• Operators
  • Snubbing Operator
  • NOC #8232

Snubbing Operator

Job Overview

You work well under pressure. Literally. Snubbing is a highly specialized oil and gas well maintenance function performed on active wells that are still under pressure. You use and control complex hydraulic systems to stabilize structures, fix problems and control compression. Are you a problem solver? Do you like working outdoors? Are you eager to learn to use complex equipment? If this sounds interesting, you might look at being a snubbing operator.

Snubbing operators use snubbing equipment to insert drill pipe, tubing and specialized equipment into, or remove from, pressurized oil and gas wells. These wells are closed using blowout preventers which contains well pressure. This occupation is one of the most safety sensitive roles during drilling operations due to the potential for explosions and blow-outs.

Snubbers are highly specialized. Responsibilities progressively increase from that of an assistant operator through to snubbing supervisor, for example:

  • Assistant snubbing operators are primarily responsible for providing support with pre- and post-snubbing operations.
  • Class 1 snubbing operators work in wells where the pressure is less than 10 mega pascal (MPA) and there is no presence of poisonous gas (10 MPA pressure is about the same pressure as water spray from a pressure washer). They work within a single zone of the wellbore.
  • Class 2 and 3 snubbing operators work in progressively more complex medium and high pressure environments. They may work in the presence of sweet or sour gases.
  • Class 1 supervisors are responsible for overseeing activities in a wellbore with pressures less than 21 MPA (21 MPA is equivalent to the ballistic pressure exerted as a bullet strikes a solid object).
  • Class 2 supervisors are responsible for wells with pressure greater than 21 MPA.

Transferability information for this occupation is available on the Oil and gas well drillers, servicers, testers and related workers. 

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