The Department of Petroleum Engineering was established in 1973 and started functioning on September 14, 1974 with an undergraduate program.
- The Department's vision is to be recognized worldwide as a center of excellence in education and research in the area of petroleum engineering.
- The Department's mission is to have high-quality programs in petroleum engineering that stresses innovation, integration, teamwork, high ethical standards, and awareness of industry needs, in addition to, advanced research capabilities.
The first BS degree in petroleum engineering was awarded in 1977. The department started its M.S. program in 1982 and its Ph.D. program in 1985. As of August 2021, the department has awarded a total of 1137 B.S, 215 M.S., 3 MEng., and 17 Ph.D. degrees.
The department's teaching and research laboratories are fully equipped with state-of-the-art equipment. The laboratories cover the areas of drilling fluids, oil-well cementing, rock and fluid properties, rock mechanics, quantitative analysis, thin sectioning and microscopy, formation evaluation, enhanced oil recovery, and production engineering. In addition, a multifunction specialized research laboratory, a drilling simulator, and a drilling fluid flow loop are dedicated to graduate research. The department also has access to the general analytical laboratories of the Research Institute.
The department is linked to the University's main computer facilities in addition to having its own personal computer laboratory. The department also maintains its own reference library.