Day in the Life: Scott – Well Analyst, Drilling

Not all jobs in oil and gas require you to get your hands dirty – just ask Scott, who left his career as a plumber to become a drilling analyst at Cenovus.

Scott, 24, began his plumbing career through the Registered Apprenticeship Program while still in high school, but decided to make the move to oil and gas after suffering an injury. “My uncle was a geologist for Shell, and it seemed like a fun industry to be a part of,” says Scott, who enrolled in SAIT’s Energy Asset Management program. “I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to do in the industry, and SAIT’s program teaches you about multiple disciplines in the field.” Scott also enrolled in SAIT’s Petroleum Land Administration program, which helped him greatly when he applied for a well analyst opening at Cenovus while still in school. “I found the job on the Centre for Energy Asset Management website and thought it would be a great fit,” says Scott. He applied online and was hired almost a year ago.

Although it may not seem like the two professions have much in common, Scott says many of the basic skills are actually the same. “In both jobs you need to follow the rules, have an attention to detail, and solve problems as they arise.”

What challenges me the most about my job:
Sometimes reading and interpreting what the field guys are saying in their drilling reports can be challenging. Another challenge is getting the necessary information for submissions or reports so they can be processed on time.

Skills I use most in the job are:
Attention to detail is the most important part of the job. I need to ensure I get all the information needed in order to comply with regulatory requirements. Communication skills and multi-tasking are other important skills I use daily.

Why my role is critical:
I use my knowledge of the industry to ensure Cenovus has all the information it needs to meet government regulations. I also make sure that information is accurate and provided on time.

What surprised me most about the oil and gas industry:
Before I went to school, I never knew the massive regulations set out by the government to help protect the land. It makes you feel a whole lot better about things knowing these rules and regulations are in place.

Why I chose the oil and gas industry:
This industry changes every day and is such a big part of everyone’s day-to-day life. Without oil and gas, the world couldn’t function, and being a part of the industry is a great feeling of achievement.

My typical day looks like this:
My role is to review Daily Drilling Reports (DDRs) and ensure the reports are complete and filed on time. DDRs are reports done by the field guys, and they’re basically a time log of the day, including what they did, any problems they ran into, etc. I’m looking for certain information that our company needs to meet drilling regulatory requirements set out by the provincial governments. I look for things like start depths (at what depth a project started drilling), end depths (how deep they were when complete), kick-off points (points where they change the direction of drilling) and any well incidents (wellbore issues or complications). If there’s any missing information and/or paperwork, SAIT’s Energy Asset Management program provided the knowledge I needed to determine gaps and understand what the oil and gas industry expects out of these reports.

Company: Cenovus

Location: Calgary, AB

Salary: Starting entry-level salary $51,000 to $55,000, according to the Centre for Energy Asset Management (EAM) Studies

Education: Energy Asset Management program, Petroleum Land Administration program, SAIT Polytechnic

Salary, education and advancement may vary from company to company.

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