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Petroleum Engineering Technologist (Operations Support Technician)

Petroleum Engineering Technologist (Operations Support Technician)

Livia March
Hometown: St. John’s
Company: Expro Group Canada Inc.

“Over the last nine years our company has supported the JBO Exploration project, the Terra Nova project and now we are supporting the White Rose project, so it has been quite fulfilling knowing that I have contributed to the growth of the oil and gas industry of Newfoundland & Labrador.”


Livia attended Memorial University and College of the North Atlantic where she completed a Bachelor of Technology and Petroleum Engineering Technology. Her high school courses in Math, Chemistry and Geology were most applicable to her post-secondary studies. Livia says her love of geology is what drew her to this career in the petroleum industry (the program at College of the North Atlantic included geology). She credits her involvement in public speaking with giving her the confidence to speak in group situations such as company meetings and presentations, while participating in sports taught her how to work with and make decisions as a team.


Livia typically works eight hours a day, five days a week. She lives 15-20 km from her office. Livia’s position also involves some offshore work, involving a schedule of 12 hours a day, seven days a week. When offshore or traveling for work to other bases she is paid a bonus on top of her base salary. There is some travel involved in her work. Over the past nine years, she has traveled to Alberta, Nova Scotia, Alaska, Angola, Trinidad, Norway, Texas and the Gulf of Mexico.

Livia’s typical office duties include equipment maintenance and troubleshooting, quality control of equipment maintenance files and data books, acting as safety representative, training personnel on equipment, preparing well test reports and other documents for clients, and assisting the local manager and engineers in their job duties. Offshore, Livia is responsible for operating and supervising data acquisition functions on the well site – collecting raw well test data, real time transmission to shore and assisting clients in obtaining all the production data they require to run their reservoir analysis, as well as rig up and rig down well test equipment.

Livia must be prepared for working in all weather conditions and must be in good physical shape to meet the demands of her job (some manual lifting is required in the rig up of equipment). There are also many hazards she must prepare for both in the work shop area (where welding, pressure testing and high noise levels are present) and offshore. She says everyone has to take the employer’s concerns for their safety seriously and follow the procedures that are in place to protect workers. Livia says personal protective equipment such as hearing protection, hard hat, safety glasses, gloves, steel toe boots and fire retardant coveralls are a staple in the petroleum industry.

To reach her current position, Livia began as a Field Operator, progressed to Supervisor, and now works in an Onshore Support staff function. Her future career may see her moving into more of a Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) Administrator role.

Compensation and Benefits

The career salary range for Livia’s occupation is $33,000-70,000. Her company provides her with medical benefits, stock purchasing options and RRSP contribution matching. There are also performance bonuses for management and individual employees related to reaching financial and safety targets, as well as exceeding expectations in the workplace. Offshore bonuses are available and hazard pay is offered to employees working in high risk countries. Livia’s employer provides her with extensive safety training and company specific training for her position. Livia feels her salary in the oil and gas field is competitive with that of similar positions in other industries and that salaries in the oil and gas industry tend to be higher than salaries in non oil and gas careers with similar amounts of training.