Petroleum PE Exam

NCEES Principles and Practice of Engineering Examination

Petroleum Exam Specifications

As of April 2012 According to the NCEES

A few general points noted about the exam, which are followed by the detailed specifications.

•    The exam is an 8-hour open-book exam. It contains 40 multiple-choice questions in the 4-hour morning session, and 40 multiple-choice questions in the 4-hour afternoon session. Examinee works all questions.
•    The exam uses both the International System of units (SI) and the US Customary System (USCS). Some questions may require knowledge of mathematics and physical sciences as well as relevant petroleum engineering terminology.
•    The knowledge areas specified as examples of kinds of knowledge are not exclusive or exhaustive categories.
•    The associated knowledge areas referred to in the specification are:
a.    Relevant industry design standards
b.    Relevant industry regulatory/environmental law and safety requirements
c.    Project management techniques (e.g., costing, scheduling, contracting, logistics)
d.    Geoscience principles (e.g., pore pressure, fracture gradients, wellbore stability)
e.    Risk analysis/contingency planning
f.    Surveillance/optimization techniques (e.g., data acquisition and control, modeling)
g.    Economic principles

I. Drilling Engineering 25%
A.    General Drilling Engineering 15%
1.    Casing and tubulars (e.g., collapse and burst strength, grade, 
2.    Drilling fluids (e.g., rheology, chemistry, oil-base/water-base)
3.    Drill string and BHA
4.    Hydraulics (e.g., pressure drops, nozzle selection, fluid velocities)
5.    Directional/horizontal drilling (e.g., motors, calculations, steering)
6.    Well control/BOP (e.g., kick tolerance, methods, equipment)
7.    Associated knowledge
B.    Specialized Drilling Engineering 10%
1.    Cementing (e.g., properties, yield, placement, downhole equipment)
2.    Drilling mechanics (e.g., rock properties, drill-off test)
3.    Rig equipment capabilities
4.    Wellheads
5.    Solids control
6.    Fishing (e.g., equipment, techniques)
7.    Bits (e.g., classification, cutting, structures, grading)
8.    Underbalanced drilling (e.g., candidate selection, air, foam, equipment)
9.    Associated knowledge
II. Production Engineering 35%
A. Completion 14%
1.    Perforation (e.g., size, density, tools, methods)
2.    Completion and work-over fluids
3.    Well and completion systems, including nodal analysis
4.    Inflow performance curve analysis
5.    Fracture treatments, including acid fracs
6.    Matrix acid treatments
7.    Tubing and downhole equipment (e.g., zonal isolation, tubing 
movement, packers)
8.    Associated knowledge
B.    Surveillance 14%
1.    Lift mechanism selection given a set of well conditions
2.    Sucker rod pumping systems
3.    Gas lift, including intermitters, plunger lifts, or gas lift valves
4.    Downhole pumps, including ESPs, progressing cavity pumps, or jet pumps
5.    Production logging (e.g., pressure surveys, fluid profiles, cased-hole logs)
6.    Plug and abandonment procedures
7.    Remedial/recompletion operations (e.g., squeeze cementing, sand and 
water control)
8.    Coiled tubing operations
9.    Associated knowledge
C.    Facilities 7%
1.    Selection of piping to accommodate flow rate, total pressure, and 
pressure drop considerations
2.    Compressor application and sizing parameters
3.    Onsite processing equipment (e.g., separators, heater treaters, 
4.    Onsite storage vessels, including piping, valves, and venting
5.    Custody transfer metering devices for oil and gas (e.g., orifice meters, 
6.    Produced fluid treatment (e.g., scale, asphaltenes, paraffin, corrosion)
7.    Associated knowledge
III. Reservoir Engineering 40%
A. General Reservoir Engineering 20%
1.    Reservoir geoscience (e.g., lithology, rock mechanics, porosity, 
permeability, borehole stability)
2.    Oil/gas reservoir drive mechanics
3.    Fluid properties (e.g., phase behavior, viscosity, density)
4.    Single/multiphase flow in porous media (e.g., wettability, mobility, 
relative permeability)
5.    Methods for estimating reserves and recoveries (e.g., decline analysis, 
material balance, volumetrics)
6.    Reservoir development techniques (e.g., well spacing, patterns, rates, 
7.    Associated knowledge
B.    Specialized Reservoir Engineering 7%
1.    Water/gas injection (e.g., water flood, pressure maintenance, gravity 
2.    Enhanced oil recovery (e.g., miscible injection, chemical injection, 
thermal recovery)
3.    Fundamental reservoir numerical simulation concepts
4.    Analysis of tight gas reservoirs
5.    Associated knowledge
C.    Formation Evaluation 13%
1.    Methods to determine net pay
2.    Log measurements (e.g., acoustic, nuclear, electrical)
3.    Logging methods (e.g., MWD/LWD, open hole, cased hole)
4.    Well testing (e.g., wireline, production test, well test analysis)
5.    Coring (e.g., SWC, full-hole core, petrophysical/lab analysis)
6.    Mud logging (e.g., gas units and analysis, cuttings analysis, ROP)
7.    Associated knowledge


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