PEGN424 or equivalent, strong reservoir engineering background, and basic computer programming knowledge. 3 credit hours. 3 hours of lecture per week.

PEGN514. PETROLEUM TESTING TECHNIQUES. 3.0 Semester Hrs.

Investigation of basic physical properties of petroleum reservoir rocks and fluids. Review of recommended practices for testing drilling fluids and oil well cements. Emphasis is placed on the accuracy and calibration of test equipment. Quality report writing is stressed. Prerequisite: Graduate status. 2 hours lecture, 1 hour lab; 3 semester hours. Required for students who do not have a BS in PE.

PEGN515. RESERVOIR ENGINEERING PRINCIPLES. 3.0 Semester Hrs.

Reservoir Engineering overview. Predicting hydrocarbon in place; volumetric method, deterministic and probabilistic approaches, material balance, water influx, graphical techniques. Fluid flow in porous media; continuity and diffusivity equations. Well performance; productivity index for vertical, perforated, fractured, restricted, slanted, and horizontal wells, inflow performance relationship under multiphase flow conditions. Combining material balance and well performance equations. Future reservoir performance prediction; Muskat, Tarner, Carter and Tracy methods. Fetkovich decline curves. Reservoir simulation; fundamentals and formulation, streamline simulation, integrated reservoir studies. 3 hours lecture, 3 semester hours.

PEGN516. PRODUCTION ENGINEERING PRINCIPLES. 3.0 Semester Hrs.

Production Engineering Overview. Course provides a broad introduction to the practice of production engineering. Covers petroleum system analysis, well stimulation (fracturing and acidizing), artificial lift (gas lift, sucker rod, ESP, and others), and surface facilities. 3 hours lecture, 3 semester hours.

PEGN517. DRILLING ENGINEERING PRINCIPLES. 3.0 Semester Hrs.

Drilling Engineering overview. Subjects to be covered include overall drilling organization, contracting, and reporting; basic drilling engineering principles and equipment; drilling fluids, hydraulics, and cuttings transport; drillstring design; drill bits; drilling optimization; fishing operations; well control; pore pressure and fracture gradients, casing points and design; cementing; directional drilling and horizontal drilling. 3 hours lecture, 3 semester hours.

PEGN519. ADVANCED FORMATION EVALUATION. 3.0 Semester Hrs.

A detailed review of wireline well logging and evaluation methods stressing the capability of the measurements to determine normal and special reservoir rock parameters related to reservoir and production problems. Computers for log processing of single and multiple wells. Utilization of well logs and geology in evaluating well performance before, during, and after production of hydrocarbons. The sensitivity of formation evaluation parameters in the volumetric determination of petroleum in reservoirs. Prerequisite: PEGN419. 3 hours lecture; 3 semester hours.

PEGN522. ADVANCED WELL STIMULATION. 3.0 Semester Hrs.

(I) Basic applications of rock mechanics to petroleum engineering problems. Hydraulic fracturing; acid fracturing, fracturing simulators; fracturing diagnostics; sandstone acidizing; sand control, and well bore stability. Different theories of formation failure, measurement of mechanical properties. Review of recent advances and research areas. 3 hours lecture; 3 semester hours.

PEGN523. ADVANCED ECONOMIC ANALYSIS OF OIL AND GAS PROJECTS. 3.0 Semester Hrs.

Determination of present value of oil properties. Determination of severance, ad valorem, windfall profit, and federal income taxes. Analysis of profitability indicators. Application of decision tree theory and Monte Carlo methods to oil and gas properties. Economic criteria for equipment selection. Prerequisite: PEGN422 or EBGN504 or ChEN504 or MNGN427 or ChEN421. 3 hours lecture; 3 semester hours.

PEGN524. PETROLEUM ECONOMICS AND MANAGEMENT. 3.0 Semester Hrs.

Business applications in the petroleum industry are the central focus. Topics covered are: fundamentals of accounting, oil and gas accounting, strategic planning, oil and gas taxation, oil field deals, negotiations, and the formation of secondary units. The concepts are covered by forming companies that prepare proforma financial statements, make deals, drill for oil and gas, keep accounting records, and negotiate the participation formula for a secondary unit. Prerequisite: PEGN422. 3 hours lecture; 3 semester hours.

