There are three main areas which a student can choose within Petrochemical engineering to further his career:
1. Upstream: The upstream oil sector is also known as the exploration and production (E&P) sector. This includes searching for potential underground or underwater oil and gas fields, drilling of exploratory wells, and subsequently operating the wells that recover and bring the crude oil and/ or raw natural gas to the surface. And it also includes searching for new forms of energy like Shale oil/ gas or oil from deep sea beds.
2. Midstream: This area of the sector processes, stores, markets and transports commodities such as crude oil, natural gas, natural gas liquids and sulphur.
3. Downstream: This involves the refining of crude oil and the selling and distribution of natural gas and products derived from crude oil. The downstream sector includes oil refineries, petrochemical plants, petroleum product distribution, retail outlets and natural gas distribution companies.
It is not only in the core Oil & Gas sector that petro-graduates are in demand. Another promising area is the IT companies with domain areas in Oil and Gas. Companies with verticals focused on Oil and Gas prefer people with IT knowledge and domain knowledge of the Oil & Gas sector.
Secondly, there are a lot of companies into design of off shore structure, off shore drillwell etc, which only petroleum engineers can do as they have these subjects covered in their curriculum unlike a Civil or Mechanical engineer. The remuneration, however, remains higher for the core technical jobs, in comparison to these allied opportunities.