Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

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Unit Overview


This unit is an introduction to petroleum engineering for advanced level students. The topics covered are petroleum generation, exploration, drilling, stresses in the Earth's crust, well stability, hydraulic fracturing, petrophysics, logging, reservoir characterisation, the operations, maintenance and decommissioning phases of a reservoir, the economic parameters involved in developing a reservoir, and extraction and production.

6 points
Not available in 2024UWA (Perth)Face to face

Students are able to (1) analyse stress in the earth crust; (2) calculate the stress around a well and perform a well stability analysis; (3) develop simple models of hydraulic fracture; (4) evaluate the flow through porous rocks accounting for reservoir heterogeneity and in situ stresses; (5) evaluate reservoir properties from different sources and interpret reservoir properties obtained from different methods; (6) develop models of reservoir properties using appropriate techniques; (7) make simple investment decisions and evaluate the necessary parameters; (8) locate and evaluate literature relevant to the unit content; (9) work effectively in a diverse team to achieve professional outcomes; and (10) communicate effectively through concise written technical reports, using discourse conventions relevant to the discipline.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) three assignments and (2) a final examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Professor Elena Pasternak
Unit rules
Enrolment in
62550 Master of Professional Engineering ( Chemical Engineering specialisation and Mechanical Engineering specialisation

or 62520 Master of Low Emission Energy Technologies
Enrolment in
Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) or an associated Combined Degree
and Successful completion of
120 Points
and GENG2003 Fluid Mechanics
Advisable prior study
ENSC3003 Fluid Mechanics
or GENG2003 Fluid Mechanics
Contact hours
lectures and practical classes
The unit requires understanding of the concept of stress, which includes the definition of stress, stress transformation and principal stress. It is expected that the students who have not acquired such understanding in their prior studies, study the relevant material (see unit webpage for details) in the first two weeks of the semester.
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.