PEGN530. ENVIRONMENTAL LAW AND SUSTAINABILITY. 3.0 Semester Hrs.

Equivalent with CEEN492,CEEN592,
(II) In this course students will be introduced to the fundamental legal principles that are relevant to sustainable engineering project development. General principles of United States(U.S.) environmental regulation pertaining to air quality, water quality, waste management, hazardous substances remediation, regulation of chemical manufacture and distribution, natural resources, and energy will be discussed parallel with international laws pertaining to environmental protection and human rights. In the context of engineering project design, students will explore legal, societal, and ethical risks, and risk mitigation methodologies. 3 hours lecture; 3 semester hours.

PEGN540. PETROLEUM DATA ANALYSIS. 3.0 Semester Hrs.

This course will take a detailed look at the opportunities, challenges and specific requirements for petroleum data analytics for the energy industry. It starts with an introduction to data analysis and visualization packages. Three projects are assigned in drilling, production, and reservoir data analysis along with data visualization techniques. The student will be required to prepare both oral and written project updates and final results. Prerequisite: PEGN438 or instructor consent.

PEGN541. APPLIED RESERVOIR SIMULATION. 3.0 Semester Hrs.

Concepts of reservoir simulation within the context of reservoir management will be discussed. Course participants will learn how to use available flow simulators to achieve reservoir management objectives. They will apply the concepts to an open-ended engineering design problem. Prerequisites: PEGN424. 3 hours lecture; 3 semester hours.

PEGN542. INTEGRATED RESERVOIR CHARACTERIZATION. 3.0 Semester Hrs.

The course introduces integrated reservoir characterization from a petroleum engineering perspective. Reservoir characterization helps quantify properties that influence flow characteristics. Students will learn to assess and integrate data sources into a comprehensive reservoir model. Prerequisites: PEGN424. 3 hours lecture; 3 semester hours.

PEGN547. PHYSICS, MECHANICS AND PETROPHYSICS OF ROCKS. 3.0 Semester Hrs.

(I) This course will discuss topics in rock physics, rock mechanics and petrphysics as outlined below. The class is a combination of lectures, laboratory sessions, and critical reading and discussion of papers. Topics: Stresses, strains, stiffnesses, rock physics, petrophysics: wettability: shale analysis: seismic & log expression of various formations: diagenesis: formation evaluation. 3 hours lecture; 3 semester hours.

PEGN550. MODERN RESERVOIR SIMULATORS. 3.0 Semester Hrs.

Students will learn to run reservoir simulation software using a variety of reservoir engineering examples. The course will focus on the capabilities and operational features of simulators. Students will learn to use pre- and post-processors, fluid property analysis software, black oil and gas reservoir models, and compositional models. 3 hours lecture; 3 semester hours.

PEGN551. PETROLEUM DATA ANALYTICS – FUNDAMENTALS. 3.0 Semester Hrs.

Introduction to advanced data analytics in the Digital Oilfield. Comprehensive overview of the fundamental building blocks of the digital oilfield from the convergence of operational technology (field instrumentation and control systems) with corporate information technology infrastructure. An understanding of the data foundation for a typical oil and gas exploration and production company and the challenges of Big Data to oilfield operations (volumes, variety, velocity, and data quality). Prerequisite: DSCI403, DSCI530 or MATH530 or Instructor Approval.

PEGN552. PETROLEUM DATA ANALYTICS – APPLICATIONS. 3.0 Semester Hrs.

A continuation of the advanced data analytics in the Digital Oilfield. This capstone course will be to apply learnings from the previous sequence of courses to drilling/completions improvement, production analysis, reservoir management optimization, and unconventional resource development. The course requires the ability of the student to be able to collect, manage, manipulate, analyze, develop insights, and report using both written and oral means those insights using good data visualizations. Prerequisite: PEGN551 or Instructor Consent.

PEGN577. WORKOVER DESIGN AND PRACTICE. 3.0 Semester Hrs.

