2015-2016 Catalog

Petroleum Engineering (PtrE)

Gosnold (Interim Chair), Johnson, Ling, Ostadhassan and Jabbari

The goal of the Petroleum Engineering department is to educate undergraduate students so they will be prepared to compete for challenging entry-level positions in the petroleum industry and government agencies. Entry level petroleum engineers are involved in a diverse range of jobs that include: exploration for oil and gas-containing formations and reservoirs; characterization of reservoirs and fluids; design of equipment and processes to optimize recovery; drilling and completions; computer modeling and simulation for production optimization and field management, recovery development; and monitoring of production and processing. In addition to these upstream activities, petroleum engineers are also involved in downstream activities such as refining, petro-chemical production, and transportation of products as well as geosciences, environmental efforts, and international commerce. Petroleum engineers are trained to ensure that all operations are safe and environmentally healthy.

The UND petroleum engineering program emphasizes the development of technical problem solving skills through a fundamental understanding of geology, chemistry, physics, and engineering. The fundamentals and problem solving skills are combined with a strong background in ethics, safety, economics, information technology, leadership, management, and communication. The Petroleum Engineering degree is designed to provide students with a systematic understanding of the petroleum industry that includes: science and technology; economics and business; policy and regulation; and society and behavior. Students will develop the skills to contribute to petroleum exploration, production/injection, property management and project optimization, and will demonstrate integrity, responsibility, ownership, and accountability for their work.

To meet the goals of the program, the following program educational objectives have been established.

The undergraduate Program Educational Objectives (PEO) are the expected accomplishments of graduates during their first few years following graduation. The PEOs of the Department of Petroleum Engineering (PTRE) as adopted by the PTRE faculty and Industry Advisor Board are as follows:

  1. Contribute as engineering professionals in industry, including government or academia;
  2. Pursue continued education and professional development through participation in professional organizations, training and possible post graduate education;
  3. Progression or attainment of professional registration and licensure.

The core of the program is a strong technical curriculum, whereby the fundamentals of geology, physical sciences, mathematics, and petroleum engineering are learned. This core is complemented by general courses in other engineering and technical disciplines to help prepare the students for professional registration or other future careers. Twelve credits of the required technical courses are electives, which provide each student the opportunity to tailor the program to his/her individual interests such as petroleum geology, fuel technology, refining, entrepreneurship, etc. Other prescribed courses include topics such as economics, statistics and professional integrity. The program also gives students a chance to become proficient in computer skills, database management, oral and written communication, and team work. The undergraduate program culminates in a senior design course in which the students bring together all they have learned as they work in teams on a design and evaluation project.

UND’s Petroleum Engineering program is scheduled to pursue accreditation by the Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC) of the ABET. Practical, hands-on experience is gained in laboratories distributed throughout the undergraduate program. Laboratory experiments form a significant part of each student’s learning beginning immediately in first year chemistry and continuing throughout the curriculum. In addition to university experiences, which include opportunities to conduct research, students are encouraged to spend time working in the engineering profession via summer internships or cooperative education.

Besides the technical education embodied in the program, there is a strong required general education component with a focus on thinking and reasoning in a diverse society. This is included to round out the individual’s university experience and help prepare for a full life, not just a career. There are also many extracurricular activities available (including professional societies, honor societies, sports and clubs) to enhance the enjoyment of the time spent at UND and to develop important friendships and leadership and team building skills.

One of the main characteristics of this department, which distinguishes it from most other petroleum engineering programs around the country, is the commitment to building a strong rapport between the students and faculty. We are able to maintain close interaction because of the relatively small class sizes, and because all faculty members are committed to helping all students do their best and succeed. The interaction between faculty and students occurs formally in the classrooms and through the advising process, but it also frequently arises informally because all faculty maintain an open door policy. It all adds up to an environment that fosters mutual respect and maximizes learning.

