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.
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Inspect derricks, or order their inspection, before they are raised or lowered
Make sure the drilling fluid continues to flow correctly
Repair pumps and other equipment related to the drilling fluid system
Ensure that rig pumps and other drilling systems are working properly
Use harnesses and platform climbing devices to position and align derrick elements
Supervise crew members and help train them
Guide lengths of pipe into and out of elevators
Help maintain other rig equipment
Service unit operators typically do the following:
Maintain wells by removing tubes or rods from the hole that is drilled into the ground
Observe load variations on gauges, pumps, and pressure indicators
Inspect engines, rotary chains, and other equipment to detect faulty operations or unusual equipment conditions
Drive truck-mounted units to well sites
Install pressure-control devices onto wellheads
Thread cables through derrick pulleys
Operate pumps that circulate water, oil, or other fluids through wells to remove sand or other materials obstructing the free flow of oil
Operate controls that raise derricks or level rigs
Rotary drill operators, also known as drillers, typically do the following:
Oversee maintenance of the drill rig and implementation of the well plan
Train crews and introduce procedures to make operations safe and effective
Observe pressure gauges and move throttles and levers, both to control the speed of rotary tables and to regulate the pressure of tools at the bottoms of drill holes
Observe gauges that monitor well flow to prevent an overflow
Keep records of footage drilled, locations and the nature of layers drilled, materials and drilling tools used, services performed, and time required
Start and examine pump operations to ensure circulation and consistency of drilling fluids or mud in wells
Use special tools to locate and recover lost or broken bits, casings, and drill pipes from wells
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.