About This Career
Snubbing Operators use snubbing equipment to insert drill pipe, tubing and specialized equipment into, or remove from, pressurized oil and gas wells. These wells are closed using blowout preventers which contains well pressure. This occupation is one of the most safety sensitive roles during drilling operations due to the potential for explosions and blow-outs.
Snubbers are highly specialized; responsibilities progressively increase from that of an Assistant Operator through to Snubbing Supervisor, for example:
- Assistant Snubbing Operators are primarily responsible for providing support with pre- and post-snubbing operations.
- Class 1 Snubbing Operators work in wells where the pressure is less than 10 mega pascal (MPA) and there is no presence of poisonous gas (10 MPA pressure is about the same pressure as water spray from a pressure washer). They work within a single zone of the wellbore.
- Class 2 and 3 Snubbing Operators work in progressively more complex medium and high pressure environments. They may work in the presence of sweet or sour gases.
- Class 1 Supervisors are responsible for overseeing activities in a wellbore with pressures less than 21 MPA (21 MPA is equivalent to the ballistic pressure exerted as a bullet strikes a solid object).
- Class 2 Supervisors are responsible for wells with pressure greater than 21 MPA.
Education: There are no specific educational requirements; however, progressive experience is required to move up from Assistant Snubbing Operator to Supervisor. A high school diploma may be required at the supervisory level.
Employment: This occupation is found in both onshore and offshore environments and is typically employed in the oil and gas services sectors of the oil and gas industry.
Example titles: Fishing Operator, Snubbing Services Operator
- The following are examples of progressive or lateral career paths associated with this occupation:
- Rig Hand
- Seismic crew
- Other Services Operator
Mild Physical Activity
Long Periods of Standing
Working from Heights
Some Overtime Required
- Truck transportation
- Non-residential and residential building construction
- Forestry and logging
- Professional, scientific and technical services
- Primary metal manufacturing
- Heavy and civil engineering construction
- Mining and quarrying
Oil and gas services
- High School Diploma (or equivalent)
- The following health and safety courses may be required for this occupation:
- Standard and emergency first aid
- Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS)
- H2S Alive
- Fall protection
- Confined space entry
- Respirator fit testing
- Traffic control
- Class 1 or 3 driver’s license