Drilling Engineer Job Description: Skills, Work, Salary And What Driller Do
Not a single development of oil and gas fields is complete without the knowledge and skills of drillers. These professionals are indispensable in the construction of highways, tunnels, and subways, they are in demand in the course of engineering and geological surveys, and their work is used in the process of finding water in arid areas. In our review, we will give a drilling engineer job description, talk about what he does at the workplace and what requirements are presented to applicants for this position.
Drilling Engineer Job Description
First, a little history. Drilling was used in ancient civilizations. According to archaeologists, by the middle of the 1st millennium, wells already existed in China, the depth of which reached 900 m – they were created for the extraction of drinking water and saline solutions. The ancient Chinese used the method of percussion drilling, later it was used to create the very first oil well in the world, which was discovered in Bibi Heybat in the middle of the 19th century. Soon a similar object appeared in America, approximately since then in our country the profession of a driller has received its rapid development.
In parallel, there was an improvement in drilling technology. So, in the eighties, the first electric drill was created, and in 1938 a drill was introduced, which in its design features and technical parameters already resembled modern equipment. This evolution of technology has allowed maximizing the depth of the well. If in 1930 the maximum permissible depth was 3 km, then by the 50s this value had already reached 7 km. Nowadays, it has become possible to create wells whose depth exceeds 12 km.
All this necessitated the training of drilling specialists – drillers (drillers). These employees can engage in a wide variety of activities, each of which requires different competencies, experience and training. Drillers can include drilling engineers, technicians, and machine drivers, with selection criteria varying widely in different technology divisions. For example, an assistant oil driller must have a set of competencies that is different from what an assistant well driller needs.
A specialist in electric drilling will also need his own set of skills and knowledge.
Generally speaking, the whole range of activities that are somehow related to good drilling can be divided into 2 groups – engineering and technical work.
- A drilling engineer is responsible for organizing and monitoring all work processes at the site, taking into account the features of the equipment used, the technologies used, the duration and purpose of operation of the facilities. In his production activities, this specialist relies on current GOSTs and TUs, research data, and the results of potential risk analysis taking into account safety requirements.
- A drilling technician is responsible for the implementation of all activities designed by the engineer. In the status of a drilling foreman, this employee manages a group of assistants with the goal of drilling wells in different climatic conditions using various drills. This specialist oversees the process of disassembling and dismantling equipment, carries out drilling and blasting operations. In addition, he takes an active part in conducting topographic surveys, as well as in the development of budget and design documentation.
It should be noted that the work of the driller is in demand not only in the construction and operation of new wells. These people also monitor and repair equipment. So, for example, at the stations for commissioning new drilling and mining equipment, drillers often go on long expeditions.
Work on existing wells is usually carried out on a rotational basis , as a rule, the composition is changed every month. The work is quite difficult, the specialist works 12 hours a day, seven days a week, and often without arranging comfortable living conditions.
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Responsibilities Drilling engineer
The terms of office of the driller and the complexity of the work performed may vary depending on the direction of his training and qualification level. In accordance with the EKTS and the established professional standard, the job descriptions of the driller include:
- drilling new wells;
- assembly and disassembly of drilling equipment;
- operation of equipment and, if necessary, its repair;
- blasting operations;
- maintaining technical documentation.
The driller for exploration and production drilling works on electric drills, its labor functions include:
- maintenance of electrical equipment;
- checking the technical condition of the electric drill, as well as the wires of the current collector;
- if necessary – replacement of cable sections and adjustment of the feed auto-regulator;
- performing telemetry system adjustments.
The installation driver performs the following duties:
- provides control of equipment of various types;
- clears the platform for mounting equipment;
- Engaged in the maintenance of automatic machine engines, as well as triggers;
- participates in the preparation of wellhead devices;
- participates in slinging;
- engaged in cargo transportation and handling.
Drilling engineer skills
In the list of requirements for drilling specialists, there is always an item on the necessary work experience – usually it is from 1 to 3 years. In addition, a driller’s vacancy requires a documented certificate of well control and management specialist during gas and oil and gas production or an installation supervisor. A driller must be able to manage mobile drilling rigs, know all the necessary safety rules for drilling and exploration.
Drilling profession requires tremendous physical endurance, training and strength. This person works outdoors, in uncomfortable living conditions, therefore a good state of health is required of him. Psychological stability does not hurt either – there is practically no time left in the process of shift to quiet entertainment, such as watching TV or playing computer games.
Few can pass such a test as a long separation from the family, and young specialists often have to establish contacts with the male team, whose average age is 45-50 years. It is this range that is considered average for drillers in domestic companies. In foreign firms, specialists are slightly younger – most often they are 30-40 years old. In addition, employees need a fairly high qualification, a constant desire for self-improvement, the ability and desire to learn new technologies, to study computer systems.
For non-managerial staff, knowledge of foreign languages is welcome, but is not required.
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Categories of drilling engineer
Drillers, depending on their experience, professional skills and competencies, may have several qualifications. The latter determines the nature of the work to which the driller can be allowed.
- A driller of the 5th category has the right to drill in wells up to 1.5 km deep of the first category of complexity.
- A driller of the 6th category is allowed to work on wells with a depth of 1.5-4 km of the second category.
- 7 and 8 bits is the basis for access to horizontal wells, as well as directional inclined lengths of more than 1.5 km and vertical wells with a depth of 4-6 km. The drillers of these discharges additionally fulfill the duties of checking the status of the lifting unit, are responsible for rigging the tackle system, and can control the movement of pump and compressor and drilling rigs. Their duties include inspection of wells using end and cone patterns, installation of filters and participation in other events.
Education and qualification
In our country, drilling specialists are trained at higher educational institutions in the field of “applied geology / oil and gas / mining / geodesy of technology”. Also, a candidate for work with wells can be trained in the specialty “Engineering” – in this case, he can realize the knowledge gained in solving problems in the field of implementation, installation and maintenance of drilling equipment, including offshore structures. For admission to the university, future drillers require good exam results in the Russian language (by default), as well as in specialized subjects – mathematics and physics.
Assistant drillers are trained in secondary vocational schools in the direction of “driller of exploratory wells and production facilities”. Admission to colleges and technical schools is carried out on the basis of a competition of certificates of graduation.
The average salary of drilling engineer
Drillers include not only specialists who are engaged in the extraction of minerals, oil, and gas. These workers are in demand in the process of creating subways, during the burial of toxic waste, during the construction of underground technological tanks and many other types of work.
According to statistics, the average level of payment for drillers in our country is kept at a fairly high level. This specialist receives $124000. However, the drilling engineer salary also depends upon some regions. In addition to the salary, various bonuses are added to the total amount. For example, work factors in highland and waterless regions rely on increasing factors.
Since drilling operations are often carried out on a rotational basis in remote areas of the country, the employer usually pays for travel expenses during employment, covers the cost of special clothing, food and accommodation for the driller.
Oil and gas are essential items of living for every country and persons working there are also having high demand. we have shared drilling engineer job description and all about this profession.