Petroleum Technologist

Petroleum technologists assist in the exploration of and drilling for, oil and gas. They make an important contribution to the manufacturing of fuel, lubricants and other petroleum products.

Petroleum technologists may be involved in the search for new oil wells. This involves geological work and those involved in this field are known as geological petroleum technologists. In the extraction process petroleum technologists do research on the different types of mud used to lubricate drill bits.

Petroleum technologists are also involved in the evaluation of crude oil to determine its specific properties and classification, which will, in turn, determine the refining parameters. During the refining process, laboratory petroleum technologists do testing and evaluation of the various cuts.

Petroleum technologists, who are known as sales technology advisers, lubrication engineers, etc. do quality control and promotion of petroleum products.
The primary function of the petroleum laboratory technologist is quality control or product evaluation, whether in a refinery, a lubricant manufacturing plant or in the field of petroleum product application and use. This work involves various physical and chemical tests and depends upon the nature and application of the product concerned.

Petroleum technologists may specialise in any of the various products obtained from crude oil by refining processes, and these include:

  • liquid petroleum and gas

  • aviation, motor, diesel and furnace fuels

  • kerosene and solvents

  • lubricating oils and greases

  • waxes, bitumen and special products.


  • Sasol Chemical Industries (SCI)

  • various oil refining companies

  • Soekor (Southern Oil Exploration Corporation)

  • SABS


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