About This Career
Petroleum Plant and Facility Operators control, operate, monitor, inspect, maintain and troubleshoot vital process control systems and equipment in plants and facilities found in the upstream petroleum industry. They play a key role in a company’s ability to operate efficiently and meet oil or gas production targets.
Petroleum Plant and Facility Operators oversee equipment and processes in the field. This can range from small gathering pipelines that deliver oil or gas from one or more wells to a system of tanks and other surface equipment designed to separate and measure oil, gas and water.
Their roles are also required in central processing plants that are designed to separate oil, gas and bitumen from other substances, remove impurities and ready the product for transportation. As well, they are required in pipeline facilities such as pump stations, tank farms, terminals and compressor stations that transport oil, gas and bitumen for further processing or to market.
Education: A high school diploma (or equivalent) and an aptitude for mathematics, computers, mechanics, chemistry or physics are typically required. Some employers prefer a post-secondary diploma in petroleum, electrical, mechanical or instrumentation engineering technology or a production field/gas process operations certificate. Plants and facilities that use pressurized equipment will require operators to have a power engineering certification. Specific skills and knowledge are dependent on the type of process and equipment used.
Employment: This occupation is found in both onshore and offshore environments and is typically employed by the oil sands, exploration and production (E&P), oil and gas services, and pipeline sectors of the oil and gas industry.
Example titles: Bitumen Plant Operator, Gas Plant Operator, Gas Compressor Operator, Gauger, Heavy Oil Process Operator, Pipeline Operator, SAGD Facility Operator, LNG Plant Operator, LNG Process Operator, Operator Technician, Battery Operator, Process Operator, Pump Station Operator, Production Operator, Facility Operator, Waste Treatment Operator
- Assistant Shift Supervisor
- Chief Engineer
- Chief Inspector
- Control Room Operator
- Environmental Health & Safety 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
- Utilities, including renewable energy
- Wood product manufacturing
Oil and gas services
Exploration and production
- High School Diploma (or equivalent)
- Standard and emergency first aid
- H2S Alive
- Most employers require a valid Class 5 driver’s licence
- Ability to pass a pre-employment physical assessment and drug test