GATE 2020: How to prepare for Petroleum Engineering (PE)

    Anil Tigga Anil Tigga
    University Data Specialist

    Petroleum engineering was introduced as a new paper in GATE in the year 2016. Petroleum engineering is the field of engineering concerned with the activities related to the production of hydrocarbons, petroleum engineer determines the most efficient way to drill for extract oil and natural gas at a particular well. The subject code for GATE Petroleum engineering is PE.

    GATE 2020 will be held on February 1, 2, 8 & 9, 2020 in online mode. GATE Petroleum engineering paper consists of 65 questions worth 100 marks. Candidates have to attempt all the questions in the duration of three hours. 

    GATE Exam PatternGATE Paper AnalysisGATE Practice Paper

    Candidates aspiring for GATE PE 2020 can polish their preparation as only few days are left. Analysis of previous year GATE PE paper can help greatly in planning GATE Preparation. Here some of the preparation tips that help GATE aspirants in the exam.

    Preparation Tips for GATE Petroleum Engineering

    GATE PE exam comprises of three sections i.e. Engineering mathematics, general aptitude and core PE. Here, we are assuming that candidates that have already passed the fundamentals of engineering test. They have the required amount of experience or combination of experience & education to move on to the last phase of the Petroleum engineering subject matter as discussed below.

    • Start studying as early as possible – It is imperative that you place on these sections as they are relatively easy and can be looked up from GATE previous year sample papers.
    • Suggestion from faculty – Take the help of your seniors and faculty for preparation as they are more experienced and will be suggested to you in right direction.
    • Revision of all topics – Revise your short notes while preparing for GATE petroleum exam. These notes will help you a lot while preparing in last days before the exam.
    • Oline resources – The Internet is a vast platform where candidates can get a lot of study material for GATE PE preparation. As online resources are the best way to polish their preparation for any subject.
    • Put small daily targets, weekly targets. Study 3-4 hours daily.
    • Choose the best reference books that cover all the basic topics of the core.

    Recommended Books for GATE 2020 Petroleum Engineering

    Aspiring candidates must be prepared for the fact that there is no common book for preparation. Each topic will have to studied from separate books authored by domain experts of that subject. Its challenging to find out the correct books for Petroleum Engineering. Candidates can go through following table for recommended books:

    Book NameAuthor Name
    Petroleum ExplorationNorman J Hyne, Telford W.M, Geldart L.P
    Petroleum Formation EvaluationMalcom Rider, Paul Grover
    Oil and Gas Well Drilling TechnologyOilwell Drilling Engineering: principles and practices – H. Rabia
    Reservoir EngineeringTarek Ahmed, L.P Dake
    Petroleum Production OperationsAli Ghalambor, Allen Roberts
    Oil & Gas well testingJohn Lee
    Enhanced Oil Recovery TechniquesAurel Carcoana, Down W. Green
    Health Safety & Environment in Petroleum IndustryJohn C. Reis
    Offshore Drilling & Production practicesAngus Mather, Malcolm Maclachlan
    Applied GeophysicsTelford, W.M, Geldart, L.P, Shrieff
    Drilling Operation Practice ManualONGC’s Publication

    GATE Petroleum Engineering Weightage

    GATE PE exam consists of 65 questions. It is conducted in online mode with MCQs and numerical answer type questions. Candidates need to solve the paper in three hours. Here, we are providing the table for topic wise weightage in GATE PE:

    SubjectWeightage (Marks)
    Petroleum Geology & Exploration5
    Oil & Gas Drilling Technology10
    Reservoir Engineering8
    Petroleum Production Operations11
    Offshore Drilling & Production Practices6
    Formation Evaluation8
    Oil & Gas Well Testing6
    HSE in petroleum Industry5
    EOR Techniques7
    Latest trends in PE4

    Conversions in GATE PE here

    Some of the commonly used conversions of Area, circulation rate, Impact force, Pressure, Velocity, Volume, Weight and length in GATE petroleum Engineering are given below:


