Petroleum plants operate around the clock, requiring constant maintenance and staffing. A Petroleum Plant and Facility Operator is responsible for keeping these facilities performing and producing – if they’re not at the plant keeping it functional, they’re on call, ready at a moment’s notice.

What a typical day looks like:

A Petroleum Plant and Facility Operator’s day involves a busy schedule. They test samples, read gauges on meters and schedule batches for the pipeline. If they’re running a smaller facility, they’re also responsible for fixing broken equipment.

Regardless of the size of the facility, a Petroleum Plant Operator shuts down, isolates and prepares process units or production equipment for maintenance. They also record production data, maintain relevant logs and operate specialized equipment used to separate, measure and store products coming from a well.

Senior-level operators train and oversee junior operators and are responsible for authorizing maintenance and repair activities on production equipment. They’re also responsible for making sure that safety protocols and regulations are being followed.

The kinds of problems Petroleum Plant and Facility Operators solve at work:

No matter what happens, Petroleum Plant and Facility Operators need to make sure systems and equipment continue to run smoothly.

For example, the oil that goes into the pipeline from the plant needs to meet specifications, which means that Petroleum Plant and Facility Operators gauge and test the oil in storage tanks continuously throughout the day. If the oil is outside the accepted parameters, a Petroleum Plant Operator uses equipment like manifold and pumping systems to divert the oil to a tank where they’ll troubleshoot the issue.

Skills used most on the job:

Petroleum Plant and Facility Operators are mechanically inclined problem-solvers. Their energy and adaptability are essential for keeping up with the continual demands of the plant, just as their ability to continue to learn helps them keep up with improving technology and business practices.

Just like the plants they operate; a Petroleum Plant and Facility Operator’s work never really stops.

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