Workover Engineering overview. Subjects to be covered include Workover Economics, Completion Types, Workover Design Considerations, Wellbore Cleanout (Fishing), Workover Well Control, Tubing and Workstring Design, SlicklineOperations, Coiled Tubing Operations, Packer Selection, Remedial Cementing Design and Execution, Completion Fluids, Gravel Packing, and Acidizing. 3 hours lecture, 3 semester hours.

PEGN590. RESERVOIR GEOMECHANICS. 3.0 Semester Hrs.

The course provides an introduction to fundamental rock mechanics concepts and aims to emphasize their role in exploration, drilling, completion and production engineering operations. Basic stress and strain concepts, pore pressure, fracture gradient and in situ stress magnitude and orientation determination and how these properties are obtained from the field measurements, mechanisms of deformation in rock, integrated wellbore stability analysis, depletion induced compaction and associated changes in rock properties and formation strength, hydraulic fracturing and fracture stability are among the topics to be covered in this rock course. Naturally fractured formation properties and how they impact the characteristics measured in the laboratory and in field are also included in the curriculum. Several industry speakers are invited as part of the lecture series to bring practical aspects of the fundamentals of geomechanics covered in the classroom. In addition, Petrel, FLAC3D and FRACMAN software practices with associated assignments are offered to integrate field data on problems including in situ stress magnitude and orientations, pore pressure and fracture gradient prediction and rock property determination using laboratory core measurements, logs, seismic, geological data. Problems are assign for students to use the field and laboratory data to obtain static and dynamic moduli, rock failure criteria, wellbore stress concentration and failure, production induced compaction/subsidence and hydraulic fracture mechanics.

PEGN591. SHALE RESERVOIR ENGINEERING. 3.0 Semester Hrs.

Equivalent with PEGN615,
Fundamentals of shale-reservoir engineering and special topics of production from shale reservoirs are covered. The question of what makes shale a producing reservoir is explored. An unconventional understanding of shale-reservoir characterization is emphasized and the pitfalls of conventional measurements and interpretations are discussed. Geological, geomechanical, and engineering aspects of shale reservoirs are explained. Well completions with emphasis on hydraulic fracturing and fractured horizontal wells are discussed from the viewpoint of reservoir engineering. Darcy flow, diffusive flow, and desorption in shale matrix are covered. Contributions of hydraulic and natural fractures are discussed and the stimulated reservoir volume concept is introduced. Interactions of flow between fractures and matrix are explained within the context of dual-porosity modeling. Applications of pressure-transient, rate-transient, decline-curve and transient-productivity analyses are covered. Field examples are studied. 3 hours lecture; 3 semester hours.

PEGN592. GEOMECHANICS FOR UNCONVENTIONAL RESOURCES. 3.0 Semester Hrs.

A wide spectrum of topics related to the challenges and solutions for the exploration, drilling, completion, production and hydraulic fracturing of unconventional resources including gas and oil shale, heavy oil sand and carbonate reservoirs, their seal formations is explored. The students acquire skills in integrating and visualizing multidiscipline data in Petrel (a short tutorial is offered) as well as assignments regarding case studies using field and core datasets. The role of integrating geomechanics data in execution of the exploration, drilling, completion, production, hydraulic fracturing and monitoring of pilots as well as commercial applications in unlocking the unconventional resources are pointed out using examples. Prerequisite: PEGN590. 3 hours lecture; 3 semester hours.

PEGN593. ADVANCED WELL INTEGRITY. 3.0 Semester Hrs.

Fundamentals of wellbore stability, sand production, how to keep wellbore intact is covered in this course. The stress alterations in near wellbore region and associated consequences in the form of well failures will be covered in detailed theoretically and with examples from deepwater conventional wells and onshore unconventionalwell operations. Assignments will be given to expose the students to the real field data to interpret and evaluate cases to determinepractical solutions to drilling and production related challenges. Fluid pressure and composition sensitivity of various formations will be studied. 3 hours lecture; 3 semester hours.

PEGN594. ADVANCED DIRECTIONAL DRILLING. 3.0 Semester Hrs.

Application of directional control and planning to drilling. Major topics covered include: Review of procedures for the drilling of directional wells. Section and horizontal view preparation. Two and three dimensional directional planning. Collision diagrams. Surveying and trajectory calculations. Surface and down hole equipment. Common rig operating procedures, and horizontal drilling techniques. Prerequisite: PEGN311 or equivalent. 3 hours lecture; 3 semester hours.