    Square inches x 6.45 = Square centimeters

    Square inches x 645 = Square millimeters

    Square centimeters x 0.155 = Square inches

    Square millimeters x 0.00155 = Square inches

    Circulation Rate

    Barrels/min x 42 = Gallons/min

    Cubic feet/min x 0.000472 = Cubic meters/sec

    Cubic feet/min x 7.48 = Gallons/min

    Cubic feel/mm x 28.32 = Liters/min

    Cubic meters/sec x 15850 = Gallons/min

    Cubic meters/sec x 2118 = Cubic feet/min

    Cubic meters/sec x 60000 = Litres/min

    Gallons/min x 0.0238 = Barrels/ruin

    Gallons/min x 0.134 = Cubic feet/min

    Gallons/min x 3.79 = Litres/min

    Gallons/min x 0.00006309 = Cubic meters/sec

    Litres/min x 0.00001667 = Cubic meters/sec

    Litres/min x 0.0353 = Cubic feet/min

    Litres/min x 0.264 = Gallons/min

    Impact Force

    Pounds x 0.0000445 = Dynes

    Pounds x 0.454 = Kilograms

    Pounds x 4.448 = Newtons

    Dynes x 0.00000225 = Pounds

    Kilograms x 2.2 = Pounds

    Newtons x 0.2248 = Pounds


    Atmospheres x 14.696 = Pounds/sq inch

    Atmospheres x 1.033 = Kilograms/sq cm

    Atmospheres x 101300 = Pascals

    Kilograms/sq cm x 0.9678 = Atmospheres

    Kilograms/sq cm x 14.223 = Pounds/sq inch

    Kilograms/sq cm x 0.9678 = Atmospheres

    Pounds/sq inch x 0.068 = Atmospheres

    Pounds/sq inch x 0.0703 = Kilograms/sq cm

    Pounds/sq inch x 0.006894 = Pascals


    Feet/sec x 0.305 = Meters/sec

    Feet/mm x 0.00508 = Meters/sec

    Meters/sec x 196.8 = Feet/mm

    Meters/sec x 3.28 = Feet/sec


    Barrels x 42 = Gallons

    Cubic centimeters x 0.00003531 = Cubic feet

    Cubic centimeters x 0.06102 = Cubic inches

    Cubic centimeters x 0.000001 = Cubic meters

    Cubic centimeters x 0.000264 = Gallons

    Cubic centimeters x 0.001 = Litters

    Cubic feet x 28320 = Cubic centimeters

    Cubic feet x 1728 = Cubic inches

    Cubic feet x 0.02832 = Cubic meters

    Cubic feet x 7.48 = Gallons

    Cubic feet x 28.32 = Litters

    Cubic inches x 16.39 = Cubic centimeters

    Cubic inches x 0.0005787 = Cubic feet

    Cubic inches x 0.00001639 = Cubic meters

    Cubic inches x 0.004329 = Gallons

    Cubic inches x 0.01639 = Liters

    Cubic meters x 1000000 = Cubic centimeters

    Cubic meters x 35.31 = Cubic feet

    Cubic meters x 264.2 = Gallons

    Gallons x 0.0238 = Barrels

    Gallons x 3785 = Cubic centimeters

    Gallons x 0.1337 = Cubic feet

    Gallons x 231 = Cubic inches

    Gallons x 0.003785 = Cubic meters

    Gallons x 3.785 = Liter


    Pounds x 0.0004535 = Tons (metric)

    Tons (metric) x 2205 = Pounds

    Tons (metric) x 1000 = Kilograms


    Feet x 0.305 = Meters

    Inches x 25.4 = Millimeters

    Inches x 2.54 = Centimeters

    Centimeters x 0.394 = Inches

    Millimeters x 0.03937 = Inches

    Meters x 3.281 = Feet

    Syllabus for GATE 2020 Petroleum Engineering (PE)

    The main topics for GATE PE 2020 are petroleum exploration, reservoir engineering, petroleum production operations etc. Here, we are providing the important topics with complete for GATE PE exam in the below table:

    TopicsSub Topics
    Petroleum explorationClassification and description of some common rocks with special reference to clastic and non-clastic reservoir rocks. Origin, migration and accumulation of Petroleum. Petroleum exploration methods
    Oil and Gas Well Drilling TechnologyWell planning. Drilling method. Drilling rigs Rig operating systems. Drilling fluids function and properties. Drilling fluid maintenance equipment. Oil & gas well cementing operations. Drill bit types and their applications. Drill string & Casing string function, operations, selection & design.
    Reservoir engineeringPetrophysical properties of reservoir rocks. Coring and core analysis. Reservoir fluid properties. Phase behavior of hydrocarbon system. Flow of fluids through porous media. Water and gas coning. Reservoir pressure measurements. Reservoir drives, drive mechanics and recovery factors. Reserve estimation & techniques.
    Petroleum Production OperationsWell equipment. Well completion techniques. Well production problems and mitigation. Well servicing & Workover operations. Workover & completion fluids. Formation damage. Well stimulation techniques. Artificial lift techniques. Field processing of oil & gas. Storage and transportation of petroleum and petroleum products. Metering and measurements oil & gas. Production system analysis & optimization. Production testing. Multiphase flow in tubing and flow-lines.
    Offshore Drilling and Production PracticesOffshore oil and gas operations & ocean environment. Offshore fixed platforms, Offshore mobile units, Station keeping methods like mooring & dynamic positioning system. Offshore drilling from fixed platform, jack-up, ships and semi submersibles. Use of conductors and risers. Offshore well completion. Deep water applications of subsea technology. Offshore production: Oil processing platforms, water injection platforms, storage, SPM and SBM transportation and utilities. Deep water drilling rig.
    Petroleum Formation EvaluationEvaluation of petrophysical of sub-surface formations: Principles applications, advantages and disadvantages of SP, resistivity, radioactive, acoustic logs and types of tools used. Evaluation of CBL/VDL, USIT, SFT, RFT. Production logging tools, principles, limitations and applications. Special type of logging tools. Formations micro scanner (FMS), NMR logging Principles.
    Oil and Gas Well TestingDiffusivity equation, derivation & solutions. Radius of investigation. Principle of superposition. Horner’s approximation. Drill Stem Testing. Pressure Transient Tests: Drawdown and build up-test analysis. Wellbore effects. Multilayer reservoirs. Injection well testing. Multiple well testing. Interference testing, Pulse testing, well-test analysis by use of type curves.
    Health Safety and Environment in Petroleum IndustryHealth hazards in Petroleum Industry: Toxicity, Physiological, Asphyxiation, respiratory and skin effect of petroleum hydrocarbons, sour gases. Safety System: Manual & automatic shutdown system, blow down systems. Gas detection system. Fire detection and suppression systems. Personal protection system & measures. HSE Policies. Disaster & crisis management in Petroleum Industry. Environment: Environment concepts, impact on eco-system, air, water and soil. The impact of drilling & production operations on environment, Environmental transport of petroleum wastes. Offshore environmental studies.
    Enhanced Oil Recovery TechniquesBasic principles and mechanism of EOR, Screening of EOR process. Concept of pattern flooding, recovery efficiency, permeability heterogeneity. Macroscopic and microscopic displacement efficiency. EOR methods: Chemical flooding, Miscible flooding, Thermal recoveries.
    Latest trends in Petroleum EngineeringCoal bed methane, shale gas, oil shale, gas hydrate, and heavy oil.

    Read About GATE Syllabus



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