Very few online degrees exist in oil and gas management; those that do exist are at the master's degree level and still require on-campus attendance for training each term in addition to the online studies, which take about 18 months. Within a campus-based program, students may be able to complete some basic engineering and supply chain management courses through a school's distance learning portal. Alternatively, students may which to study a fully online bachelor's degree in engineering, with a concentration in environmental engineering as a pathway to oil and gas studies at the master's level.
Admission to the Master of Science in Oil and Gas Management program requires an undergraduate degree in an energy-related field, or an undergraduate degree and work experience in the petroleum industry. Curriculum covers economics of the petroleum market, extraction regulations, supply chains for oil and gas, petroleum engineering and management issues.
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Master of Science in Oil and Gas Management
Online master's degree programs include a mix of engineering and management courses. Students gain technical knowledge in oil and gas processes, and they study environmental and safety issues. Online programs teach specialized knowledge for leading oil and gas companies, management skills and problem-solving skills to understand issues facing the industry. Online curricula also incorporate in-person training for students earning a master's degree in oil and gas management. Entry into the master's level usually requires an undergraduate degree in energy; students with a non-energy bachelor's degree can apply if they have work experience in the oil and gas field.
Program Information and Requirements
Online master's programs use a hybrid approach that includes quarterly on-campus visits. Courses offered online can be viewed through live streaming or video. The department may provide students with USB drives containing assignments and program details. An oil and gas management graduate program can be completed in 18 months.
List of Common Online Courses in Oil and Gas Management
Management-focused online programs offer classes in financial management and leadership. Programs that require mostly on-campus study offer basic courses online, focusing on engineering and supply chain management in the oil and gas industry.
Natural Gas Engineering
Coursework covers global supply and demand, oil and gas regulations and exploration. Online students study natural gas properties, condensate systems and drilling in addition to safety issues and environmental concerns. Advanced engineering courses are usually available only through on-campus delivery.
Oil and Gas Management
Students study world energy markets, sustainable work practices and marketing. Students gain leadership skills and take ethics courses. They learn to work with management teams and boards of directors. Targeted management courses are not included in all online degree programs.
Storage and Transportation
Students learn to address supply chain issues and handle project disruptions that arose due to problems in the transportation and storage of oil and gas. Online team projects and individual assignments are included.
Coursework focuses on the environmental impact of the oil and gas industry. Students study climate change and pollution; they learn about alternative and renewable forms of energy. National and global energy laws and confidentiality issues are also discussed.
Career Information for Graduates
Careers for degree holders in the field of oil and gas management are varied. Careers can be found in oil and gas exploration and in the natural gas industry. Salary data differ based on the type of career pursued. According to 2016 salary data listed at Salary.com, executives in the oil and gas exploration field can earn up to $417,862 and pipeline executives can earn $157,068-$400,113. According to the Independent Petroleum Association of America (www.ipaa.org), 36% of trained professionals in the oil and gas industry were at or near retirement age from 2012-2013. This statistic points to growth in job opportunities for graduates entering the job market.
Although oil and gas management studies are rarely found in an online educational format, students can opt to study the field via a hybrid format. Alternatively, an online bachelor's in engineering can lead to oil and gas management studies at the master's level.