Petroleum Plant and Facility Operators can be found working in
many oil and gas locations across Canada. Imagine working in
Northern Alberta's oil sands region, or perhaps in a heavy upgrader
facility in Saskatchewan. Maybe the east coast waters of
Newfoundland's offshore industry are calling or perhaps working at
a pipeline facility is more appealing.
Petroleum Plant and Facility Operators process oil and gas into
products like gasoline, motor oil, plastics etc., that are
transported by pipelines to refineries and distribution centres.
Processing examples include:
- Converting bitumen (found in oil
sands) into lighter oils
- Processing/upgrading heavy oil to
light crude oil
- Converting raw natural gas to
products for commercial and residential use
- Processing oil and gas from
underwater wells for transport to land facilities
- Compressing gas for pipeline
- Controlling the movement of petroleum
products at storage facilities
What does a Petroleum Plant andFacility Operator do?
Petroleum Plant and Facility Operators operate, control,
monitor, inspect andtroubleshoot vital process control systems and
equipment. Sample duties include:
- Operating valves, pumps, controls for
start-up and shutdown and troubleshooting functions
- Operating computerized and electronic
process control systems
- Monitoring sophisticated measurement
devices and gauges
- Preparing equipment for start-up,
maintenance and repair processes
- Sampling and testing petroleum
- Ensuring safe operations and
initiating emergency response if required
How do I become a Petroleum Plantand Facility Operator?
Typically, recruiters look for a combination of high school
graduation, with an aptitude for mathematics, computers, mechanics,
chemistry and physics, and about five years of general oil and gas
field experience. This experience may include exposure to
hydraulics, instrumentation, electronics and mechanics.
Employers have high expectations and demand excellence from
You can count on receiving extensive internal training that may
involve progressive coursework, simulation exercises and mentoring
from experienced operators.
What are the working conditions like?
Operators must be prepared to work in remote locations. You
could find yourself working in towns and cities located in northern
climates, or perhaps in the isolation of offshore marine locations.
Work hours are generally 12 hour shifts in a 24/7 operating
environment. Overtime and call-out do occur on occasion. Most
operators generally work indoors. There is occasional exposure to
contaminants, noise and other hazardous conditions. However, safety
training and awareness is a high priority and operators must adhere
to all safety requirements and regulations. Appropriate time off is
given depending on the rotation.
Do I fit the bill?
Want to know if you would make a good Petroleum Plant
and Facility Operator?
- I am a great
- I enjoy the challenge of "real time"
- I have good concentration skills and
am not easily distracted.
- I am innovative and enjoy finding out
how things work.
- I am a "big picture" thinker who
loves to see how all processes come together to achieve an
- I can take charge and handle pressure
- I like to use math skills and
scientific methods to solve problems.
- I can follow guidelines to arrange
objects or actions in a certain order.
- I have proven computer competency
- I don't mind working weekends,
evenings and holidays.
- I am capable of working 12 hour
rotational shifts in a 24/7 operating environment.
- I am comfortable working alone in an
- I interact well with others using
both oral and written communication.
- I believe that following safety
policies and procedures is very important.
- I believe that I have what it takes
to be an excellent Petroleum Plant and Facility
Quick tips and next steps!
- Visit the next petroleum career fair
in your area and talk toemployers with exhibits pertaining to
petroleum production. Checkwith employment centres, educational
institutions, newspapers,petroleum-related magazines and the
internet for information on career fairs.
- Research the oil and gas industry.
Start with the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers website
- Check out the websites of companies
that are engaged inpetroleum production.
- Enroll in courses that provide
knowledge of control systems, instrumentation, electrical,
mechanical or petroleum technology.
- Contact companies that interest you
and speak to Production Operators about their jobs.
- Get field experience by applying for
summer jobs with oil and gas companies.
Want more info?
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