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Slickline Operator Spotlight

Slicklines are wires that are used to run tools into well and were originally called measuring lines because the wire looked similar to a tape measure. But today’s Slickline Operators do so much more than just measure well depth: they also use the slickline to raise or lower specialized tools to a specific depth in an oil or gas well.

What a typical day looks like:

With the help of the crew, the Slickline Operator starts their day by setting up the slickline equipment on the wellsite. Once the slickline cable is in place, they safely attach tools such as bailers, plugs and pulling tools to the cable and lower or raise the tool to the correct spot in an oil and gas well. They use the cable and tools to retrieve broken or lost equipment as well as install valves, plugs and pressure regulators.

The day-to-day work of a Slickline Operator changes depending on their experience and training. At Level 1, they operate basic jobs, such as raising and lowering tools, completing maintenance and assisting with other implementations. At Level 2 they operate more advanced procedures such as fishing for broken equipment, bailing and perforating. Level 3 Operators supervise, evaluate and manage advanced operations, which means that they perform the same types of tasks, but on more complicated sour critical and high-pressure wells.

The job requires physical strength and fortitude. Slickline Operators spend hours outside lifting heavy equipment and performing a variety of physical tasks throughout the day. Employed in the oil and gas services sub-sector, they are typically on-call and work rotating shifts and in remote locations.

The kinds of problems Slickline Operators solve at work:

Slickline Operators can be called to a site for a variety of reasons. They may need to remove obstructions, repair pipe or recover lost or broken equipment, such as plugs, gauges and valves

Skills used most on the job:

Slickline Operators have a steady hand and stay in control of their slickline cable. Their physical strength, perseverance and patience make them a key player in a variety of tasks in the maintenance, repair and production of wellsites.

Most importantly, Slickline Operators keep things safe. They work in dangerous environments that require safe work procedures and practices, and implement environmental policies required by regulations and their clients. In turn, they support and build customer relationships.

Being a Slickline Operator requires a strong mix of technical skill and simple commitment, which is why it takes more than a slickline to measure success in this field.

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