The Department of Petroleum was established in Dibrugarh University in the year 1969. It initially offered a one-year Post-Graduate Diploma in Petroleum Technology in both upstream and downstream sectors, namely Petroleum Exploration and Production, and Petroleum Refining and Petrochemicals. This course was upgraded to M.Tech. level in 1996. The department now offers UGC and AICTE recognised M.Tech. Degree programmes in Petroleum Exploration and Production, and research programmes leading to Ph.D. degree. The course is being regularly conducted by the faculty members, part time teachers from allied departments as well as with the help of subject experts invited as UGC visiting fellows/guest lecturers from oil industries such as OIL, Duliajan, and ONGC, Nazira.
The programs of study impart knowledge in petroleum geology, exploration methods, reservoir engineering, drilling technology, production technology, environmental management, refining technology, and petroleum economics. The courses offered by the department are of four semester duration with the third and fourth semesters consisting mainly of project/laboratory work, dissertation, seminar and industrial training.
The department is surrounded by many petroleum related industries with about 50 oil and gas fields, two refineries and one petrochemical complex. The department maintains close interaction with these industries and research institutions in Assam as well as in other parts of India. Engineers and scientists from such industries and institutions are regularly invited to deliver talks and lectures on current topics to the students of the department. Faculty and students are also invited by industry to attend seminars and workshops held by them from time to time. As part of their course work, students undergo field training of one to two months duration in industry and for their dissertation they even undertake projects on industry need-based work.
Twelve batches of M.Tech. students (a total of 111 students) have already completed the course, and all are gainfully employed in petroleum and allied industries, such as Oil India Ltd, ONGC, Numaligarh Refinery, Assam Gas Company, Hindustan Lever, Brahmaputra Valley Fertilizer Corp. Ltd., as well as in the private sector petroleum-related companies such as Reliance, Weatherford, Cairn Energy, Premier Petroleum, etc.
The department has been accorded a rare honour under Mission REACH (Relevance & Excellence in Achieving New Heights in Educational Institutions), instituted by TIFAC, under Department of Science & Technology, Government of India, by being selected as a Centre of Relevance and Excellence (CORE), with a grant of Rs 1 crore, On 26th November 2000 Bharat Ratna Dr APJ Abdul Kalam (formerly President of India) inaugurated the CORE in the department under Dibrugarh University. ONGC became the industry partner and donated Rs 1.07 crore to this CORE. On 24th May 2002, the then CMD of ONGC, Mr Subir Raha visited the university and inaugurated the new building of the department.
The funds received by the TIFAC-CORE has enabled it to establish a world-class core analysis laboratory which is unique among the educational institutions in India. Among the research activities, it has successfully completed two major research projects the results of which are very relevant and helpful for industry. By organising several events in the TIFAC-CORE funds of Rs 16.5 lakhs were generated, mainly from short-term courses and seminar/workshop fees, industry sponsorships of various events, etc.
The department has started a one-year Diploma course in Drilling Technology, which will be of great benefit to the unemployed youth of the region and provide them with new opportunities in the burgeoning oil well drilling industry in the region.
Recently the Department of Petroleum Technology, D.U, Assam has organized an UGC sponsored National Workshop on “Water (Low Saline) & Gas injection for improved oil recovery in Oil fields of Upper Assam Basin”, on 23rd & 24th March 2012. The session was inaugurated by Honorable Vice-Chancellor of Dibrugarh University Prof. K.K.Deka; Mr. K.K. Nath, Executive Director, Oil India Ltd. Duliajan; Mr. Biranda Deka, GGM, OIL, Duliajan and Dr. S. Bateja, GGM , IRS, ONGC, Ahmedabad.
The department has also been selected by ONGC to award “ONGC Scholarship” under Industry – Academia Interface, to the meritorious students for their encouragement and academic development.