College of Engineering and Mines


B.S. in Petroleum Engineering

Required 131 credits (36 of which must be numbered 300 or above and 60 of which must be from a 4-year institution) including:

I. Essential Studies Requirements (see University ES listing).

II. The Following Curriculum:

All students must meet each semester with their academic advisor.

Freshman Year
GEOE 203
  & 203L
Earth Dynamics
   and Earth Dynamics Laboratory
MATH 165Calculus I 4
ENGR 200Computer Applications in Engineering 2
ENGL 110College Composition I (Essential Studies) 3
CHEM 121
  & 121L
General Chemistry I
   and General Chemistry I Laboratory (ES=Q)
MATH 166Calculus II 4
PHYS 251
  & PHYS 251L
University Physics I
PTRE 201Introduction to Petroleum Engineering 3
Arts & Humanities Elective (ES=G or U)  3
GEOE 301Petrophysics 3
Sophomore Year
CHEM 122
  & 122L
General Chemistry II
   and General Chemistry II Laboratory
MATH 265Calculus III 4
PHYS 252
  & PHYS 252L
University Physics II
ENGR 201Statics 3
ME 341Thermodynamics 3
PTRE 311Petroleum Fluid Properties 3
PTRE 361Petroleum Engineering Laboratory I 2
MATH 266Elementary Differential Equations 3
ME 306Fluid Mechanics 3
ENGR 203Mechanics of Materials 3
ENGL 130Composition II: Writing for Public Audiences 3
Junior Year
PTRE 401Well Logging 3
PTRE 431Reservoir Engineering 3
GEOL 520
   or MATH 321
   or CHE 315
Statistical Applications in Geology
   or Applied Statistical Methods
   or Statistics and Numerical Methods in Engineering
Geology Elective  3
Arts & Humanities Elective (ES=G or U)  3
Apply for Professional Degree Program  
CHE 340Professional Integrity in Engineering (ES=SS) 3
Technical Elective  3
Geology Elective  3
Social Science Elective (ES=G or U)  3
PTRE 411Drilling Engineering 3
GEOL 356Geoscience Lectures (ES=O) *1
Senior Year
PTRE 484Senior Design I (ES=A and C) 3
GEOL 421Seminar I (ES=O) *1
GEOE 455Geomechanics 3
PTRE 421Production Engineering 3
Technical Elective  3
ENGR 460Engineering Economy (ES=SS) 3
PTRE 462Petroleum Engineering Laboratory II 2
PTRE 441Petroleum Evaluation & Management 3
PTRE 485Senior Design II 3
GEOL 422Seminar II (ES=O) *1
Enterprise/Leadership Elective  3
Arts & Humanities Elective (ES=G or U)  3
 Total Credits: 131

DEDP students may substitute lecture series with COMM 110 Fundamentals of Public Speaking (ES=O)

ES = represents courses satisfying the Essential Studies requirements of the University.

Approved Electives for Petroleum Engineering

Approved Courses for Geology Elective
GEOE 323Engineering Geology4
GEOE 417Hydrogeology3
GEOL 330Structural Geology3
GEOL 407Petroleum Geology3
GEOL 411Sedimentology and Stratigraphy5
GEOL 414Applied Geophysics3
Approved Courses for Technical Elective
Any Geology electives may be used
CE 431Environmental Engineering I3
GEOG 474
  & 474L
Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
   and GIS Laboratory
GEOE 351Petroleum Development Engr3
GEOE 493Selected Topics in Geological Engineering3
PTRE 461Natural Gas Engineering3
Approved Courses for Entrepreneurship/Leadership Elective
LEAD 101Learning Leadership3
ENTR 201The Entrepreneur and the Enterprise3
ENGR 410Technology Ventures3

* PtrE core courses must be completed with a grade of "C" or better.


PTRE 201. Introduction to Petroleum Engineering. 3 Credits.

This course is designed to introduce students to the broad aspects of petroleum engineering. The student will gain an appreciation for exploration, discovery, and commercial recovery of oil and gas in an economical and environmentally acceptable manner from below land or ocean surfaces. The course will begin with an introduction to petroleum geology followed by drilling, production, storage and transport of the product. The course will also introduce the student to the importance of soft skills in the petroleum engineering work environment. Prerequisite: GEOE 203 or GEOL 101. S.