PEGN595. DRILLING OPERATIONS. 3.0 Semester Hrs.

Lectures, seminars, and technical problems with emphasis on well planning, rotary rig supervision, and field practices for execution of the plan. This course makes extensive use of the drilling rig simulator. Prerequisite: PEGN311. 3 hours lecture; 3 semester hours.

PEGN596. ADVANCED WELL CONTROL. 3.0 Semester Hrs.

Principles and procedures of pressure control are taught with the aid of a full-scale drilling simulator. Specifications and design of blowout control equipment for onshore and offshore drilling operations, gaining control of kicks, abnormal pressure detection, well planning for wells containing abnormal pressures, and kick circulation removal methods are taught. Students receive hands-on training with the simulator and its peripheral equipment. Prerequisite: PEGN311. 3 hours lecture; 3 semester hours.

PEGN597. TUBULAR DESIGN. 3.0 Semester Hrs.

Fundamentals of tubulars (casing, tubing, and drill pipe) design applied to drilling. Major topics covered include: Dogleg running loads. Directional hole considerations. Design criteria development. Effects of formation pressures. Stability loads after cementing. Effects of temperature, pressure, mud weights, and cement. Helical bending of tubing. Fishing loads. Micro-annulus problem. Strengths of API tubulars. Abrasive wear while rotating drill pipe. How to design for hydrogen sulfide and fatigue corrosion. Connection selection. Common rig operating procedures. Prerequisites: PEGN311 and PEGN361 or equivalent. 3 hours lecture; 3 semester hours.

PEGN598. SPECIAL TOPICS IN PETROLEUM ENGINEERING. 6.0 Semester Hrs.

(I, II, S) Pilot course or special topics course. Topics chosen from special interests of instructor(s) and student(s). Usually the course is offered only once, but no more than twice for the same course content. Prerequisite: none. Variable credit: 0 to 6 credit hours. Repeatable for credit under different titles.

PEGN599. INDEPENDENT STUDY. 0.5-6 Semester Hr.

(I, II, S) Individual research or special problem projects supervised by a faculty member, also, when a student and instructor agree on a subject matter, content, and credit hours. Prerequisite: ?Independent Study? form must be completed and submitted to the Registrar. Variable credit: 0.5 to 6 credit hours. Repeatable for credit under different topics/experience and maximums vary by department. Contact the Department for credit limits toward the degree.

PEGN601. APPLIED MATHEMATICS OF FLUID FLOW IN POROUS MEDIA. 3.0 Semester Hrs.

This course is intended to expose petroleum-engineering students to the special mathematical techniques used to solve transient flow problems in porous media. Bessel?s equation and functions, Laplace and Fourier transformations, the method of sources and sinks, Green?s functions, and boundary integral techniques are covered. Numerical evaluation of various reservoir engineering solutions, numerical Laplace transformation and inverse transformation are also discussed. 3 hours lecture; 3 semester hours.

PEGN603. DRILLING MODELS. 3.0 Semester Hrs.

Analytical models of physical phenomena encountered in drilling. Casing and drilling failure from bending, fatigue, doglegs, temperature, stretch; mud filtration; corrosion; wellhead loads; and buoyancy of tubular goods. Bit weight and rotary speed optimization. Prerequisites: PEGN311 and PEGN361. 3 hours lecture; 3 semester hours.

PEGN604. INTEGRATED FLOW MODELING. 3.0 Semester Hrs.

Students will study the formulation, development and application of a reservoir flow simulator that includes traditional fluid flow equations and a petrophysical model. The course will discuss properties of porous media within the context of reservoir modeling, and present the mathematics needed to understand and apply the simulator. Simulator applications will be interspersed throughout the course. 3 hours lecture; 3 semester hours.

PEGN605. WELL TESTING AND EVALUATION. 3.0 Semester Hrs.

Various well testing procedures and interpretation techniques for individual wells or groups of wells. Application of these techniques to field development, analysis of well problems, secondary recovery, and reservoir studies. Productivity, gas well testing, pressure buildup and drawdown, well interference, fractured wells, type curve matching, and shortterm testing. Prerequisite: PEGN426. 3 hours lecture; 3 semester hours.

