- Career Planning
Bulk Plant Operator Spotlight
Much like the name suggests, a Bulk Plant Operator operates a Bulk Plant, which is a facility that houses towering pressure vessels or silos to store various powdered blends of chemicals, such as drilling fluids, cement additives and acids. Bulk Plant Operators oversee the plant, which includes tracking and maintaining inventories of bulk materials and maintaining large pieces of equipment, some of which hold 90 tonnes of cement.
What a typical day looks like:
A Bulk Plant is a hub for raw materials that need to seamlessly come in, get properly mixed and then be delivered to oil and gas well sites. The Bulk Plant Operator receives, mixes and loads orders. They calculate quantities, volumes and weights. Many companies have their own recipe with their own proprietary ingredients and ratios. The Operator follows that recipe: measure, mix, stir and blend a ton of this and a ton of that. Each blend of cement and chemicals is carefully calculated based on its application and/or the specific conditions of the well it will serve (e.g., temperature). The Operator is entrusted with the task of making sure the right mix gets to the right place.
In one moment, the Operator might be filling a vessel with dry bulk cement or loading it into a blending tank or truck. The next moment, they might be replacing a leaky valve or troubleshooting a malfunction or playing traffic control with arriving orders. They also use loaders and forklifts to make sure every load is where it needs to be. The priorities for the day are determined by what materials are needed on site in the near future.
The kinds of problems Bulk Plant Operators solve at work:
Bulk Plant Operators have to balance quality, quantity, delivery timelines and safety, all while also maintaining their equipment. They need to maintain relationships with suppliers and customers while training and supporting the staff they lead. Not only do they manage material resources, but also know how to monitor equipment and troubleshoot small problems before they become larger issues. They pay attention to the small details so that everything happens on time, on budget and without issue.
Skills used most on the job:
Bulk Plant Operators have a keen attention to detail and make sure that all of the appropriate mixtures, weights and volumes are met to meet each order specification. Since there are so many moving parts and information they handle on a daily basis, they are excellent multi-taskers. They also have excellent organizational, time management and planning skills.
Bulk Plant Operators ensure the smooth operation of a bulk plant, including maintaining inventory and mixing bulk products for swift and efficient delivery to oil and gas well sites.
- Career Planning