Resource Guide for Pennsylvania State University Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering Students By: William McDonnell Table of Contents



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Resource Guide for Pennsylvania State University

Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering Students



By: William McDonnell

Table of Contents

  1. Preface

    1. Contents/Scope 3

    2. Audience/Purpose 3

    3. Guide Assumptions 4

    4. Organization 4

    5. Tips for Use 4

  2. General Sources

    1. Engineering Village 5

    2. Catalog of US Government Publications 6

    3. Statistical Abstract of the United States 7

  3. Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering specific Resources

    1. Journal of Petroleum Technology 8

    2. Energy Information Administration 9

    3. One Petro____ 10

  4. Professional Resources

    1. Society of Petroleum Engineers 11

    2. Penn State E-Career 12

  5. Closing Remarks and References 13

Preface

Contents/Scope

This research guide for petroleum and natural gas engineering students at Penn State contains pertinent information on conducting research, as well as professional related topics, such as job seeking. Some research projects and job searches can seem daunting at first, and this guide is focused on helping organize your search process to help you identify where to look for sources, and what sources to look for. It provides descriptions of various useful resources, both general and pertaining specifically to petroleum engineers. These descriptions provide general details of the given resource in abstract form, and also provide specific details on how to navigate the different publications and other sources provided.

Some resources are complicated and have many different search options. This guide helps identify the best ways to utilize the resources provided, buy specifying which search tools to use in certain situations, and by providing helpful hints on how to narrow or broaden your search based on certain criteria. These tips are meant to help you find the most effective sources to complete your search as efficiently as possible. Sometimes the most difficult thing in creating a research paper, is finding the sources in the first place.

Audience/Purpose

This guide is intended to help aid Penn State undergraduate and graduate level engineering students studying petroleum and natural gas engineering. Although its main focus is petroleum engineering, the guide can also be useful to other technical fields of study that pertain to petroleum and natural gas engineering, such as mechanical engineering, energy business and finance, or other earth science related majors. It can also be used by students studying these topics at other universities. Some of the technical resources covered are quite broad in scope, and can lend themselves to other scientific topics. As long as you have a firm technical background, you will find this guide quite useful. While this guide is mainly intended for students, it can also be useful to young professionals conducting work related research or hoping to better themselves as a professional, as many of the resources provide access to key information about the petroleum and natural gas industry. High school students and freshman in college may have trouble using this guide as the resources it refers to contain information that may be difficult for them to comprehend.



Guide Assumptions

This guide was created with the assumptions that you have a general understanding of the technical topics regarding petroleum and natural gas engineering and key industry themes. This guide also assumes that you have access to these resources, whether through university or their affiliated institution. Along with access, you should have a general understanding of how to navigate a computer and the internet, as far as being able to browse through certain links and website structures. You should also have an adequate background in conducting basic research.



Organization

The guide is laid out very simply and is consistent in format. The table of contents details the different sections and the resources provided in these sections. The page numbers are also specified on this page. The resource sections are split up into general resources, resources specifically for petroleum engineers, and professional related resources. Each resource provides the link to the website, an abstract giving a general overview of the resource, and some additional details and helpful tips on how to effectively use the resource.



Tips for Use

To better utilize this guide, it is recommended that you first organize how they will conduct their research. They should define what sort of information they are looking for and how they are going to utilize it. Once they know that, they can look through the guide to find the sections most relevant to their situation. The abstracts will give you a general idea of what the resource can provide while the details and tips can help specify how to conduct your search. Pay clear attention to the details provided as they are very helpful in narrowing your search and making your research time more productive.



Index to Periodical Literature: Engineering Village (Compendex)

URL: http://www.engineeringvillage.com.ezaccess.libraries.psu.edu/search/quick.url



Abstract

One of the broadest and most useful search engines for any type of engineer is Compendex. It is a very effective index, as it has access to over 17 million publications for thousands of different engineering related topics, dating back to 1898. The main platform, “Quick Search”, provides the option to search for three topics at once. You are also able to specify whether you want to search by subject, title, author, abstract, etc. in order to narrow your search. You can also limit the search by document types (journal article, report, conference article) and treatment types (experimental vs. general review). Once you conduct the initial search you can narrow your search by adding a term, selecting a specific author, or changing any of the original search specifications. This is helpful as you do not have to return to the main search page to change the search criteria. The way the index compiles the different sources is also very unique. Just in the preview you can see a bibliography, as well as hyperlinks to the abstract, preview, full text, and PSU library listings. So many different types of publications and resources are available, which makes almost any topic relating to petroleum engineering possible to find. Some of these resources include “Petroleum and Science Technology” and “Applied Mechanics and Materials”. You can also find references to specific fluid properties, or mechanical designs, that they would not be able to find on a search engine specific to petroleum engineering. This is a great place to start research projects as it has such a broad base of knowledge.



