Skip to main content

Drilling Engineer 2

Steve Osborne

Hometown: Upper Island Cove
Company: Husky Energy

“There are very few occupations that have as many aspects required for success – one moment you deal with metric tonnes and the next you are discussing millimeters. There are few things more rewarding than leading high profile prospects from start to finish, solving problems in a high pressure situation, and working with a great team to ensure success.”


Steve has a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Mechanical Engineering from Memorial University. He says that having a natural predisposition to problem solving, the desire to have a high level of responsibility and the ability to think objectively in stressful situations are all key to success in his career. Steve says that his high school math, physics and English courses were most applicable to his post-secondary studies.


Steve’s typical work day when onshore is about 10 hours and about 16 hours when offshore.  He works on a rotation of three weeks offshore and three weeks off. When onshore, his commute to the office is just 10 minutes.

When onshore, Steve’s work involves reviewing operations, optimizing performance, cost control, planning future work and detailed well design. Offshore he is responsible for field operations planning, supervising operations and documenting results.

Steve must deal with a number of environmental conditions when working offshore including fog, heavy seas, winds, temperature and rig motion. Steve says the oil industry can be a challenging environment and requires a constant, vigilant approach to safety. Steve does not travel in his current position but there are worldwide opportunities for people in this role.

Prior to his current position, Steve completed university work-terms in pipeline maintenance in Saskatchewan, HSEQ operations with the C-NLOPB and two work-terms with the Husky Energy Drilling Group (his current employer). After graduating from university Steve spent his first two years onshore and then two years in an offshore rotation. He is now in a well planning role for Husky’s East Coast operations. Steve’s future career possibilities include returning to the offshore as a supervisor, moving into a leadership role onshore for well planning, a completions role, or working on international projects for other Husky groups.

Compensation and Benefits

The salary range for this type of occupation is between $55,000-$140,000 annually, depending on job responsibility, individual experience and job performance.  Steve receives full health, dental, disability and life insurance benefits from his employer, as well as RRSP supplements, training and performance bonuses. He also receives an “offshore premium” paid per day worked offshore.

Since Steve’s position is specific to the oilfield he says it is difficult to compare to other industries, however, he estimates that oilfield salaries generally are about 1.5 times higher than comparable positions in other industries. He adds that peers from his graduating class with similar levels of training working in non-oil and gas positions make about 50-70% of his salary. Steve’s employer provides all required training and arranges for him to attend any training course that he feels would be beneficial for his position.