The corona outbreak has affected the global economy like never before. Due to this many pertinent questions have been raised about the sustainability and career prospects of the Oil and Gas industry. Unlike any other profession, petroleum jobs have taken the hardest hit with drilling operators being no exception. A drilling operator does tons of on-field work in addition to managing the crew.
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Understanding the role of a Drilling Operator
A drilling operator handles the complete working of the drill from its starting to advancing it into the rib or face to a specified depth, the task of monitoring it at each step goes without saying. On a daily basis, they are supposed to ensure the cleaning and oiling of cables, pulleys, and the moving blocks. In addition to all this, drilling operators maintain records of footage drilled, location, and nature of strata penetrated, materials, and tools used as well as the time required for all of them. Besides their typical day, drill operators also prepare and position the derricks at drilling sites specified on maps.
The operating conditions and working hours:
Drilling operators face higher than average rates of non-fatal injuries. Necessary precautions are taken to minimize risks in a working environment where secure footing is often a concern. Proper and regular use of personal protective equipment is done by them to maximize safety. Moreover, constant whirring and grinding of tools producing unbearable noises which makes verbal and telecommunication difficult at all times during working.
In any typical week drilling operators are expected to work for more than 40 hours. The working schedule is irregular as it largely depends on the weather conditions, customer demands and the project contract. Since a rig operates for 24 hours, seven days a week the drilling operators work in eight to twelve-hour shifts. In case of any technical difficulties faced at the rig, an operator may be compelled to work for over fourteen hours at a stretch!
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What skills are required for being a Drilling operator?
So far, we have got an idea of the tasks carried out by the drilling operator and the conditions in which they are supposed to perform it. Now, we discuss the most critical of all, the skill set, and knowledge required for a Drilling operator.
The primary skill for a drilling operator is critical thinking and analysis. Given the conditions and the deadlines, an operator should always be able to take the right decisions and manage the crew. They identify complex problems and review the related information to develop and evaluate options and then implement solutions. Another important skill set is to be an active listener; being able to give full attention to what other people are saying, considering their opinions and not disrupting them at inappropriate times. Also, all the operators are active learners, they understand the implications of new information of both current and future decision-making as well as problems. Furthermore, Time-management; Drilling operators are amazing at managing time while helping others to do the same.
In addition to the technical knowledge, they also have awareness about the following:
- CAD software: The computer-aided design (CAD) software for creating, modifying, and optimizing designs.
- CAE software: The software to perform computer-aided engineering (CAE) analysis tasks such as Finite Element Analysis and Computational Fluid Dynamics.
- CAM software: Computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) is used to control machinery and machine tools in the creation, modification as well as optimization as a part of the manufacturing processes of workpieces.
- CADD software: Drilling operators use the computer-aided design and drafting (CADD) is used for designing and documentation. CAD software replaces manual drafting with an automated process thus, increasing efficiency.
- Dispose of cutting waste material: It is one of the many crucial tasks carried out by a drilling operator – disposing of the possibly hazardous waste material created in the rock-cutting process, such as swarf, scrap and slugs, sort according to the regulations, and clean to up the workplace.
- Use CAM software: Use Computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) is used to control machinery and machine tools in the creation, modification, analysis, or optimization as part of the manufacturing processes of workpieces.
- Operate precision measuring equipment: The drilling operator is highly skilled at measuring the size of a processed part when verifying and marking it to check if it is up to standard by the use of two- and three-dimensional precision measuring equipment such as a calliper, a micrometer, and a measuring gauge.
Where to look for Drilling Operator job opportunities?
Millions of students aspire to grab the job of Drilling operator every year, well only a few succeed. Find out what place and profile suits your skill-set at Energy Dais, a digital platform that offers a one-stop solution for all your oil and gas-related queries, updates you about the job opportunities, and also functions as an effective business tool for stakeholders to be efficient and conduct more productive operations. To all the final year students who are eagerly looking for jobs in these trying times, you are just a free sign-up away from 5000+ jobs at the exclusive job portal at Energy Dais.
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(The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Energy Dais.)