2016-2017 Catalog

Petroleum Engineering (PtrE)

Rasouli (Chair), Bubach, Jabbari, Ling, Ostadhassan, and Rabiei

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.

Currently UND offers the only Petroleum Engineering program in the state of N.D. With the discovery and development of the unconventional resources, in particular with the Bakken formation in Williston Basin being the second largest producer of oil in the US, this program is strategically important to UND in terms of educating practical and hands-on engineers who can work in the field, and also develop the latest technologies for discovery, exploration, drilling and production of the oil and gas fields to produce future energy. Our Graduate program is focused to perform both fundamental and practical research on topics in demand of the industry.

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 Advisory 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.

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.

Plan of Study Grid
Freshman Year
GEOE 210 Earth Dynamics & Geophysics 4
MATH 165 Calculus I 4
ENGR 200 Computer Applications in Engineering 2
ENGL 110 College Composition I (Essential Studies) 3
CHEM 121
General Chemistry I
and General Chemistry I Laboratory (ES=Q)
PTRE 201 Introduction to Petroleum Engineering 3
MATH 166 Calculus II 4
PHYS 251
& PHYS 251L
University Physics I
CHEM 122 General Chemistry II 3
Arts & Humanities Elective (ES=G or U) 3
Sophomore Year
ENGR 201 Statics 3
PTRE 301 Reservoir Rock Properties 3
MATH 265 Calculus III 4
PHYS 252
& PHYS 252L
University Physics II
ME 341 Thermodynamics 3
PTRE 311 Petroleum Fluid Properties 3
PTRE 361 Petroleum Engineering Laboratory I 2
MATH 266 Elementary Differential Equations 3
ME 306 Fluid Mechanics 3
ENGR 203 Mechanics of Materials 3
ENGL 130 Composition II: Writing for Public Audiences 3
Junior Year
PTRE 401 Well Logging 3
PTRE 431 Reservoir Engineering 3
PTRE 411 Drilling Engineering 3
GEOL 520
Statistical Applications in Geology
or Applied Statistical Methods
or Statistics and Numerical Methods in Engineering
Arts & Humanities Elective (ES=G or U) 3
Apply for Professional Degree Program  
PTRE 451 Advanced Drilling Engineering 3
PTRE 445 Advanced Reservoir Engineering 3
GEOL 356 Geoscience Lectures (ES=O) * 1
Technical Elective 3
Geology Elective 3
Social Science Elective (ES=G or U) 3
Senior Year
PTRE 421 Production Engineering 3
PTRE 465 Petroleum Geomechanics 3
PTRE 471 Numerical Reservoir Simulation 3
GEOL 421 Seminar I (ES=O) * 1
ENGR 460 Engineering Economy (ES=SS) 3
Technical Elective 3
PTRE 462 Petroleum Engineering Laboratory II 2
CHE 340
or ME 370 or PHIL 250
Professional Integrity in Engineering
PTRE 484 Senior Design (ES= A & C) 3
GEOL 422 Seminar II (ES=O) * 1
Enterprise/Leadership Elective 3
Arts & Humanities Elective (ES=G or U) 3
 Total Credits130

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 Technical Elective
PTRE 461Natural Gas Engineering3
PTRE 493Selected Topics in Petroleum Engineering1-4
CE 431Environmental Engineering I3
GEOG 474
Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
and GIS Laboratory
Approved Courses for Geology Elective
GEOE 323Engineering Geology4
GEOE 417Hydrogeology3
GEOL 330Structural Geology3
GEOL 407Petroleum Geology3
GEOL 411Sedimentology and Stratigraphy5
GEOL 414Applied Geophysics3
Any Geology electives may be used
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.

Certificate in Petroleum Engineering

Admission Requirements

1. Bachelor of Science degree in an ABET accredited engineering program.

2. Adequate experience in the field of petroleum engineering.

3. An overall undergraduate GPA of at least 2.50 or 3.00 for the last two years.

Certificate Requirements

1. A total of sixteen (16) credit hours must be completed from the following courses in the PE undergraduate curriculum:

Earth Dynamics and Geophysics, Formation Evaluation, Petroleum Fluid Properties, Well logging, Reservoir Engineering, Drilling Engineering, Advanced Reservoir, Advanced Drilling, Numerical Reservoir Simulation, Petroleum Geomechanics

2. A minimum GPA of 3.00 is required to earn the certificate.

Courses shall only count as credit toward fulfilling the requirements listed above when a grade of C or greater has been awarded at the completion of the course.


PTRE 201. Introduction to Petroleum Engineering. 3 Credits.

