Name: David Griffin
- Diploma of Petroleum Engineering Technology,College of the North Atlantic
- Bachelor of Technology,Memorial University
Location: Onshore – Office Building
Hometown: Freshwater, Placentia Bay
Currently Living In: Torbay, NL
“I wanted to be able to make a good living, working in my home province. And you can certainly do that in oil and gas,” he says.
Education and Personal Background
David has always been interested in machinery and creativity. That’s part of what makes him well-suited to his job.
“When I was growing up, my friends and I would practically turn snowmobiles into four-wheelers and motorcycles into trikes. You don’t quite do that here, but you do get creative with the people you work with and in the designs you use,” he says.
David initially started university with plans to complete a Bachelor of Science in Biology. Before completing the program, however, he decided to change directions and enroll in the Petroleum Engineering Technology program at College of the North Atlantic.
“When I started college, Hibernia was in mid-construction. I didn’t know any more about oil and gas than about flying spaceships, but there was certainly a buzz in the air about these types of jobs in the province.”
Upon completing the diploma program, David was able to carry his credits forward to complete a Bachelor of Technology at Memorial.
Duties and Work Environment
David’s official title is Senior Technical Engineer for North America Offshore. In his role, he is involved in project management, including preparing designs, logistics for implementation, and evaluations after a project has been executed. A big part of his job also involves cementing – but he says it’s not like the typical cementing processes you’d see in home construction for instance. There are a lot of variables involved in getting the cementing right when drilling oil wells, and the better it’s done, the more use the company will get out of the well.
“When you mention cement, most people would probably picture a cement truck going up the road but oil well cementing involves very complex designs. We’re pumping cement slurries up to nine kilometers away, at crazy hot temperatures and unbelievable pressure.”
Another part of David’s job involves identifying which equipment and components the company can use.
“We’re highly regulated in what we have to use. Every year, our company pumps a lot of money in research and development. We have to ensure that any equipment we use is approved for use in Atlantic Canada and the Arctic, and that it also meets our clients’ screenings. Our company emphasizes safety and quality above all else,” he says.
Questions and Answers
What’s been your best achievement at work?
I actually received an email just last week from our vice-president’s boss, saying thanks for all the work. He’s basically the VP of all operations within the company! It was wonderful to hear that the work I’m responsible for is being noticed and appreciated at such a high level, beyond our region.
What’s the best career advice you’ve been given?
Get experience! A fellow once told me, the best tool you can have in your toolbox is experience. I was stationed in Alberta, and went to Arctic, to the Foothills, and lots of other areas, working with different applications and different types of drilling projects. Everyone can come out of school and use software programs. But you’ve got to know how the work you do in your office applies in the field.