Drilling Engineer

Drilling engineers develop, plan, cost and supervise the operations necessary for drilling oil and gas wells. They can be involved throughout the lifecycle of a well,  from the initial well design to testing, completion and abandonment. Engineers can be employed on land, on offshore platforms or on mobile drilling units either by the operating oil company, a specialist drilling contractor or a service company.  The role can involve administering drilling and service contracts, engineering design, the planning of wells and supervising the drilling crew on site. Ensuring the overall Safety of drilling engineering operations is a primary responsibility.

About this role

Typical duties

  • Plans the overall drilling programme and designs the well in line with company, safety and industry standards
  • Prepares well data sheets, designs and selects well-head equipment
  • Prepares overall budget and monitors costs
  • Draws up drilling programmes, taking account of desired production flow rates
  • Monitors the daily progress of well operations, and keeps track of daily costs
  • Compares actual costs with expenditure proposals and recommends cost-effective changes
  • Co-ordinates the work of offshore drilling teams
  • Analyses drilling performance and factors affecting safety, cost and efficiency
  • Compiles charts, reports and management presentations
  • Provides a range of drilling engineering support and technical advice and guidance within the business
  • Uses a range of specialist technical software, analytical tools, and Microsoft Office suite
  • Reports any breaches of safety procedures to supervision / management
  • Actively participates in and promotes company health and safety campaigns, policies and procedures, and ensures personal safety and that of colleagues at all times

In the industry

Works closely with other technical departments including Geology, Geophysics, Petrophysics, and Reservoir Engineering to drill for oil and gas in new or existing fields. Also works closely with the Commercial department. A Drilling Engineer can be employed onshore or offshore, either working for an operator, a service company, a specialist drilling contractor or a consultancy.


  • Office
  • Outdoors
  • Offshore


  • University
  • College
  • Apprenticeships

What do I need?

Key Skills

  • Team working
  • Verbal communication
  • Written communication
  • Problem solving
  • Analysing
  • Planning
  • Organising
  • IT
  • Numerical
  • Creativity
  • Working to deadlines
  • Flexibility


Entry requirements:

  • Relevant degree in a science or engineering discipline
  • Should be willing to travel regularly to offshore and/or onshore drilling sites
  • Basic offshore induction and emergency training (BOSIET)
  • Offshore Medical Certificate
  • OPITO Minimum Industry Safety Standards (MIST)

Employers might also look for:

  • Good communication skills
  • Strong team working skills
  • Good knowledge of offshore operations/ facilities
  • Good knowledge of offshore HSE/ regulations