PEGN606. ADVANCED RESERVOIR ENGINEERING. 3.0 Semester Hrs.

A review of depletion type, gas-cap, and volatile oil reservoirs. Lectures and supervised studies on gravity segregation, moving gas-oil front, individual well performance analysis, history matching, performance prediction, and development planning. Prerequisite: PEGN423. 3 hours lecture; 3 semester hours.

PEGN607. PARTIAL WATER DRIVE RESERVOIRS. 3.0 Semester Hrs.

The hydrodynamic factors which influence underground water movement, particularly with respect to petroleum reservoirs. Evaluation of oil and gas reservoirs in major water containing formations. Prerequisite: PEGN424. 3 hours lecture; 3 semester hours.

PEGN608. MULTIPHASE FLUID FLOW IN POROUS MEDIA. 3.0 Semester Hrs.

The factors involved in multiphase fluid flow in porous and fractured media. Physical processes and mathematical models for micro- and macroscopic movement of multiphase fluids in reservoirs. Performance evaluation of various displacement processes in the laboratory as well as in the petroleum field during the secondary and EOR/IOR operations. Prerequisite: PEGN 424, 3 hours lecture; 3 semester hours.

PEGN614. RESERVOIR SIMULATION II. 3.0 Semester Hrs.

The course reviews the rudiments of reservoir simulation and flow equations, solution methods, and data requirement. The course emphasizes multi-phase flow and solution techniques; teaches the difference between conventional reservoir simulation, compositional modeling and multi-porosity modeling; teaches how to construct three-phase relative permeability from water-oil and gas-oil relative permeability data set; the importance of capillary pressure measurements and wetability issues; discusses the significance of gas diffusion and interphase mass transfer. Finally, the course develops solution techniques to include time tested implicit-pressure-explicitsaturation, sequential and fully implicit methods. Prerequisite: PEGN513 or equivalent, strong reservoir engineering background, and basic computer programming knowledge. 3 credit hours. 3 hours of lecture per week.

PEGN619. GEOMECHANICALLY AND PHYSICOCHEMICALLY COUPLED FLUID FLOW IN POROUS MEDIA. 3.0 Semester Hrs.

The role of physic-chemisty and geomechanics on fluid flow in porous media will be included in addition to conventional fluid flow modeling and measurmeents in porous media. The conventional as well as unconventional reservoirs will be studied with the coupling of physicochemical effects and geomechanics stresses. Assignments will be given to expose the students to the real field data in interpretation and evaluation of filed cases to determine practical solutions to drilling and production related modeling challenges. 3 hours lecture; 3 semester hours.

PEGN620. NATURALLY FRACTURED RESERVOIRS — ENGINEERING AND RESERVOIR SIMULATION. 3.0 Semester Hrs.

The course covers reservoir engineering, well testing, and simulation aspects of naturally fractured reservoirs. Specifics include: fracture description, connectivity and network; fracture properties; physical principles underlying reservoir engineering and modeling naturally fractured reservoirs; local and global effects of viscous, capillary, gravity and molecular diffusion flow; dual-porosity/dual-permeability models; multi-scale fracture model; dual-mesh model; streamlin model; transient testing with non-Darcy flow effects; tracer injection and breakthrough analysis; geomechanics and fractures; compositional model; coal-bed gas model; oil and gas from fractured shale; improved and enhanced oil recovery in naturally fracture reservoirs. Prerequisite: PEGN513 or equivalent, strong reservoir engineering background, and basic computer programming knowledge. 3 hours lecture; 3 semester hours.

PEGN624. COMPOSITIONAL MODELING – APPLICATION TO ENHANCED OIL RECOVERY. 3.0 Semester Hrs.

