Revisiting Petroleum Engineering Curriculum: Adaptation to Energy Landscape

Emad W. Al-Shalabi, Manish N. Srivastava, Arash D. Taleghani, Iraj Ershaghi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


With the flux of changes in major conventional oil and gas companies to become energy companies and the observed decline in student enrollment in petroleum engineering (PTE) programs around the world, there is a need to revisit PTE programs and their content. This manuscript discusses potential directions and steps that can be considered by current PTE programs to adapt to the new energy landscape. This study tries to highlight the pros and cons of expanding PTE programs to include other energy resources, the need to add new courses or adjust current course contents with new topics, repurposing or readjusting existing skills for renewables in meeting future energy requirements, and future of job market. We also discuss the role of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) in preparing students for a more competitive job market such as the challenges faced with applying AI/ML to a PTE program. In brief, the energy transition does not mean leaving oil and gas behind. Petroleum engineering discipline will last for decades to come as soon fossil fuels remain the most economical and reliable energy resource and even beyond that depending on other energy resources of the same nature. However, petroleum technical and non-technical skills may fit into future low-emissions technology through slight upskilling and reskilling. Despite the current shifts in the industry, we anticipate that petroleum engineering as a major remains relevant and important for the energy sector, because of the unique expertise and technologies developed over the years. This paper can be used as a guide for PTE programs for revisiting and rebranding their curricula during and beyond the energy transition area.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSociety of Petroleum Engineers - ADIPEC, ADIP 2023
PublisherSociety of Petroleum Engineers
ISBN (Electronic)9781959025078
StatePublished - 2023
Event2023 Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference, ADIP 2023 - Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Duration: Oct 2 2023Oct 5 2023

Publication series

NameSociety of Petroleum Engineers - ADIPEC, ADIP 2023


Conference2023 Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference, ADIP 2023
Country/TerritoryUnited Arab Emirates
CityAbu Dhabi

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Fuel Technology

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