Soft Skills

The Petroleum Engineer’s Library: Books Worth Having or Referencing

Tim Crumrine, Senior Engineer, ConocoPhillips US, and Editor, TWA Soft Skills

Often upon graduating, young engineers wonder which books are worth keeping and which can be sold back to the campus bookstore. In 2004, I took a professional license review course taught by Bing Wines, PE, Winrock Engineering. During the course and my study for the test, I amassed many books on the basis of Wines’ recommendations—ranging from economics to log-interpretation charts. As part of TWA’s effort to provide readers with a greater technical base, a list of useful books for the beginning or experienced petroleum engineer has been provided.

Depending on your particular discipline, certain books may be more relevant or useful. However, this list is a good start for building a library or seeking a useful resource on an unfamiliar subject.

Drilling and Completions

Well Design, Drilling Operations, Cementing, Kick Control, and Mud Systems

Casing, Tubing, and Drillstring Design


The discipline of production engineering covers a wide area from well completions to reservoir engineering to facilities, so it is difficult to pick one book that covers the entire area. One book that is extremely handy is 

Petroleum Engineering Handbook (2007), SPE, Richardson, Texas.


Thompson, R.S. and Wright, D.J. 1985. Oil Property Evaluation, Thompson-Wright Association.

Reservoir Engineering

Oil and Gas PVT

McCain Jr., W.D. 1990. The Properties of Petroleum Fluids, PennWell.

Formation Evaluation

Well Testing

Openhole Well Logging

The author and the entire TWA Editorial Board, would like to thank Bing Wines, PE, Winrock Engineering, for allowing us to print this list of recommended books from his petroleum engineering professional engineer review course. If you are interested in learning more about the course, please contact Wines at