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General Field Engineer – Testing Services

General Field Engineer – Testing Services

Name: Heather Farrell  

Company: Schlumberger
Education: Bachelor of Applied Science in Chemical Engineering, University of Ottawa
Locations: Offshore – Oil Production Installation and Onshore – Office Building
Hometown: St. Lawrence, NL
Currently Living In: Paradise, NL 

Education and Personal Background 

Heather is a chemical engineer who decided on her career during high school.

“I had a great teacher for chemistry, who made the subject stand out to me and made it exciting. I chose to study chemical engineering because I loved chemistry and math and wanted a practical way that I could apply it,” says Heather.

Since joining Schlumberger, she has taken a number of specialized training courses relating to operation, maintenance and troubleshooting of the company’s tools. She is also required to keep up to date on training for safety and offshore survival.  

Duties and Work Environment 

“A typical day in the life of a field engineer can vary quite a bit. Every day there is a new and exciting challenge.”

Heather’s job sometimes requires her to work onshore in the office from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. On those days, she often conducts tool maintenance, attends meetings with clients, or writes reports. Then some days she works offshore on oil production installations, on a 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. shift. Offshore she supervises the use of tools on the job. In both cases, troubleshooting issues with tools is a key part of the job. Heather says the most important skills for her job relate to time management and planning.

“We get to see the job through startup and planning, execution and close-out. Because of this, you must be able to see the whole scope of the job and be able to plan ahead for it.”

Beyond working offshore and in the office, Heather has done a lot of travelling in her job. She’s been all around North America, as well as South America and Europe.

“Schlumberger has a very diverse and multicultural workforce” she says.  “It’s really nice to get to work with so many people from different countries and ethnic backgrounds.”  

Questions and Answers 

What do you enjoy about your job? 

I enjoy that every day is different and I’m not always sitting behind a desk. I enjoy the travel and the people I meet. It can be very challenging work at times, but always very rewarding.

What inspires you most at work? 

My biggest inspiration at work would have to be the teamwork and sense of accomplishment that you can get after a job is successfully completed.

What has surprised you about working in the oil and gas industry? 

I’ve learned about the sense of family you can get with a group of people you don’t know. Sometimes working offshore in the holiday season, when the weather is bad and you are feeling the stress of the job, the team can really come together like a family. It’s everyone from all different backgrounds and different companies working together for one common goal.