Ever wondered who is responsible for getting oil and gas wells
up and running? Who makes sure wells are working smoothly
throughout the life of the well? Enter Well Services specialists!
Vigilant about safety, these professionals improve the production
of wells both onland and at sea.
Picture yourself learning from the ground up, under the guidance
of skilled operators. You might help them test wells or apply
pressurized fluid techniques to increase well performance. You
might drive service vehicles and set up or take down equipment. You
might also clean and maintain the tools, trucks and worksites.
Are you curious about how wells operate and what happens below
ground to bring oil and gas to the surface? Do you think you're up
to the challenge of working outdoors, in situations where safety
must be your first priority? Have you ever thought you'd like a
career with potential for international travel? Being a Well
Services Helper, Labourer or Semi-skilled Worker could be for
What do Well Services Helpers, Labourers and Semi-skilled
Well Services Helpers, Labourers and Semi-skilled
Workers learn about the specialized equipment, procedures
and safety requirements for well servicing functions. They check
and load tools and equipment and get the worksites ready.Workers
inspect, clean and maintain tools and vehicles, and may drive
trucks or other equipment. Typical well services specialty
- Cementing: Seal
space between the edge of the well and the well casing or between
the casing and pipe (tubing), seal off non-producing zones, and
plug wells so they can be abandoned. Crews use special mixers and
pumps to displace drilling fluids and place cement in the
- Fracturing: Create
cracks in the rock around the well to increase oil and gas flows.
Crews pump specially engineered fluids at high pressure and rate,
causing a crack or break to occur.
- Snubbing: Use
equipment to insert or remove drill pipe, tubing or specialized
equipment into or from a well. Crews use this process when blowout
preventers are closed and the well is under pressure.
- Well Testing: Inject
fluid into the reservoir to conduct well tests. The pressure is
recorded and interpreted using various analysis
- Wireline: Use
wireline (cable) equipment to lower objects into the wells for
logging, perforating, fishing, bailing, and swabbing
How do I become a Well Services Helper, Labourer or
At minimum, you will need a high school diploma. You must also
have clean drug and alcohol test results. Employers seek people in
good physical condition with strong work ethics and a willingness
to learn. Once hired, you will receive safety and on the job
A driver's license may be needed to operate a personal or
company vehicle to get to a worksite. For jobs that operate heavy
trucks, you must have a Class 1 or 3 operator's license with heavy
truck endorsement and a clean driver's abstract.
What are the working conditions like?
Work is mostly performed outdoors in remote locations or in
workshops. You may be exposed to extreme weather, and may have to
stay at hotels, motels or camps. Exposureto potentially hazardous
conditions is possible and therefore safety protocols must be
followed. Hours of work depend on contracts, location and type of
service. Work is usually structured around 12-hour rotating shifts,
with overtime dependent on the urgency of the service or
availability of workers. You may need to be on call.
Do I fit the bill?
Do you think you have what it takes to become a Well
Services Helper, Labourer or Semi-skilled Worker?
- I have mechanical ability and
understand technical instructions.
- I like to work with my hands and fix
- I am willing to ask questions and
learn on the go.
- I am a good problem solver and
- I take initiative and can think
quickly on my feet.
- I am not easily
- I can follow safety rules and
precautions, and understand their importance when dealing with
potentially hazardous materialand equipment.
- I am willing to take
- I believe in teamwork and understand
that other people will be relying on me.
- I can handle hard physical
- I have the tolerance, stamina and
flexibility to work outdoors in any weather conditions.
- I can work rotational shifts and long
- I can handle considerable travel to
and from work locations.
- I can work and live in isolated
regions for extended periods of time.
- I believe that I have what it takes
to be an excellent Well Services Helper, Labourer or Semi-skilled
Quick tips and next steps!
- Check out the website of the
Petroleum Services Association of Canada at www.psac.ca for industry information,
career resources and a list of member companies (potential
- Browse the website of the Canadian
Association of Drilling Contractors at: www.caodc.ca. It provides a listing
of drilling and well services contractors and their
- Review information about the
'designated occupations' of Snubbing Services (all levels) andWell
Testing Services Supervisors at: www.tradesecrets.gov.ab.ca.
- Learn more about the lifecycle of a
well. One resource is the Oil and Gas Well Drilling and
Servicing e-Tool at: www.osha.gov.
- Get familiar with some of the common
terms used in the industry. One resource is the Oilfield
Glossary, produced by Schlumberger and available at: www.glossary.oilfield.slb.com.
- Build your knowledge in mathematics,
mechanics, English, physics and chemistry.
- Look for summer jobs with well
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