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

Last Updated - July 16, 2019

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. 

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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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