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petroleum engineering

the branch of engineering that involves the development and exploitation of crude oil and natural gas fields as well as the technical analysis and forecasting of their future performance. Its origins lie in both mining engineering and geology. The petroleum engineer, whose aim is to extract gaseous and liquid hydrocarbon products from the earth, is concerned with drilling, producing, processing, and transporting these products and handling all the related economic and regulatory considerations.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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