An oil and gas rotary drill operator is someone who carries out the physical aspects of the drilling plans that petroleum engineers have put in place. They operate the equipment that digs the well and that removes our natural resources of oil and gas. They are experts at reaching the vast fields of oil and gas hidden underground, whether they are under the sea or beneath a desert.
What does an Oil and Gas Rotary Drill Operator do?
Oil and gas rotary drill operators include roustabouts, derrick operators, service unit operators, and rotary drill operators.
Roustabouts typically do the following:
Clean equipment and keep the work area orderly and free of debris
Use electronic detectors and make visual inspections in flow lines to locate leaks
Use truck winches and motorized lifts to move pipes to and from trucks or move the pipes by hand
Dismantle and repair oil field machinery, boilers, and steam engine parts
Guide cranes that move loads
Attach lifting slings to loads moved by cranes or by other special equipment, such as gin-pole trucks
What is the workplace of an Oil and Gas Rotary Drill Operator like?
Oil and gas rotary drill operators are employed mainly in oil and gas extraction and in firms offering support for mining. Oil and gas sites can be on land, in inland waters, or at sea (offshore). During hazardous weather, such as a hurricane, coastal land rigs and offshore production and drilling facilities may have to be evacuated.
Derrick operators and rotary drill operators experience higher-than-average rates of nonfatal injuries. Constant care must be taken to minimize incidents and maximize safety in a work environment where secure footing is often a concern. Proper use of personal protective equipment, such as hard hats, minimizes risks on job sites. An additional danger is the constant, loud noise from the drilling machinery. This noise makes communication difficult, so it is important for workers to follow safety instructions from supervisors and other experienced co-workers.
Most oil and gas rotary drill operators work full time, but they often have to work overtime. Oil and gas drilling rigs usually operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Workers on land drilling rigs typically work eight or twelve hour shifts. While some land drilling rig personnel work seven days a week without days off until the well is complete, most work seven or fourteen days on and then equal days off. The remote location of offshore oil rigs requires some workers to live onsite for weeks at a time, frequently working 12-hour shifts, followed by an extended leave period onshore. As a result, part-time opportunities are rare.