Petroleum Engineering


This curricular unit has as main objective to provide advanced training in Petroleum Engineering, related to the exploration and production of hydrocarbons, which can be oil or natural gas. This discipline involves the study and analysis of geology, geophysics and engineering data to predict the maximum recovery of hydrocarbons present in hydrocarbon reservoirs, as well as the respective production rates in oil extraction fields. Petroleum engineering topics include oil well completion and drilling engineering, oil production and optimization engineering, reservoir management engineering, and sustainable development of oil fields. At the end of this course unit the student will have acquired knowledge, skills and competences that allow him/her to:

- Understand in a basic way the equipment and systems of oil engineering, how they work, their relative advantages and disadvantages that help in the choice between alternatives for a specific set of conditions, and a better understanding of terminology so that those with a general knowledge can interact more effectively with experts in each of the different subspecialties.

- Understand the fundamental concepts of reservoir engineering as well as the properties of rocks and fluids.

- Be able to model and simulate in a simple way the behaviour of an oil reservoir based on the acquisition and interpretation of data that describe the properties of rocks and fluids of the reservoir and gas;

- Be able to dimension in a simple way the basic units of oil and gas processing.

- Be able to perform reserve estimation and project economics calculations.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

José Paulo Barbosa Mota


Weekly - 4

Total - 5

Teaching language





PetroWiki @

Fanchi, J.R. (ed.), General Engineering, in Petroleum Engineering Handbook, Vol. 1, L.W. Lake (ed)., SPE, 2006.

Mitchell, R.F. (ed.), Drilling engineering, in Petroleum Engineering Handbook, Vol. 2, L.W. Lake (ed)., SPE, 2006.

Arnold, K.E. (ed.), Facilities and Construction Engineering, in Petroleum Engineering Handbook, Vol. 3, L.W. Lake (ed)., SPE, 2006.

Clegg, J.D. (ed.), Production Operations Engineering, in Petroleum Engineering Handbook, Vol. 4, L.W. Lake (ed)., SPE, 2006.

Holstein, E.D. (ed.), Reservoir Engineering and Petrophysics, in Petroleum Engineering Handbook, Vol. 5, L.W. Lake (ed)., SPE, 2006.

Warner Jr., H.R. (ed.), Emerging and Peripheral Technologies, in Petroleum Engineering Handbook, Vol. 6, L.W. Lake (ed)., SPE, 2006.

Fanchi, J.R., Principles of Applied Reservoir Simulation, 2nd Ed., Gulf Professional Publishing, Elsevier (USA), 2001.

Teaching method

The theoretical subject is taught in theoretical classes in the usual format where the theoretical principles of Petroleum Engineering are taught, with the participation of guest speakers who are experts in various areas of Petroleum Engineering. The theoretical-practical classes aim to consolidate the knowledge acquired in the theoretical classes by its application to the resolution of concrete problems and some of the classes involve the use of specific software for reservoir simulation.

The evaluation has 3 components:

A - Theoretical test;

B - Practical work of reservoir simulation;

C - Preparation of a monograph on an oil engineering topic;

FINAL GRADE = 0.5 * A + 0.25 * B + 0.25 * C

Evaluation method

The evaluation has 3 components:

A - Theoretical test;

B - Practical work of reservoir simulation;

C - Preparation of a monograph on an oil engineering topic;

FINAL GRADE = 0.5 * A + 0.25 * B + 0.25 * C

Subject matter

Fluid Properties

Fluid sampling techniques; properties and correlations of oil, gas, condensate and water; hydrocarbon phase behavior and phase diagrams for hydrocarbon systems; phase behavior of water/hydrocarbon systems. Properties of waxes, asphaltenes and emulsions of crude oil.

Rock properties and rock/fluid interactions. Global rock properties, porosity, elastic rock properties, rock failure ratios.

Measurement techniques and single-phase permeability models. Properties that describe the interaction between rocks and fluids, mainly relative permeability and capillary pressure. 

Drilling engineering

Drilling fluids. Drills. Well control. Wellhead systems. Well lining. Directed drilling. Well cementation.

Oil and gas processing

Oil and gas separators. Emulsion treatment. Gas treatment and processing. Pipelines and pipelines.

Production Operations Engineering

Assembly and completion of oil wells, formation and damage stimulation, artificial elevation. Sand control. Damage Formation. Hydraulic fracturing. Artificial lifting systems.

Reservoir Engineering and Petrophysics

Acquisition and interpretation of data describing reservoir rock and fluid properties; Measurement, interpretation and prediction of reservoir fluid flow; interpretation of well performance measurements; calculation of factors affecting primary and secondary recovery mechanisms of oil and gas reservoirs; estimation of reserves and calculation of project savings; reservoir performance simulation; structuring and measuring the effectiveness of a reservoir management system.

Emerging and peripheral technologies

Enhanced oil recovery. Hydrates. Shale Gas. Methane from coal deposits.


Programs where the course is taught: