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Drilling Supervisor

Drilling Supervisor

Chad Jarvis

Hometown: Mount Pearl
Company: ExxonMobil

“I’m constantly faced with many challenges, none the same, and they usually come at the least opportune time. Overcoming these challenges and achieving work accomplishments is the result of hard work, detailed planning, working as a team and keeping a positive attitude each day. To me I couldn’t have picked a profession that fits my personality and career aspirations more closely.”


Chad completed the Petroleum Engineering Technology program at College of the North Atlantic and is currently completing the Bachelor of Technology program at Memorial University (estimated to finish April 2008). Chad says his high school courses in chemistry, physics, geology and mathematics were most applicable to his post-secondary studies. Chad began to pursue his career right out of high school working in the Alberta oil industry. He discovered that the industry was where he wanted to be and gained experience in several positions before suffering a neck injury and having to leave the labor intense oil rigs of Alberta. He then decided to pursue a different aspect of the industry by completing the Petroleum Engineering Technology program.

Chad has been active in many extra-curricular activities which have helped him build upon a variety of career skills and remain current with technology. He has assisted with the well control school at College of the North Atlantic and has spent the past several years working with the College’s Drilling Instructor to re-design the Petroleum Engineering Technology’s drilling course outline. Chad also volunteers with Junior Achievement, presenting the economics of staying in school to junior high students.


Chad currently works a three-week rotation at the Hibernia platform, consisting of three-weeks on the platform working 12-hour shifts (some days can be a little longer, depending on operations) and three weeks off. He lives approximately 25 km from Cougar Helicopters (where he commutes to the rig by helicopter) and from the drill team office in St. John’s. Drilling Supervisors often travel because of the many different ExxonMobil operating locations worldwide (Houston, TX, Albuquerque, NM, Edmonton, AB, Halifax, NS and Toronto, ON).

In his position, Chad is responsible for supervising drilling operations at night. His responsibilities include: managing drilling operations; ensuring each task is performed at the highest level of safety possible; being proactive towards the company’s safety vision, “Nobody Gets Hurt”; managing simultaneous operations between Drilling, Production and Intervention; managing logistical requirements (vessels, helicopters); and managing contractor and third party service personnel. In this working environment, there are several hazards workers are prepared for, including harsh weather, operating equipment hazards, environmental hazards, well control (hydrocarbon gases), transportation of personnel, isolation from land, stress, fatigue, distractions and manual lifting. All offshore workers must complete Basic Survival Training as part of their preparation for working in this environment.  Chad’s employer has a very strong workplace safety program for both onshore and offshore sites.

Chad began his career working as a Roughneck in Alberta out of high school, and upon completion of his post-secondary studies he started as a Drilling and Completion Technician with ExxonMobil. He later accepted a regular rotating position offshore on the Hibernia Platform as a Drilling Technician before beginning work as a Drilling Supervisor. He says many opportunities exist for a rotating supervisor within ExxonMobil. Chad’s potential career path includes positions of increasing responsibility such as Sr. Drilling Supervisor, Drilling Superintendent, Sr. Drilling Superintendent, Operations Superintendent, Field Drilling Manager and other senior level positions.

Compensation and Benefits

In addition to his salary and benefits package, Chad receives extensive training from his employer. Chad has also attended a variety of training courses including technical “drilling” courses, some more generic in nature (Basic Survival Training) and others concentrating on personal development (such as Supervisors School). “All courses I’ve attended have played an important role in my career development to allow me to perform my duties as a Drilling Supervisor today.”