Introducing students to the broad aspects of petroleum engineering. The student will gain an appreciation for exploration, discovery, and commercial recovery of oil and gas industry. Prerequisites: GEOE 203 or GEOL 101 or GEOE 210; all the prerequisites must be completed with a "C" or higher. S.

PTRE 301. Reservoir Rock Properties. 3 Credits.

Systematic theoretical and practical study of physical properties of petroleum reservoir rocks; lithology, porosity, relative and effective permeability, fluid saturations, capillary characteristics, compressibility, rock stress, and fluid-rock interaction. Prerequisites: PTRE 201, CHEM 121, PHYS 251; all the pre-requisites must be completed with a "C" or higher. F.

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 PTRE 301; all the prerequisites must be completed with a "C" or higher. Corequisite: ME 341. S.

PTRE 361. Petroleum Engineering Laboratory I. 2 Credits.

To introduce the students to different lab equipment in order to measure physical properties of the reservoir rock. Prerequisite: PTRE 301; all the prerequisites must be completed with a "C" or higher. Corequisite: On-campus students must take PTRE 311. S.

PTRE 401. Well Logging. 3 Credits.

This course covers topics on methods of how to measure and interpret the physical and chemical properties of formation through the well logging tools. Prerequisite: PTRE 301; all the prerequisites must be completed with a "C" or higher. F.

PTRE 405. Petroleum Eng. Economy and Law. 3 Credits.

Presenting the principals of asset management with emphasize on applications to the upstream oil and gas activities and discussing the legal aspects of petroleum exploration and production in the US and internationally. Prerequisites: PTRE 445 and PTRE 451. Corequisite: PTRE 421. 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. Prerequisites: ENGR 203, PTRE 311 and ME 306; all the prerequisites must be completed with a "C" or higher. F.

PTRE 421. Production Engineering. 3 Credits.

Design, evaluation, and optimization of petroleum production system using nodal analysis. Analysis and design of well flow systems, artificial lift systems, and surface separation/treating facilities. Prerequisites: PTRE 411 and PTRE 431; all the prerequisites must be completed with a "C" or higher. F.

PTRE 431. Reservoir Engineering. 3 Credits.

Discussing general concepts in reservoir engineering, material balance equation for oil, gas, and water, determining reserves under different drive mechanisms, and fluid flow in different oil and gas reservoirs. Prerequisites: PTRE 311 and ME 306; all the prerequisites must be completed with a "C" or higher. 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 445. Advanced Reservoir Engineering. 3 Credits.

Well test analysis using type curve techniques, Material balance for oil and gas reservoirs, Water influx calculations, Immiscible displacement and fractional flow calculations, Well test analysis to estimate reservoir properties, Pseudo functions, Enhanced oil recovery. Prerequisite: PTRE 431 with a grade of C or higher. S.

PTRE 451. Advanced Drilling Engineering. 3 Credits.

Advanced topics in drilling which are part of well construction will be covered in this course. The sequence of constructing a well will be discussed and practiced through class projects and assignments. Prerequisite: PTRE 411; all the prerequisites must be completed with a "C" or higher. 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.

To introduce the students to different lab equipment in order to measure geomechanical properties of the rock and flow behavior of the reservoir fluid. Prerequisites: PTRE 421 and PTRE 465; all the prerequisites must be completed with a "C" or higher. S.

PTRE 465. Petroleum Geomechanics. 3 Credits.

A brief review of fundamental of rock mechanics. The major focus of the course will be on different applications of Geomechanics in Petroleum Eng with focus on wellbore instability. Prerequisites: PTRE 411 and PTRE 431; all the pre-requisites must be completed with a "C" or higher. F.

PTRE 471. Numerical Reservoir Simulation. 3 Credits.

Use of mathematics and computer programs to solve reservoir flow problems. This course will discuss: Fundamental reservoir calculations, multiphase flow concepts, fluid displacement, fluid flow equations and discretization concepts, as well as history matching and reservoir performance forecast. Prerequisites: PTRE 445 and MATH 266; all the pre-requisites must be completed with a C or higher. F.

PTRE 484. Senior Design. 3 Credits.

This is a capstone design course in the Petroleum Engineering program. It includes: Defining the design problem, establishing design objectives, evaluating alternatives, specifying constraints, determining a methodology, and completing a formal design problem statements. Prerequisites: PTRE 485 and PTRE 405 or ENGR 460. S.

PTRE 485. Research Design. 3 Credits.

This is a research design course in the Petroleum Engineering program. It includes: Defining the design problem, establishing design objectives as well as design proposal, evaluating alternatives, specifying constraints, determining a methodology, and giving oral presentations on the research findings. Prerequisite: PTRE 451 and PTRE 445. F.

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