Tips

  • Utilize the drop down bar once you begin to type in the search bar. It provides relevant topics and terms for your intended search.

  • The “save search” feature is very helpful in keeping track of past searches and certain articles

  • Read the abstract before downloading the full text so you can make sure the publication is what you are looking for before you waste any time.

  • Filter your search as much as possible, as some searches return hundreds of thousands of results.

  • Check your “Settings” tab occasionally to make sure that there is nothing out of tune, as these can have a negative impact on your searches.

Catalog of US Government Publications

URL: http://catalog.gpo.gov/F?RN=231569122



Abstract

This Specific catalog gives you access to search through over 500,000 US government publications (both online and print) in various fields. The site can be thought of as a database for all US government publications records. There are five different search methods; “basic search”, “advanced search”, “expert search”, “browse” and “New Titles”. Each of these has different advantages in terms of the scope and depth of your search. With such a wide array of publications and so many different methods for searching on this site, it can seem a bit confusing at first. However, there is a “Help” tab on the far right side of the top menu. This tab provides a detailed description of how to use the different aspects of the search engine to better suit your needs. This section is also very well organized as it has hyperlinks at the top to help navigate throughout the sections. With simple search of “petroleum engineering”, we receive over 200 results for government documents pertaining to this subject. These documents give great insight to different government agencies reports and statistics on various petroleum engineering related topics and events.

When searching “petroleum engineering”, an interesting article towards the top of the search list was “BP’s Atlantis oil and gas production platform: an investigation of allegations that operations personnel did not have access to engineer-approved drawings.”, published by the United States Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement Investigations. This article gives key insight into details of the BP oil spill. It details documentation errors on behalf of BP in regulating their outsourced production facility. Documents like this are important when considering organization of key design criteria or other facility related information. As petroleum engineers, one must know the importance of complete, thorough, and organized documentation. Especially in this case, as it ended up costing BP about $50 billion dollars.

Tips


  • Do not be afraid to use the help section. It provides very valuable information and details on how to conduct specific searches. It can really help you narrow down what you’re looking for.

  • Beginners should stick to the “Basic” search function. If you format your search correctly you should not have any problem finding the information you require. “Browse” is also helpful.

  • The Bookshelf feature is very helpful in keeping track of all your sources and records viewed.

Citation for Catalog Record:

"BP’s Atlantis Oil and Gas Production Platform [electronic Resource] : An Investigation of Allegations That Operations Personnel Did Not Have Access to Engineer-approved Drawings." U.S. Dept. of the Interior, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, Investigations and Review Unit 0671-C (online).I 72.2:AT 6/2 (2011): 1-48. U.S. Dept. of the Interior, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement. Web. .



Statistical Abstract of the United States

URL: http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/



Abstract

The US Statistical Abstract is a yearly publication which condenses thousands of statistical publications from different organizations across the US government. Dating from 1878 through 2012, it provides details on data in regards to politics, economics, and industry. You can browse through yearly publications, or use the search bar to search through all publications for a specific topic. There is an advanced search, but it does not allow you to narrow down a search by much except the file type (pdf, word, etc.). Although the information is more facts and figures than technical machinery or reservoir analysis, it is still useful when analyzing business patterns or production results for certain time periods or locations. One of the best resources provided is their data on business performance. The abstracts here give details about quarterly crude oil production, refined products, and profits. This information can be helpful in backing up certain technologies or methods by supporting the effects for certain companies. The Census Bureau is known for their wide ranging and thorough research, so it can be assured that their data is almost always accurate and unbiased.

The topic section provides various sub-topics based on two digit codes, and these topics have further sub-topics based on codes reaching to six digits. For example the Business topic provides data for various sectors including construction, government, and mining. Under these sections are sub-topics with different 3 digit codes, and the oil and gas extraction code is 211, under the mining section. This sub-topic also has sub-topics ranging up to six digit codes, such as “crude petroleum and natural gas extraction” 211111. This then gives you various sources and their descriptions, as well as how often the abstract is updated and when it was last updated. Before clicking on the source you can hover their mouse over the question mark logo and get a short description of the sources data. If you click on the source you can also read an abstract and see example documents to gauge the source’s usefulness.

Tips


  • I would stick to the 211 industry digit or “Oil and gas extraction” as it is broad yet specific to petroleum engineers. It gives access to 9 different sources pertaining to the specific field.

  • The “Quarterly Financial Report” is specifically useful when looking at results for different types of companies and comparing the two.

  • “Statistics of US Businesses” is also helpful for looking at industry growth based on employment numbers and payroll.

  • Many abstracts have helpful graphs of other visual aids available. Simply type “graph” after your search topic to include these in your results.

