- Oil and Gas Services
- Oil sands
- High school diploma
About This Career
You’re the keeper of a maze of pipes, tanks, pumps, boilers and towers. Petroleum plants and facilities operate around the clock and require ongoing maintenance and staffing. You are responsible for keeping these industrial facilities performing and producing.
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.
In this occupation activities may include:
- Controlling the upgrade process (e.g., hydrogen addition, carbon rejection or carbon concentration and removal)
- Shutting down, isolating and preparing process units or production equipment for maintenance
- Operating specialized equipment used to separate, measure and store products coming from a well
- Operating specialized equipment required to convert raw natural gas to sweet or sour gas (e.g., reciprocating and centrifugal compressors, absorbers and regenerators, sulphur recovery units, centrifugal pumps and steam turbines)
- Controlling the heavy oil (in situ) production process (e.g., using hot steam to lower the viscosity of oil)
- 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.
- Standard and emergency first aid
- H2S Alive
- Most employers require a valid Class 5 driver’s licence
You’re mechanically inclined and a problem solver. Your energy and adaptability helps you keep up with a variety of demands at the plant.
- Production and processing
- Computer use
- Monitoring operations
- Controlling operations
- Attention to detail
- Law and government
- Evaluating systems
- Complex problem solving
- Judgment and decision making
- Mining and quarrying
- Public administration
Related Careers in Oil & Gas
Also known as
- Bitumen Plant Operator
- Gas Plant Operator
- Gas Compressor Operator
- Heavy Oil Process Operator
- Pipeline Operator
- SAGD Facility Operator
- LNG Plant Operator
- LNG Process Operator
- Battery Operator
- Process Operator
- Pump Station Operator
- Production Operator
- Facility Operator
- Waste Treatment Operator
Petroleum Plant and Facility Operator SpotlightPosted
Petroleum plants operate around the clock, requiring constant maintenance and staffing. A Petroleum Plant and Facility Operator is responsible for kee...Continue reading