Efficient production of rich and volatile oils as well as enhanced oil recovery by gas injection (lean and rich natural gas, CO2, N2, air, and steam) is of great interest in the light of greater demand for hydrocarbons and the need for CO2 sequestration. This course is intended to provide technical support for engineers dealing with such issues. The course begins with a review of the primary and secondary recovery methods, and will analyze the latest worldwide enhanced oil recovery production statistics. This will be followed by presenting a simple and practical solvent flooding model to introduce the student to data preparation and code writing. Next, fundamentals of phase behavior, ternary phase diagram, and the Peng-Robinson equation of state will be presented. Finally, a detailed set of flow and thermodynamic equations for a full-fledged compositional model, using molar balance, equation of motion and the afore-mentioned equation of state, will be developed and solution strategy will be presented. Prerequisite: PEGN513 or equivalent, strong reservoir engineering background, and basic computer programming knowledge. 3 hours lecture; 3 semester hours.

PEGN660. CARBONATE RESERVOIRS – EXPLORATION TO PRODUCTION. 3.0 Semester Hrs.

Equivalent with GEOL660,
(II) This course will include keynote lectures and seminars on the reservoir characterization of carbonate rocks, including geologic description, petrophysics and production engineering. Course will focus on the integration of geology, rock physics, and engineering to improve reservoir performance. Application of reservoir concepts in hands-on exercises, that include a reflection seismic, well log, and core data. 3 hours lecture; 3 semester hours.

PEGN681. PETROLEUM ENGINEERING SEMINAR. 3.0 Semester Hrs.

Comprehensive reviews of current petroleum engineering literature, ethics, and selected topics as related to research and professionalism. 3 hours seminar; 3 semester hour.

PEGN698. SPECIAL TOPICS IN PETROLEUM ENGINEERING. 6.0 Semester Hrs.

(I, II, S) Pilot course or special topics course. Topics chosen from special interests of instructor(s) and student(s). Usually the course is offered only once, but no more than twice for the same course content. Prerequisite: none. Variable credit: 0 to 6 credit hours. Repeatable for credit under different titles.

PEGN699. INDEPENDENT STUDY. 0.5-6 Semester Hr.

(I, II, S) Individual research or special problem projects supervised by a faculty member, also, when a student and instructor agree on a subject matter, content, and credit hours. Prerequisite: ?Independent Study? form must be completed and submitted to the Registrar. Variable credit: 0.5 to 6 credit hours. Repeatable for credit under different topics/experience and maximums vary by department. Contact the Department for credit limits toward the degree.

PEGN707. GRADUATE THESIS / DISSERTATION RESEARCH CREDIT. 1-15 Semester Hr.

(I, II, S) Research credit hours required for completion of a Masters-level thesis or Doctoral dissertation. Research must be carried out under the direct supervision of the student’s faculty advisor. Variable class and semester hours. Repeatable for credit.

SYGN683. ORAL COMMUNICATION SKILLS. 1.0 Semester Hr.

This course is designed for ME, MS and PhD students and focuses on designing and delivering technical presentations. Course assignments will be based on technical and non-technical material relating to earth, energy, and the environment and will include the topics of professionalism, ethics and diversity. Students will work individually and in multicultural teams on assignments. There are no prerequisites for this course, however, proficiency with the English language, both oral and written, is expected prior to enrollment.

SYGN684. WRITING SKILLS. 2.0 Semester Hrs.

This course is designed for MS and PhD students and will focus on the research process and the technical writing process. Course assignments will be based on technical and non-technical material relating to earth, energy, and the environment and will include the topics of professionalism, ethics and diversity. Students will work individually and in multicultural teams on assignments. There are no prerequisites for PEGN684, however, proficiency with the English language, both oral and written, is expected prior to enrollment.

 Colorado ResidentOut-of-State Student
Tuition**$16,650$37,350
Fees*$2,412$2,412
Room & Board$16,700$16,700
Books & Supplies$1,500$1,500
Misc. Expenses$1,800$1,800
Transportation$1,300$1,300
Total$40,362$61,062
**Cost per credit hour$925$2,075

*Allowance for fees based on mandatory fees charged to all students. Does not include fees for orientation, library, yearbook, refrigerator rental, voice messaging, ect.

At less than 4.5 credit hours, you may be ineligible for financial aid.

