An oil and gas commissioning supervisor oversees the process of drilling proposed oil or gas wells and the installation of a pump to extract the oil or gas and the well’s connection to a distribution system. Their work can take them to oil fields around the world, on land or at sea, to ensure the safe, profitable completion of the process that brings petroleum products from the earth to consumers.
The Basic Qualities
Oil and gas well commissioning supervisors can organize a project and bring it to completion. They understand how to bring vendors, equipment and procedures together in a safe, environmentally sound and profitable manner. They’re problem solvers who can overcome problems of time, supply, and personnel to manage the construction and operation of an oil or gas well, including the distribution of the product from the well to the petroleum company for which they work.
The responsibilities of a commissioning supervisor begin before a company begins to drill an oil or gas well, working with petroleum company personnel and vendors, such as the chosen drilling company and other suppliers. They oversee the construction of the drilling derrick, the preparation of the well for pumping, installation of the pump that moves the oil or gas out of the well and the connection of the well to a distribution system, whether a pipeline for real-time distribution to another location or an on-site collection system for later distribution.
Oil and gas commissioning supervisors follow environmental guidelines and company policies during the installation of oil or gas wells, participate in inspections, solve problems related to a well’s installation, and directly supervise the contractors tasked with drilling the well and bringing the well into full operation. Commissioning supervisors ensure the safe installation of the well, that contractors and vendors keep to their schedules and meet assigned quality and production targets.
Getting to Be One
Commissioning supervisors learn their trade through a combination of education and experience. They usually have a degree in mechanical or petroleum engineering and extensive experience in the oil field, including work in drilling, safety and project management. They also have a broad understanding of environmental issues and regulations. Whether they work onshore or offshore, they must understand the process of bringing a well online and the special problems associated with each environment.
Source: Will Charpentier – A retired ship captain, Charpentier holds a doctorate in applied ocean science and engineering. He is also a certified marine technician and the author of a popular text on writing local history.
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