Journal of Petroleum Technology (JPT)

URL(to journal’s website): http://www.spe.org



Abstract

The Journal of Petroleum Technology highlights new technologies, key industry topics, and important economic developments for members of the Society for Petroleum Engineers (SPE). This journal keeps students and professionals in the energy or petroleum industry up to date on current events and technological advancements pertaining to exploration and production. It contains articles from professional writers with industry experience, as well as interviews and articles from industry professionals. To get access to this journal (online), you must first become a member of the SPE, which is very beneficial as the society also opens up access to many other helpful resources. To receive a print version, you must subscribe, which cost about $20 per year for students. The Journal’s website is laid out very well and is quite easy to navigate. The home page features headline stories about the industry, and key stories with a technology focus. The “Issues” tab provides .pdf versions of the print journals, dating back to 1997. You can select an issue from any month throughout those years and read through the different articles and headlines. It is very interesting to see the titles pages of earlier versions versus the title pages now, as the different technologies and current events focused on change dramatically. While articles currently focus on shale production and falling gas prices, articles from several years ago focus on “going green” and rising gas prices. Another helpful portion of this journal’s website is the “Technical Papers” tab, as it provides very in depth and well done professional papers completed in the recent months.



Tips

  • One drawback of the journal’s website is that it does not have a very effective search tab. So make sure you know what you are looking for and be prepared to look through a few issues or scan through a few papers before finding what you need.

  • Save the pdf versions of useful issues. This way you can access them without having to look for them again and downloading them.

  • Subscribe to the journal. It has some great articles and reading a hard copy is always a nice change of pace from staring at a computer screen.

  • Read articles not just pertaining to the technical aspect of your research. The economic and industrial aspect plays a key role in how technology impacts the world, and it gives you a better understanding of the larger role your research plays. This journal is particularly good for that.

Energy Information Administration (EIA)

URL: www.eia.gov



Abstract

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) is one of the US government’s programs for energy related topics. The website provides weekly reports for the various energy markets, such as petroleum, natural gas, coal, and renewables. It also provides various data, such as storage levels, price trends, residential area consumption, dating back to . One section entitled “This Week in Petroleum”, details a general analysis of the crude oil market and provides pricing information on US gasoline. It also has various sections on other crude oil products such as propane and distillates. Another huge aspect of the website is its access to the thousands of government reports about the energy industry. Under the “Models and Documentation” category, there is direct access to various archives about energy market models, monthly refinery outputs, and other technical documents. This gives you pertinent information about the logistics and economics of the energy industry. Information like this can be used to support and elaborate upon technical topics from a business perspective.



Tips

  • The natural gas and petroleum storage reports are helpful for looking at production and storage trends throughout the past several decades.

    • When looking at these pages, focus on columns such as “net change” or “%change versus 5 year average”.

  • Every year the administration produces a “Petroleum Market Model”. This details global production levels, supply chains, and general analysis about the year’s crude oil production and distribution.

  • Under the “Geography” section and “Maps” tab there are unique animations and field maps that detail production locations, production volume, and distribution lines for certain regions.

    • One particularly interesting one is the “Eagle Ford shale drilling and production”

  • The Index page (which can be found at the bottom of each page) is very helpful when searching for articles or reports relating to certain topics or terms.

One Petro

URL: https://www-onepetro-org.ezaccess.libraries.psu.edu/



Abstract

One Petro is a website containing a database of many different indexes about oil and gas production. The site has 18 publishing partners, including the American Petroleum Institute and the Society of Petroleum Engineers. It also has access to over 160,000 publications, dating back to 1885. The main search page is simple. You can enter a search term, choose whether it is peer reviewed, and choose the date range. It also shows a list of most recent and most downloaded publications. An advanced search allows you to search by author, specific journal, or institution. This search index is structured mostly around technical based documents, specifically in the upstream section of petroleum and natural gas engineering. It provides technical answers to many questions or research topics for the most important aspect of the industry.



Tips

  • The “Journals” section can help you with broad access and depth into a specific topic if you need to narrow your focus.

  • The Conference proceedings also have great papers structured around specific subjects based on the type of conference.

  • The “Search syntax help” gives good advice on how to narrow and optimize your search.

  • You can search within specific journals and conferences by filtering your results.

  • Sort your results by “highest rated”. This ensures that other users have found the publication helpful also.

  • Some of the publications have to be purchased. Make sure to read the abstract thoroughly before purchasing to make sure it is what you are looking for.

Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE)

URL: http://www.spe.org



Abstract

The Society of Petroleum Engineers is a free and easy to join society for students and professionals interested in the petroleum industry. It is the largest worldwide member organization in the oil and gas industry. Not only does the website for this society provide important access to info on new technologies, but also contains thousands variety of peer-reviewed publications, dating back to the 1920’s. It also provides access to databases, technical reports, and online education and training. If interested in getting involved in the SPE community, you can find information about important events and conferences for the various segments of the oil and gas industry. Signing up is as simple as going to spe.org, and filling out a quick survey. Once signed up the website is rather self-explanatory and easy to navigate. One of the most useful tabs is the “Publications” tab. It provides peer-reviewed journals written and edited by the SPE on various topics in the upstream oil and gas industry; such as, “Drilling and Completion”, “Production and Operations”, and even business related topics like “Economics Management”. This tab also provides access to various magazines, an online bookstore, technical papers, and technical reports. Another useful tab is the “Resources tab” this provides access to many different databases and online libraries. This is helpful to people who are looking to access petroleum engineering specific search engines. One of the last and most unique aspects of this website is the “Training” tab. It provides SPE members with the ability to take online courses, search through other course catalogs, and even to attend webinars hosted by the society. This is a very special opportunity for petroleum engineers to tap into educational benefits that are not easily available on other platforms.



Tips

  • Subscribe to the society. It is free and makes navigating the website and gaining access to its various resources much easier.

  • Read through some of the headline articles. Even though they may not seem to have pertinent information. They give you good general knowledge of the industry, and can help point you in the right direction.

  • Browse the online bookstore. You don’t have to buy the book, but you can check if it is in a local library. Books are not used as often, but are still very valuable resources when used correctly.

  • Order one of the magazines. They have great articles and it is a good way to keep up to date on the industry’s current events.

Pennsylvania State University Career Services Management System (Ecareer)

URL: https://eng-psu-csm.symplicity.com/students/



Abstract

One of Penn State’s greatest aspects is its career resources, and The College of Earth and Mineral Sciences and the College of Engineering provide excellent access to job opportunities through their Ecareer website. The website provides access to almost one thousand job postings and company events across various industries specific to engineering majors. It even includes companies that do not attend the Penn State career fairs. You can create a personal profile to add your education and contact info, and upload resumes and transcripts under the “Documents” tab to be professionally reviewed by the career resources staff. Students can search for jobs under the “Jobs” tab and filter results based on their major, grade year, industry, or position type. Petroleum engineering students can narrow their job search down to jobs they specifically qualify for instead of wasting their time searching through jobs in other industries that do not interest them. The links to the job pages provide custom descriptions tailored towards Penn State students. You can sift through the information, which is well organized in consistent format, see if the job is a good fit for them, and simply upload their resume or cover letter and click “apply”.

The website is a great way to organize all of your job applications and your career search. There is a calendar tab, which allows you to add information for certain companies you are interested in. If a student is offered an interview by a company on the website, it automatically uploads the interview time and location to add to your calendar. On the home page you can keep track of all the companies you have applied to and requested interviews for. The home page also provides recommended job postings specifically tailored towards your profile and past interviews. Searching for a summer job or Co-op can be hectic, and there is no better way to help organize and spur your job search than using Penn State’s Ecareer.

Tips


  • Upload multiple resumes tailored towards specific types of jobs and or specific industries. The more specific a resume is, the more likely you will be to get an interview.

  • Use the advanced search option to narrow down searches related to your major and desired industry, but do not use the “interviews only” option. All applications offer interviews if you qualify, but those ones schedule them exclusively through the website.

  • Apply to as many jobs as you have time for. The more you apply to, the better chance you have of getting an interview. It is so easy to apply, and only takes 15 seconds for some applications.

  • Go to the career resources department and get help building your resume, preparing for the career fair, and practicing interviewing. It’s little things like this that go a long way.

Closing Remarks

The resources described in this guide provide a solid overview of how to utilize the internet during college for petroleum engineering majors at Penn State. It gives many helpful resources and describes there uses, content, relevance, and helpful tips to use them more efficiently. This guide will be able to assist students in completing research papers, conducting job searches, and other various technical pursuits while at school and beyond. While this guide is helpful getting people started in the right direction for research and other academic or professional pursuits, there are hundreds of other websites and indexes just as helpful, and one shouldn’t be limited to using only a handful of different resources.



Resources

Catalog of US Government Publications

URL: http://catalog.gpo.gov/F?RN=2315691222



Index to Periodical Literature: Engineering Village (Compendex)

URL: http://www.engineeringvillage.com.ezaccess.libraries.psu.edu/search/quick.url



Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE)

URL: http://www.spe.org



Journal of Petroleum Technology (JPT)

URL(to journal’s website): http://www.spe.org/jpt/



Energy Information Administration (EIA)

URL: https://www.eia.gov



One Petro

URL: https://www-onepetro-org.ezaccess.libraries.psu.edu/



Pennsylvania State University Career Services Management System (Ecareer)

URL: https://eng-psu-csm.symplicity.com/students/



Statistical Abstract of the United States

URL: http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/


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