Linda Ann Battalora

Linda Ann Battalora

Rank - Teaching Professor

Email - lbattalo@mines.edu

Phone - 303-273-3903

Jim Crompton

Jim Crompton

Rank - Professor of Practice

Email - jamescrompton@mines.edu

Elio Dean

Elio Dean

Rank - Professor of Practice

Email - eldean@mines.edu

Phone - 303-384-2419

Mansur Ermila

Mansur Ermila

Rank - Teaching Associate Professor

Email - mermila@mines.edu

Phone - 303-384-2377

Alfred William (Bill) Eustes III

Alfred William (Bill) Eustes III

Rank - Research Faculty

Email - aeustes@mines.edu

Phone - 303-273-3745

William (Will) Fleckenstein

William (Will) Fleckenstein

Rank - PE Professor of Practice

Email - wflecken@mines.edu

Phone - 303-384-2030

Hossein Kazemi

Hossein Kazemi

Rank - Professor, Chesebro’ Distinguished Chair in Petroleum Engineering

Email - hkazemi@mines.edu

Phone - 303-384-2072

Mark G. Miller

Mark G. Miller

Rank - Teaching Associate Professor

Email - mmiller@mines.edu

Phone - 303-273-3187

Jennifer L. Miskimins

Jennifer L. Miskimins

Rank - Department Head

Email - jmiskimi@mines.edu

Phone - 303-384-2607

Erdal Ozkan

Erdal Ozkan

Rank - Professor

Email - eozkan@mines.edu

Phone - 303-273-3188

Malcom Pitts

Malcom Pitts

Rank - Research Faculty

Email - mpitts@mines.edu

Jorge Sampaio

Jorge Sampaio

Rank - Associate Professor

Email - jsampaio@mines.edu

Phone - 303-384-2370

Tadesse Weldu Teklu

Tadesse Weldu Teklu

Rank - Research Assistant Professor

Email - tteklu@mines.edu

Phone - 303-273-3966

Philip H. Winterfeld

Philip H. Winterfeld

Rank - Research Associate Professor

Email - pwinterf@mines.edu

Phone - 303-384-2366

Yu-Shu Wu

Yu-Shu Wu

Rank - Professor

Email - ywu@mines.edu

Phone - 303-384-2093

Xiaolong Yin

Xiaolong Yin

Rank - Associate Department Head Associate Professor

Email - xyin@mines.edu

Phone - 303-384-2449

Luis E. Zerpa

Luis E. Zerpa

Rank - Associate Professor

Email - lzerpa@mines.edu

Phone - 303-384-2627

Student Testimonial

Bianca Levy Sgroi Geranutti
After visiting Mines in 2015 as an exchange student, I knew I wanted to come back to complete my master’s degree. There are very experienced professors in terms of fieldwork and I feel very supported here as a student

Bianca Levy Sgroi Geranutti
Graduate Student, Petroleum Engineering

Career Outcomes

  • Acquisitions and Divestitures Engineer
  • Analyst
  • Application Engineer
  • Certification Engineer
  • Chemical Engineer
  • Commissioning Engineer
  • Completions and Production Engineer
  • Design Engineer
  • Drilling Engineer
  • Exploration Engineer
  • Field Engineer
  • Gas Engineer
  • Gas Pipeline Integrity Reliability Specialist
  • Gas Processing Engineer
  • Gas Risk Engineer
  • Geologist
  • Geosciences Engineer
  • Geotechnical Engineer
  • Geothermal Engineer
  • Hydraulics and Pipeline Systems Engineer
  • Hydrogeologist
  • Instrument Engineer
  • Integration Engineer
  • Interdisciplinary Engineer
  • Midstream Facility Engineer
  • Natural Gas Engineer
  • Oil Drilling Engineer
  • Oil Exploration Engineer
  • Oil Well Engineer
  • Petroleum Engineer
  • Petroleum Reservoir Engineer
  • Planning Engineer
  • Plant Process Engineer
  • Process Engineer
  • Production Engineer
  • Professor
  • Project Engineer
  • Research Engineer
  • Reservoir Engineer
  • Simulation Engineer
  • Systems Design Engineer
  • Systems Engineer
  • Technical Analyst
  • Well Engineer
  • Well Planner
  • Well Testing Engineer
  • Aera Energy
  • Anadarko
  • Antero Resources
  • Aramco
  • Baker Hughes
  • Bonanza Creek Energy
  • BHP
  • bp
  • Bureau of Land Management
  • Caliber Midstream
  • California Resources Corporation
  • Callon Petroleum Company
  • Campos EPC
  • Chevron
  • Cimarex Energy
  • ConocoPhillips
  • Crestwood Midstream Partners
  • DCP Midstream
  • Enable Midstream Partners
  • EnLink Midstream
  • EOG Resources
  • ExxonMobil
  • Halliburton
  • Hess Corporation
  • Kahuna
  • Kiewit
  • Kinder Morgan
  • Liberty Oilfield Services
  • Marathon
  • Meritage Midstream
  • Neptune Energy
  • NexTier Oilfielt Solutions
  • Noble Midstream Partners
  • Occidental Petroleum
  • Ovintiv (formerly Encana Corporation)
  • PBF Energy
  • PDC Energy
  • Petronas
  • Phillips 66
  • Rio Tinto
  • S&P Global Platts
  • Sakhalin Energy
  • Schlumberger
  • Sempra LNG
  • Shell
  • Suncor
  • Tallgrass Energy
  • Total
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • U.S. Geological Survey
  • Venture Global LNG
  • Western Midstream
  • Williams Companies

