Offshore Control Room Operator Spotlight

For those who need to be at the centre of it all, there’s no better position than an offshore oil rig’s control room. Whether it’s a few dozen workers on a smaller rig, or hundreds in deepwater, they’re all depending on operators paying careful attention to the numbers that keep production flowing and everyone safe.

What a typical day looks like:

While getting to a remote offshore rig requires travel, the daily work of an Offshore Control Room Operator is pretty stationary. From the rig’s central control room, Control Room Operators use electronic or computerized control panels to monitor and optimize the physical and chemical processes of the rig’s processing units.

The work of monitoring and optimizing processes is an ongoing process of its own. At regular intervals, an operator reads automatic gauges to determine the flow rate of oil into or from tanks, as well as the amount of oil in tanks. Operators also follow process schedules to coordinate and regulate variables like temperature, pressure and flow rate.

Some of an Offshore Control Room Operator’s work even involves stepping outside of the control room, keeping the machinery in working order. They operate and service compressors, pumps, and separators, doing things like optimizing screen selection on shale shakers or mud cleaners.

The kinds of problems Offshore Control Room Operators solve at work:

Operators don’t just deal with problems, they’re always looking for them. They detect problems with process indicators, instruments, gauges, and meters, then report them to Lead or Senior Lead Engineers. And if there’s a spill — a certainty in a facility full of oil — they need to wipe up oil spills and perform other general cleaning duties.

Skills used most on the job:

Offshore Control Room Operators are attentive, meticulous professionals at the literal centre of an offshore operation. Not only do they have to keep a close eye on nearly every process, they have to be able to supervise, coordinate and educate service operators, operator assistants and any third parties.

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