MWD/LWD Field Engineer
“I enjoy working in the oil and gas industry and could not imagine working in any other industry. I enjoy learning as much as I can about the industry and really enjoy the fact that I get to travel the world and learn new things. I would recommend the oil & gas industry to anyone who is interested in continuously learning more about his/her career and willing to work hard. It is a very demanding industry which involves a lot of hard work and dedication, but provides great rewards.”
MWD/LWD = Measurement While Drilling / Logging While Drilling
Jamie completed the Mechanical Engineering Technology program at College of the North Atlantic prior to becoming a Field Engineer. He says he didn’t know exactly what he wanted to study when he first attended college and says he wishes he’d had more exposure to the oil and gas industry in high school as he may have pursued at Petroleum Engineering program. He adds his high school mathematics and physics courses were most applicable to his post-secondary studies. He says recruiting seminars and presentations by Schlumberger were a major influence on his decision to seek employment in this area.
Jamie lives in St. John’s and works 350 km offshore on the Grand Banks so his commute involves a 1_ hour helicopter flight. When the helicopters are unable to land during foggy weather, crew changes are performed by vessel, which usually take 12-14 hours.
Jamie’s job also involves a lot of travel. He generally attends 2 training seminars each year which are usually held in Houston, Texas, however his training has also taken him to Villahermosa, Mexico and Paris, France. While based in Calgary, Alberta he worked all over Alberta, Northern BC and Inuvik, NWT. Also, when there is not a lot of drilling on-going in his current area he will travel to other places to help other districts. He has worked in several locations in the United States including Wyoming, Colorado, North Dakota and Montana. Jamie is currently preparing for a seminar in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Jamie’s current position involves a work rotation of 3 weeks offshore and 3 weeks off. While on the rig he works 12 hour a day. Jamie’s typical duties include the pre-job planning and mobilization of equipment for upcoming wells. While on the rig he prepares MWD and LWD tools to be used while drilling the well to obtain directional data and formation evaluation information for the client. He must ensure that he and his crew deliver superior service quality to ensure future work with the client. He must also ensure all final data for the well is quality controlled and delivered to the client on a timely basis. Jamie is often required to provide quality answers and solutions to the client’s questions, requests or problems. During his days off Jamie is still responsible for preparing for upcoming wells. As a lead Engineer he is also responsible for performing nuclear calibrations on some of the company’s neutron/density LWD tools at the base.
Working and weather conditions offshore can be very demanding but Jamie says he can easily work through these knowing the rewards of his career. Working on a drilling rig involves hazards such as a lot of large moving equipment and components under very high pressure. Jamie says safety is a major concern of everyone working in the oil and gas industry and there is major emphasis placed on it. Everyone is reminded to watch out for themselves and their coworkers. “Safety is the number one concern for everyone”.
Jamie’s career path began with Schlumberger in 2002, where he spent his first year working with mentors in Calgary as a MWD/LWD engineer trainee. He was transferred to his current job in St. John’s in the spring of 2005. Jamie says there are many future career possibilities for him, including Directional Drilling, Drilling Optimization, Drilling Engineer (an office position working directly with clients) or as an Engineer in Charge to manage overall operations for a particular district.
Compensation and Benefits
Salaries for Jamie’s occupation are in the range of $100,000 annually with a similar range for annual career compensation. Jamie’s employer provides him with benefits such as medical, dental and life insurance, a discounted stock purchase plan and a pension plan whereby the company matches the employee’s contributions up to 3%.
Jamie feels his salary is much higher than any other position he might expect to have as a mechanical engineering technologist and more than most people with a similar amount of training. He says his company provides him with continuous training to enhance his knowledge of the business and to prepare him for future positions within the company.