Job: Oil & Gas Field Operator

By , March 23, 2010

Once a well has been drilled, the production department has the responsibility of processing and transporting the oil and gas products to market. The operator’s responsibilities involve the production of oil and gas. As a company’s field representative, an operator is assigned a number of wells and leases and associated production equipment. The field operator is a key person representing the operating company’s interest in keeping the oil and gas pumping and flowing!

Black gold is big business

A field operator is responsible to keep the oil and gas wells and associated production equipment operating at optimum capacity for the least cost. They measure production, monitor equipment operation and perform minor maintenance functions. They must have an knowledge of safe operating practices and be able to perform First Aid, CPR, and other rescue and life saving skills. An understanding of different regulatory bodies governing the operation of production wells and their related equipment, such as the Oil and Gas Commission, OH&S, Boiler’s Branch, and local government agencies is essential to the job. Knowledge of the lease identification system which includes Township, Range, Section, and Legal Subdivision numbering systems is required as is an understanding of the origin of natural gas and associated chemicals and impurities.

Specific Duties

Petroleum, gas and chemical process operators perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Operate electronic or computerized control panel to manage gas compression operations
  • Control process start-up, shut-down and troubleshooting of production equipment
  • Monitor outside process equipment
  • Adjust equipment, valves, pumps and controls and process equipment
  • Authorize or co-sign maintenance work orders
  • Shut down, isolate and prepare process units or production equipment for maintenance
  • Sample products, perform tests, record data, carry out statistical process control on process operations, and write production logs
  • Develop operator procedures for normal operation, start-up or shut-down of unit
  • Participate in safety audits and programs and provide emergency response when required
  • Ensure adherence to safety and environmental regulations

Education & Training

  • Grade 12 education is preferred. Mathematics, chemistry and physics subjects are often specified.
  • A college diploma in process operation, sciences or a related subject may be required for some positions.
  • Experienced production field operators can advance to supervisory level positions within a production company.
  • After completing power engineering training a field operator can move into plant operations.
  • A provincial stationary engineer licence, compressor operator or refrigeration certificate may be required when certain kinds of equipment are included in the process.
  • Certification in the transportation of dangerous goods (TDG), first aid, H2S Alive, fire fighting, basic confined entry & rescue training, light vehicle training or workplace hazardous materials information system (WHMIS) may be required

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