"Drill for oil? You mean drill into the ground to try and find oil? You're crazy."
You've heard the story more than once. There are always naysayers, just before something or someone takes off. Most times, it occur right before creating an entire new industry. As we talked about in our Exploration, Drilling and Production Sub-Industry page, Edwin Drake discovered the first underground oil reservoir near Titusville, Pennsylvania, after drilling a well only 69 feet deep.
To the naysayers from back in 1859, the answer is Yes, there are companies that drill for Oil and Gas. And yes, there are even companies that only specialize in providing necessary equipment and technical services for drilling.
The Oilfield equipment and services industry involves companies that do not directly own wells or produce crude oil. Instead, these companies provide the specialized equipment, expertise, services and skills needed for producing oil. Companies usually fall into one of two camps, those that rent drilling rigs and those that provide various services.
Oilfield service companies help drilling companies by setting up oil and gas wells. These companies assist in manufacturing, repairing and maintaining the equipment used in oil extraction.
These services can include:
Mapping the geographical structure underneath the surface
Moving land and water rigs
Specialization in horizontal drilling
Rigging Up and Rigging Down
Many of the hazards found in the oilfield equipment and serves industry are similar in nature to those highlighted in our drilling sub-industry page. In addition, though, there are intricate hazards that occur when rigging up a well for the first time.
Rigging up and rigging down involves moving and transporting a rig from one site to the next. It requires positioning and constructing various portions of equipment and initially putting together the rig for drilling.
Here are the steps to rigging up and the unique hazards associated with each step:
1. Setting Up the Substructure
Equipment is unloaded near the exact drilling location
Common Hazards Include: Struck by the crane and burns from cutting/welding
2. Installing the Rig Floor and Mast/ Derrick
Setting up the rig floor
Common Hazards Include: Struck by swinging equipment and falling tools.
3. Installing Handrails, Guardrails, Ladders, Stairs, and Walkways
Installed for safety and access to the rig
Common Hazards Include: Slips and falls
4. Installing the Power System
Power is needed to operate rig equipment
Common Hazards Include: Pinch points and chemical hazards
5. Rigging up the Circulating System
Mud tanks and pumps are set
Common Hazards Include: Pinch points and struck by hammer when connecting mud lines
6. Installing the Auxilary Equipment
Pipe racks are positioned
Common Hazards Include: Crushed when setting up pipes
For more precise information on Rigging up, visit OSHA's Oil and Gas Well Drilling Servicing eTool.
Here is a look at the companies you find operating across this industry segment.
|Schlumberger Omnes, Inc.
|National Oilwell Varco
|Weatherford International, LLC
Services the Above Companies Provide
- Acidizing oil and gas field wells
- Building oil and gas well foundations
- Building, erecting, repairing, and dismantling
- Cementing oil and gas well casings
- Chemically treating oil and gas wells
- Cleaning oil and gas field lease tanks
- Cleaning out (
- Cleaning wells on a contract basis
- Cleaning, repairing, and dismantling oil and gas field lease tanks
- Core cutting in oil and gas wells
- Core drilling, exploration services
- Derrick building, repairing, and dismantling at oil and gas fields
- Dismantling of oil well rigs
- Drilling rat holes and mouse holes at oil and gas fields
- Drilling shot holes at oil and gas fields
- Drilling site preparation at oil and gas fields
- Drill-stem testing
- Excavating mud pits, slush pits, and cellars
- Exploration services for oil and gas
- Fishing for tools at oil and gas fields
- Gas well rig building, repairing, and dismantling
- Gas, compressing natural, in the field
- Geological exploration (except surveying) for oil and gas
- Geophysical exploration (except surveying) for oil and gas
- Hard banding oil and gas field service
- Hot oil treating of oil field tanks
- Hot shot service
- Hydraulic fracturing wells
- Impounding and storing salt water in connection with petroleum production
- Installing production equipment at the oil or gas field
- Lease tank cleaning and repairing
- Logging wells
- Mouse hole and rat hole drilling at oil and gas fields
- Mud service for oil field drilling
- Oil sampling services
- Perforating oil and gas well casings
- Pipe testing services
- Plugging and abandoning wells
- Pulling oil and gas field casings, tubes, or rods on a contract basis
- Pumping oil and gas wells
- Removal of condensate gasoline from field gathering lines
- Rig skidding, oil and gas field
- Roustabout mining services
- Salt water disposal systems
- Sandblasting pipelines
- Seismograph exploration
- Servicing oil and gas wells
- Shot hole drilling
- Skidding of rigs
- Slush pits and cellars, excavation of
- Steam cleaning
- Stratigraphic drilling
- Swabbing oil or gas wells
- Well casing running, cutting and pulling
- Well plugging
- Well pumping
- Well surveying
- Wireline services
Here is a look at the top occupations found across this industry and the above top 10 US refineries: (Click an occupation to expand and learn more.)
