Scheduler Spotlight

At any given moment, people and materials are flowing into and out of oil and gas operations. Helping them move in a way that keeps the oil and gas flowing is a complex dance that requires careful choreography. The choreographers calling those steps are the Schedulers. 

What a typical day looks like:

No matter what phase it’s in, any operation requires someone watching all of its parts working together. That means there are several kinds of Schedulers with different daily tasks.  

Production Schedulers are responsible for developing plans and schedules to align the workflow and materials of multiple departments. Turnaround Schedulers are responsible for developing, optimizing and progressing integrated schedules for the planned shutdowns to allow for maintenance in large facilities like upgraders and refineries. Maintenance Schedulers are responsible for scheduling all the routine maintenance activities in a mine, facility or other industrial operation. 

No matter what type of scheduling a Scheduler oversees, the work involves reviewing documents to coordinate schedules and requirements, maximizing efficiency through every part of the project, and reporting on the success of the results. Primarily, this work is done in an office, but it can also call for travel to remote locations. 

The kinds of problems Schedulers solve at work:

Coordinating the schedules of dozens or even thousands of employees, contractors and suppliers would be difficult work by itself, but disruptions are also an inevitable part of a Scheduler’s job. They need to be able to revise production schedules due to design changes, labour or material shortages, backlogs, and other interruptions. That means collaborating with management, marketing, sales, production or engineering departments, all while keeping the bigger scheduling picture in mind.

Skills used most on the job:

Schedulers have to be masters of multiple systems, from the engineering systems that make it possible for products to be produced to the information systems that track documents through the scheduling process. They also need to thoroughly understand how to maximize efficiencies while maintaining the quality of the products being produced and the safety of the employees producing them. Because, like any good choreographer, Schedulers need to make sure no one steps on anyone else’s toes. 


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