PTRE 311. Petroleum Fluid Properties. 3 Credits.

Phase behavior of naturally occurring hydrocarbon system; evaluation and correlation of physical properties of petroleum reservoir fluids under various conditions of pressure and temperature, including laboratory and empirical methods. Prerequisites: CHEM 121 and GEOE 301. Corequisite: ME 341. S.

PTRE 361. Petroleum Engineering Laboratory I. 2 Credits.

Course involves the laboratory experience dealing with: 1) identification of minerals and rocks; 2) petrophysical characterization of porous rocks; 3) petroleum fluids and phase behavior of pure and mixed substances; and 4) the identification and characterization of reservoir fluids. Prerequisites: DEDP students must have completed GEOE 301 and PTRE 311. Corequisite: On-campus students must take PTRE 311. S,SS.

PTRE 401. Well Logging. 3 Credits.

Introduction to modern well logging methods, engineering, and core-log integration. Prerequisite: PTRE 311. F.

PTRE 411. Drilling Engineering. 3 Credits.

Concepts, processes, equipment, and engineering principals used to drill oil and gas wells and near-surface wells common in geotechnical, environmental, and water well applications. Prerequisite: GEOE 301 or the instructor's approval. S.

PTRE 421. Production Engineering. 3 Credits.

Petroleum production systems, properties of oil and natural gas, reservoir deliverability, well deliverability, production decline analysis, artificial lift methods, and equipment design and selection. Prerequisite: PTRE 411. F.

PTRE 431. Reservoir Engineering. 3 Credits.

Material balance, gas reservoirs, oil reservoirs, fluid flow in reservoirs, well testing, water influx, the displacement of oil and gas, and reservoir simulation. Prerequisites: GEOE 301, PTRE 311, ME 306, and CHEM 121. F.

PTRE 441. Petroleum Evaluation & Management. 3 Credits.

Expected value and investment decision analysis, estimation of oil and gas reserves, measures of profitability, production, decline curve analysis, and oil and gas reserves evaluations. Prerequisites: PTRE 311, PTRE 431, PTRE 411, and PTRE 421. S.

PTRE 461. Natural Gas Engineering. 3 Credits.

Estimation of gas properties; gas field development and material balance analysis; study of production and reservoir characteristics of gas and gas-condensate reservoirs; design and optimization of well bore and surface facilities for separation, processing, transportation, and metering; gas hydrates. Prerequisites: GEOE 301, ME 306, ME 341, and PTRE 311. S.

PTRE 462. Petroleum Engineering Laboratory II. 2 Credits.

The objective of this course is to provide the student a laboratory experience and augment skills learned in upper level Petroleum Engineering coursework. Prerequisites: DEDP students must have completed GEOE 455 and PTRE 411. S,SS.

PTRE 484. Senior Design I. 3 Credits.

The first of a two-course sequence in petroleum engineering design. Define the design problem, establish design objectives, evaluate alternatives, specify constraints, determine a methodology, complete a formal design problem statement. Prerequisites: Senior standing in Petroleum Engineering and consent of advisor. F.

PTRE 485. Senior Design II. 3 Credits.

Systematic study and design, with determination of feasibility, careful assessment of economic factors, safety, reliability, ethics, and social and environmental impact, where appropriate. Prerequisite: PTRE 484. S.

PTRE 493. Selected Topics in Petroleum Engineering. 1-4 Credits.

Detailed study of selected topics in Petroleum Engineering. Includes laboratory if applicable. Repeatable up to a maximum of 6 credits. Prerequisite: Consent of the instructor. Repeatable to 6 credits. On demand.

Office of the Registrar

Tel: 701.777.2711
Fax: 701.777.2696

Twamley Hall Room 201
264 Centennial Drive Stop 8382
Grand Forks, ND 58202-8382