About This Career
Control Centre Operators are responsible for the safe and reliable operation of oil and gas processing plants and pipelines. In a processing plant, Control Centre Operators monitor and control the operation of its processing units using a distributive control system (DCS) typically located within the plant. They are experienced operators, making key decisions on adjustments to processing units, as well as overseeing other operators within the facility. Control Centre Operators also provide the initial response to an emergency situation or evacuation, and oversee the start-up or shut down of a plant or one of its units.
In the pipeline sector of the oil and gas industry, Control Centre Operators control pipeline activity from a centralized control room. They must have a solid understanding of the integrated processes and systems required for the transportation of oil and gas products, as well as the product’s inherent characteristics and customer specification. Control Centre Operators often are the first to detect any potential operational issues and work closely with operations and maintenance staff to avert any problems or issues.
Education: Entry-level education and experience requirements for Control Centre Operators vary. In processing plants, these operators typically have up to 10 years of operating experience. In the pipeline sector, they require the minimum of a high school diploma (or equivalent). However, some employers prefer a technologist or technical diploma in petroleum, power, chemical, mechanical, electrical or instrumentation engineering, as well as an understanding of the characteristics of oil and gas and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems.
Employment: This occupation is found in both onshore and offshore environments and is typically employed in the exploration and production (E&P), oil sands, and pipeline sectors of the oil and gas industry.
Example titles: Gas Controller, Oil Movement Coordinator, Control Room Operator, Process Control Operator, Panel Operator, Pipeline System Controller
- Assistant Shift Supervisor
- Chief Engineer
- Chief Inspector
- Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) roles
- Lead Operator
- Process safety roles
- Production Foreman
- Shift Supervisor
Some Overtime Required
- Chemical manufacturing
- Mining and quarrying
- Paper manufacturing
- Petroleum and coal product manufacturing
- Plastics and rubber products manufacturing
- Primary metal manufacturing
- Public administration, including regulatory
- Rail transportation
- Utilities, including renewable energy
- Wood product manufacturing
Exploration and production
- High School Diploma (or equivalent)
- Compressor Operator or Refrigeration certification may be required
- Standard and emergency first aid
- Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG)
- Provincial Stationary Engineer license may be required