Drilling rigs span the Canadian landscape, and play an important
role in meeting our everyday needs for petroleum products. Without
these rigs, we would not have heat for our homes, fuel for our cars
or everyday products that are made out of plastic. Well service
jobs can be found onshore, offshoreand in the Arctic region.
Picture yourself maintaining these rigs and playing a key role in
the initial stages of oil and gas production!
Well Service Operators play an integral role in the drilling and
production of oil and gas wells. They provide specialized services
in all stages of drilling and production process. These stages
- Drilling wells
- Extracting petroleum from
- Servicing and maintaining
- Closing down wells
Well Services Operators are typically hired by drilling and well
services companies that provide contracted services to petroleum
What does a Well Services Operator do?
Well Services Operators are vital to the
development and long-term life of the well. Most operators are
highly specialized and dependent on each other for sequencing and
scheduling of processes. There is very little difference in well
service techniques used on land versus out at sea. Typical well
specialty services include:
- Forcing acid into wells to improve
- Inserting tubes to inject fluids
- Operating power tongs to insert metal
- Determining production viability
(drill stem testing)
- Installing tools to control pressure
and divert flows (completion)
- Retrieving tools and objects from the
- Injecting fluid and gases to improve
oil and gas flow (fracturing)
- Inserting drill pipe into pressurized
- Inserting and removing testing and
coring equipment (logging and coring)
- Priming a well to flow on its own
- Testing well production
- Operating cable to send objects down
- Cementing wells for
How do I become a Well Services Operator?
Employers look for high school graduates with good math skills,
a strong work ethic and willingness to learn. Many operators are
required to operate heavy trucks and must possess a class 1 or 3
operator's license with a heavy truck endorsement and a clean
Typically, positions start at the training or entry level.
Career advancementis based on experience, internal technical
training, and good work performance.
What are the working conditions like?
Expect work conditions and environment to change with the
weather. Physical stamina, dexterity and the ability to adapt are
required to deal with difficult and potentially hazardous
conditions. Worker safety is a top concern for the oil and gas
industry. Safety training and adherence to procedures and policies
have resulted in an excellent safety track record for this
Hours of work depend on contracts, location and specialty
services provided. Travel and extended stays in hotels and/or camps
are usually required because of the remote locations of many wells.
Work hours are typically 12 hour rotating shifts with the
possibility of overtime and call-out.
Do I fit the bill?
Want to know if you'd make a good Well Services
- 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 technical instructions
to arrange objects or actions in a certain order.
- I have proven computer competency
- I am able to work weekends, evenings
- I am capable of working 12 hour
rotational shifts in a 24/7 operating environment.
- I am comfortable with staying in
hotels, motels or work camps for extended periods.
- I am comfortable working in an
- I am a good communicator.
- I am a good team player.
- I believe that following safety
policies and procedures is very important.
- I believe that the characteristics of
a Well Services Operator match my capabilities and
Quick tips and next steps!
- Visit the next petroleum career fair
in your area and talk to employers with exhibits pertaining to
drilling and well services. Check with 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 Petroleum Services Association of Canada website at:
- Check out the website of the Canadian
Association of Drilling Contractors at: www.caodc.ca. It provides a list of
drilling and well services contractors and other useful
- Get field experience by applying for
summer jobs with oil andgas companies.
Want more info?
For information on other industry occupations check out