Mines Career Center

The Mines Career Center helps students chart their career paths and prepare for job searches, holds networking events and brings hundreds of employers to campus, among a host of other services.

Scientific Journals

Research and Trade Publications

Professional and Industry Organizations

The oil and gas industry’s challenges aside, if you have a job as a petroleum engineer, chances are you are being paid well.

Indeed.com reports that petroleum engineer was the highest-paying engineering job in the U.S. in 2020, with an average annual salary of $94,271.

PayScale pegged the average petroleum engineer salary even higher, at $101,575 per year. Meanwhile, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for petroleum engineers was $137,720 per year in May 2019.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the majority of petroleum engineer jobs in the U.S. as of 2019—18,720—are located in Texas, according to the BLS. Salaries are on the higher end there, at an average of $172,890. California is a distant second with 2,440 petroleum engineer jobs, followed by Oklahoma, Colorado and Louisiana.

The top-paying states, on the other hand, may not be what you expected. Indiana was at the top, with an average annual wage of $198,170, followed by New Jersey, with $183,550. Texas, Colorado and Alaska round out the top five.

Chicago, not exactly thought of as an industry hotspot, was the highest-paying metropolitan area for petroleum engineers. Texas took the next three spots with Houston, Beaumont-Port Arthur and Wichita Falls, followed by Denver (just 15 minutes away from Colorado School of Mines, in Golden, Colorado).

Through 2019, petroleum engineer salaries were on an upward trend. The Society of Petroleum Engineers’ membership salary survey found that base pay increased an average of 29.1% in the U.S. from the previous year. Salaries in 2018 were also up from 2017.

Prior to the pandemic, the BLS had predicted a 3 percent increase in jobs from 2019 to 2029—about as fast as the average for all jobs. There were 33,400 petroleum engineer jobs in 2019.

While a bachelor’s degree is sufficient to enter the industry, an advanced degree does provide an earnings advantage.

In 2018-19, Mines students who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in petroleum engineering received an average salary offer of $87,853. Master’s graduates that year received an average offer of $128,333, a $40,480 premium.

Salaries will likely only increase when the industry recovers from the pandemic. According to OilPrice.com, “the current crisis and the tens of thousands of layoffs every month since March are setting the stage for a massive talent shortage in just a few short years.”

“When the industry enters the next boom cycle, it may not need all these jobs—some of them could be eliminated due to greater efficiency and automation. But while it might not need all those employees, it will need many,” the article continues.

This labor shortage means companies will compete for the best engineers available, and offer even more incentives for employees with the background to help the industry overcome its unique challenges.

Tom Blasingame, incoming 2021 president of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, said the industry will have plenty to offer current college students, in an interview with the Journal of Petroleum Technology published in September 2020.

“Enrollments are shifting and have been for a while, but my crystal ball says that in the 2022–2024 time frame we will face a significant workforce shortage,” he said. “It is reasonable to expect that, at present, enrollments will suffer, but ultimately we will be a (very) attractive destination for the rugged individualist who likes to get up early in the morning and change the world.”

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