English for the Energy Industries: Oil, Gas and Petrochemicals Course Book

Peter Levrai, Fiona McGarry


An English course for employees in the oil, gas and petrochemicals industries.

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ISBN: 9781859649114

Pre-intermediate to intermediate
CEF Level: A2 to B1  IELTS Level: 3.0 to 5.0

Product Description


English for the Energy Industries: Oil, Gas and Petrochemicals

English for the Energy Industries is a foundation English course for employees in the oil, gas and petrochemicals industries. It is aimed at pre- and low-intermediate level students who have a basic grasp of English, but who need to use technical and semi-technical vocabulary within specific functional language applicable to the workplace. It provides approximately 140 hours of listening, speaking, reading, writing and language practice activities.

English for the Energy Industries focuses on high-frequency lexis and structures used in the work environment, such as the language of safety, instructions, descriptions of equipment, processes and systems.

English for the Energy Industries develops the four language skills in English for Specific Purposes (ESP) contexts:

  • Reading: uses authentic texts that energy industry technicians will use in everyday life, such as instruction manuals.
  • Speaking and listening: communicative pairwork tasks practise real-life communication situations, such as describing and giving information about equipment and jobs, giving instructions and warnings and discussing workplace problems.
  • Writing: tasks motivate students by developing knowledge of useful language for different text types, such as accident report forms and written notes and instructions.

A comprehensive Glossary provides clear explanations of approximately 160 key terms in common use in the energy industries.

Key Features

  • Essential expressions and language used in the industry
  • Constant recycling of high-frequency technical terms and vocabulary
  • Real-life listening and reading texts
  • A communicative approach to oral accuracy and fluency
  • Over 140 hours of skills practice activities
  • A glossary of over 160 key terms

View accompanying audio CDs and Teacher’s Book.


Format: Paperback


Unit 1: Giving basic information
Unit 2: Calculating and measuring
Unit 3: Describing equipment
Unit 4: Giving instructions and warnings
Unit 5: Describing systems
Unit 6: Talking about safety
Unit 7: Making comparisons
Unit 8: Describing processes and procedures
Unit 9: Giving advice
Review (Units 1-9)
Pairwork activities

Author details

Peter Levrai has been working in TEFL since 1995. He has worked in Europe and Central Asia and is currently working in China at the University of Nottingham, Ningbo. Since starting to teach corporate clients in Portugal he has become increasingly interested in developing specialized courses for highly specific needs.

While working in Azerbaijan this culminated in English for the Energy Industries: Oil, Gas and Petrochemicals, which was published in 2006. Based on authentic technical training material, this course is fully focused on the language needs of trainee technicians in the oil industry.

He is currently involved in continuing support, developing and delivering academic literacy workshops to support students in their divisional studies.

Fiona McGarry has been working in EFL since 1989 as a teacher, teacher trainer, examiner, editor and materials writer. She is a young learner specialist with particular experience in the Arab World. She is the author of two primary course books and has been a writer, consultant and editor for the Preparatory materials in Garnet Education’s revised English for Libya series. She has also been involved in writing ESP and EAP books, including English for the Energy Industries: Oil, Gas and Petrochemicals, Take-off: Technical English for Engineering, Safety First and TASK (Transferable Academic Skills Kit) and English for Islamic Studies with Amna M. Bedri.

Fiona has worked in Qatar, Libya, Sudan, UAE, Spain, the USA and the UK and has written and delivered many in-service orientation courses to familiarize teachers with new teaching materials, methodologies and teaching techniques. She is also involved in running CELTA and diploma courses and is an examiner, assessor and moderator for UCLES and Trinity College London.


"A well-designed ESP teaching and learning resource that would be an excellent teaching tool to any EFL/EAP tutor who has a limited knowledge of this cognate area."

- Journal of the English for Specific Purposes Special Interest Group

"This book, as its name suggests, is specifically aimed at people who require technical English applicable to the oil, gas and petrochemicals industry.

The book is aimed at pre- and low-intermediate level students and takes a comprehensive look at all aspects of the industry. It consists of 9 units and covers, in detail, the following topics: giving basic information, such as personal details, asking questions, and describing objects, equipment and jobs within the industry; calculating and measuring; describing equipment and how it works. These range from workshop tools to pumps and measuring devices; giving instructions and warnings. This covers how something works, for example, a crane, identifying problems and finding solutions; describing systems, for example, heating, electrical, and alarm systems and the use of simple diagrams relating to these systems; describing procedures and processes within the industry; safety, for example, identifying hazards and reporting accidents; making comparisons; and giving advice using formal and informal technical expressions.

The units are split into 10 lessons after which there is a review section so tha the student can test himself to check that the main points have been understood.

Unfortunately, I have not had the chance to use the book in any of my courses and therefore it is difficult to assess properly what the book would be like to use. However, there is a lot of material packed into the book and I did like the format of the book in that each unit consists of various tasks for the students to do, alone or in pairs. There is a lot of information for the student to absorb and, at times, I think it is quite demanding for pre- to low-intermediate students. They certainly won't have the time to be bored!

A teacher's book and audio cassette or CD are also available."

- Vivienne Dietrich for the ELTAF Newsletter, Issue 50, Summer 2009

"As the use of English as a second language expands worldwide, so does the publication of books to satisfy the English language training needs of a target community. English for the Energy Industries: Oil, Gas and Petrochemicals is evidence of this development and makes a claim that one can be extremely selective in deciding the course material for developing communication skills in a specific industry, instead of depending on more standard materials usually described as 'Technical Communication'. Garnet has published this titles to cater to the needs of language learners in the oil and allied industries.

This book manages to cut to the essentials, maximising learning with minimum tasks. In the teacher's book introduction, it is noted that 100-145 hours are needed to finish the course to achieve the desired level of competence in order to manage an 'English-speaking workplace'. Further, the gap of 45 hours can be managed by the teacher by incorporating 'additional material' befitting 'individual or group work depending upon the size and nature of the class'. The teacher's book is good enough to make precise functional hints for the use of the student's book.

Apart from having content for developing the basic communication requirements like listening, speaking, and writing skills with the help of vocabulary and sentence structures typical for the industry, this course material includes two CDs to enhance standard pronunciation of the users.

In my opinion, not only people preparing to work in the oil, gas and petrochemical industries, but also students of Industrial Chemistry and Chemical Engineering can immensely benefit by using the comprehensive material provided in the course book and supplementary CDs to achieve the desired level of communication competency in the workplace. It is worthwhile to note that the black and white pictorial presentations given sequentially in the book will stimulate the students' visual perception and work as a motivating factor to use it as a self-study book. Though this course book will be highly beneficial if used in the classroom, it can be used outside as self-study material."

- Dr Prasanta Kumar Panda for KnowGenesis IJTC, Vol 3, Issue 1, March 2008