Construction Laborers and Extraction Occupations
Perform tasks involving physical labor at construction sites. There are roughly around 21,000 of these workers found in Exploration, Drilling and Production. You will find these workers using hand tools, repairing drilling equipment, and transporting materials. Helper, Laborer, Post Framer, and Construction Worker.
Control and Valve Installers and Repairers
Install, repair, and maintain mechanical regulating and controlling devices and other mechanical governors. There are a little over 500 of these workers in Exploration, Drilling and Production. You will find these workers repairing mechanical control devices, lubricating mechanical parts, and installing electric meters. Common job titles for this worker are Control Valve Technician, Service Technician, and Valve Technician.
Employement of Control and Valve Installers and Repairers
Derrick, Rotary Drill, and Service Unit Operators
Rig derrick equipment and operate pumps to circulate mud through drill holes. There are around 9,200 of this occupation employed in Exploration, Drilling and Production. You will find these workers inspecting derricks, repairing mud tanks, and setting crown blocks to posts at the top of derricks. Common job titles for this occupation are Derrick Hand, Derrick Worker and Floor Hand.
Employement of Derrick, Rotary Drill, and Service Unit Operators
Gas Plant Operators
Distribute or process gas by controlling compressors to maintain specified pressures on main pipelines. There are over 1,000 of these workers in Exploration, Drilling and Production. You will find this worker operating plant equipment, monitoring flammable products, and controlling compressors. Job titlees for this worker are Gas Controller and Plant Operator.
Employement of Gas Plant Operators
Geological and Petroleum Technicians
Gather samples such as rock, mud and soil. There are around 2,800 of these workers in Exploration, Drilling and Production. You will find these workers monitoring well exploration activities and analyzing drill cuttings. Common job titles are Data Technician and Technician.
Industrial Machinery Mechanics
Worker activities include repairing, installing, and adjusting industrial machinery. There are around 2,100 of this occupation works in Exploration, Drilling and Production. You will find these workers cutting and welding metal to repair broken metal parts. Job titles for this position are Fixer, Industrial and Master Mechanic.
Employement of Industrial Machinery Mechanics
Installation, Maintenance, and Repair Workers
Lubricates machines, changes parts, and performs machinery maintenance. Exploration, Drilling and Production employs a little over 5,200 of these workers. You will find these workers cleaning machine and machine parts. Cleaning solvents, oil and metalworking fluids are a definite concern for these workers. Common Job titles for this position are Lubricator, Maintenance Man, and Oiler.
Material Moving Workers
Help move materials across Exploration, Drilling and Production operations. There are around 10,000 of these workers in Oil and Gas extraction. You will find these workers operating conveyors, transporting materials, and operating machines. Common job titles are Laborer and Operator.
