MSc Integrated Petroleum Geosciences
Why did you choose this degree programme at the University of Aberdeen?
I studied for my undergraduate degree at the University of Aberdeen and overall I had a great academic and social experience. Therefore, Aberdeen was a clear choice for me. In addition to that, the campus is beautiful which made the choice even easier.
What skills, knowledge or experience have you gained or developed on this degree programme?
Primarily, this degree programme is 100% aligned for a career working at all stages within the upstream market and later towards the energy transition. Teaching focused on the full value chain from screening to decommissioning, providing perspective at all stages from exploring and defining prospects, drilling and production to field late life abandonment and decommissioning. This oil field life cycle perspective was new to me and has provided extremely insightful knowledge.
The course has placed emphasis on developing teamwork skills and since the course holds a mix of UK and International students all at a different stages of their career, it has offered a broad range of perspectives and cultures. Another major element of this course is the volume of Industry professionals lecturing throughout the year. There was petrophysical training with Baker Hughes, reservoir modelling through Petrel with Schlumberger and production and late life with BP along with an Operations Geology overnight drilling exercise which was a great introduction on what to expect in industry. I was also fortunate to be the IPG Equinor Scholar for 21-22. This provided me with a direct industry contact from a real subsurface team to discuss the course, my project and my progression which is an extremely useful experience for the IPG.
What part of the degree programme have you enjoyed the most or found most interesting?
Overall, the whole course has been extremely interesting. Semester 1 was aligned with the basic geological skills including Sedimentology, Structural Geology and Geophysics which I used throughout the Petroleum Value Chain in Semester 2. The practical and applied elements of Semester 2 were invaluable. Lecturers were thoroughly enthusiastic and helpful and so I really enjoyed understanding the role of a geoscientist whilst also learning elements of drilling operation and reservoir engineering. Assessment methods were also extremely interesting as workflows were those directly used in industry. For example, the Bass Basin Exploration Exercises and the Lismore Production Exercises were guided exercises to apply concepts from lectures but also allowed individual thought. The course also introduced Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) which I really enjoyed. It means I have skills that align not only with the oil and gas industry but also with ever progressing energy transition systems.
What advice would you give another student who is considering applying to this programme?
The MSc IPG is a challenging masters, however, it is absolutely worth it. The scale and quality of knowledge provided throughout this 1 year course, using assignments and lectures to secure geological fundamentals is invaluable. The course aims at the hydrocarbon industry, however, the skills in exploration, reservoir description, understanding of fluid behaviours etc also directly apply to CCS, indicating the versatility of the skills taught. As the Equinor scholar, my industry mentor offered me direct links and a networking opportunity as I begin to think about my future career. I absolutely recommend both the course and applying for the scholarship.
One piece of advice I would suggest is to maintain a good work/life balance. This is an intense study/learning programme, with a packed schedule and therefore taking the time to unwind is highly recommended.
Have you taken part in a work placement, field work, or other type of research or professional experience during your studies?
I was a recipient of the 21-22 IPG scholarship from Equinor. They provided me with a personal mentor throughout the year who I could go to for any questions, to discuss my progress and to provide updates to throughout the year. I will be completing my summer research project with Equinor and they have tailored the project to suite my strengths and interests which is extremely exciting. Whist I have yet to start this project, I will receive first hand experience in a subsurface team with industry professionals to enhance the extensive knowledge from the IPG.
The MSc IPG also offers two fantastic fieldtrips. In 21-22 these were a virtual trip to the Spanish Pyrenees and as of August 22 an in-field trip to Utah. The Pyrenees trip was conducted using virtual outcrops and software such as Safari DB, Lime and V3Geo. These allowed exploration at a range of outcrop scales for depositional environment visualisation which enabled the investigation and understanding of petroleum systems and basin evolution through geological time.
What are your plans for the future (after you graduate)?
Following graduation, I plan to pursue a career in the energy sector. Whether this means towards oil and gas or towards the energy transition I’m sure either will be extremely exciting to put my new skills to the test