Occupational Health and Safety Specialists
This occupation makes many of the PPE related decisions within a mine. They review, evaluate, and analyze work environments. This occupation also design programs and procedures to control, eliminate, and prevent disease or injury caused by chemical, physical, and biological agents or ergonomic factors. There are roughly around 1,000 of these workers found in Exploration, Drilling and Production. You will find these workers recommending safety measures and evaluating workplace safety equipment. Common Job titles for this position are Certified Industrial Hygienist; Chief Safety Officer; Corporate Safety Director; Director Employee Safety and Health; Environmental Health and Safety Manager; Environmental, Health, and Safety EHS Officer; Health and Safety Manager; Risk Control Consultant; Safety Consultant; Safety Specialist
Petroleum Pump System Operators, Refinery Operators, and Gaugers
Operate petroleum refining or processing units. There are around 3,800 of these workers in Exploration, Drilling and Production. You will find these workers monitoring gauges, opening valves to regualte the flow of oil, and operating manifold/pumping systems. Common Job titles for this position are Gauger, Head Operator, Pumper, and Refinery Operator
Employement of Petroleum Pump System Operators, Refinery Operators, and Gaugers
Plant and System Operators
Monitor both input and output to ensure systems are working correctly. There are roughly 5,300 of these workers in Exploration, Drilling and Production. You will find these workers operating valves, engines, generators and pumps to keep everything running smoothly. Common job titles are Process Operator and Operator.
Employement of Plant and System Operators
Pump Operators Station Operators
Rotary Drill Operators, Oil and Gas
Operate a variety of drills to remove underground oil and gas. They also remove core samples for testing during oil and gas exploration. There are around 1,800 of these workers in Oil and Gas extraction. You will find this worker connecting sections of dril pipe, operating drilling equipment, and raising drill pipes. Common job titles for this occupation are Drill Operator, Driller, and Oil Rig Operator
Employement of Rotary Drill Operators, Oil and Gas
Assemble and repair oil field equipment using hand and power tools. There are around 5,000 of these workers in Exploration, Drilling and Production. You will find these workers tightening pipes, casings and pump rods. The workers move a lot of peipe and bolt together a lot of pumps. Common job titles for this occupation are Floor Hand, Galley Hand and Rig Hand.
Employement of Roustabouts
Service Unit Operators
Operate equipment to increase oil flow from producing wells. There are 6,400 of these workers in Exploration, Drilling and Production. They also remove stuck pipe, casing, tools, or other obstructions from drilling wells. You will find these workers installing pressure-control devices, maintaining safety inspections and operating cranes and other lifting equipment. Common job titles are Rig Operator, Tool Pusher, and Wireline Operator.
Employement of Service Unit Operators
Operate power pumps producing flow of oil or gas from wells. There are around 8,000 of these workers in Exploration, Drilling and Production. You will find these workers operating pumps, unloading pipes and pumping equipment, repairing oil gauges, and performing routine maintenance. Common job titles for this occupation are Oilfield Operator, Pumper, and Well Head Pumper.
Employement of Wellhead Pumpers
Metal Workers and Plastic Workers
Welding, Soldering, and Brazing Workers
Operate welding, soldering or brazing machines that weld, braze, or heat treat metal products. Exploration, Drilling and Production employs around 300 of these workers. You will find these workers adding material to work pieces, joining metal components, and annealing finished work pieces. Common Job titles for this position are Fabricator, Mig Welder, Spot Welder, Fitter-Welder, and Braze Operators.
Welders, Cutters, Solderers, and Brazers
Use hand-welding, flame-cutting, hand soldering, and brazing equipment to weld/join metal components, fill holes, indentations, or seams of fabricated metal products. Exploration, Drilling and Production mploys around 300 of these workers. You will find these workers welding components in flat, vertical or overhead positions. Common Job titles for this position are Maintenance Welder, Mig Welder, and Welder/Fabricator
Employement of Welders, Cutters, Solderers, and Brazers
Equipment and Services Safety
The most dangerous Oil and Gas sub-industry belongs to the Equipment, Services and Support industry. Pulling out casings, plugging wells and dismantling rigs are just a few of the activities that present hazardous working environments.
For every 100 employees, there are 3 incidents. The closest sub-industry to this one is Oil and Gas Extraction at 1.5 incidents, which still falls into what this industry specializes in and provides.
Workers have to be always work safely in this industry, which starts with the correct mindset.
"Don’t be safety blinded, be safety minded"
Sometimes, workers become blinded by the everyday familiar routines that are established. Unfortunately, this is when accidents are not far away from occurring... Being safety minded is the key to avoiding this trapped mindset.
At MCR Safety, we protect people! Staying safety minded is what we do.
Let us keep you protected when rigging up and servicing oil wells.