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Oil Rig Work
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tmay11
Level 1

Join date: May 2005
Posts: 902

I'm looking to get a job on an oil rig in B.C/Alberta/Saskatchewan. I realize that right now is the lowest point for activity and that rigs don't really start to hire till late summer/fall but I was wondering if there is anyone here that could help me out. If not rig work then I'm also considering any high paid work in the oil sands.

I'm signed up for H2S Alive and First Aid.

I'm 22, have 2 years of university schooling(Business) with a 3.8 GPA. I'm strong and work hard and smart. I have a drivers license with a clean record and can pick up and go at a moment's notice. I have 2 years of construction experience - 18 months electrical and 6 months labour.

Family circumstances have changed and what I now plan to do is work for around 18 months to save enough money to finish school while living by myself and not having to go into any debt.

Help is greatly appreciate.

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angry chicken
Level 3

Join date: Jun 2009
Posts: 5415

Show up where you want to work with your bags packed and with the ability to pass a drug test.

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PimpBot5000
Level

Join date: May 2008
Posts: 3639

I have a friend who worked on a rig at Ft. McMurray, and the criteria Angry Chicken listed were about all he needed to get hired.

He said it was a great environment to save money, as his rig provided all food and completely banned any outside alcohol. It was also a good environment for training - although he worked long hours there was a 24h gym that he had access to that didn't look half bad - a couple power-racks, a few benches, DBs up to 110lbs and some cardio equipment.

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tmay11
Level 1

Join date: May 2005
Posts: 902

angry chicken wrote:
Show up where you want to work with your bags packed and with the ability to pass a drug test.



I remember reading your thread a while back AC.

Did you have any certificates before you left or did you just go? What kind of oil work are you doing?

Any more specific advice?

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angry chicken
Level 3

Join date: Jun 2009
Posts: 5415

tmay11 wrote:
angry chicken wrote:
Show up where you want to work with your bags packed and with the ability to pass a drug test.



I remember reading your thread a while back AC.

Did you have any certificates before you left or did you just go? What kind of oil work are you doing?

Any more specific advice?


My situation was a bit different in that I am a fairly well qualified electrician with motor control experience and I happened to knock on the door of a motor control company. So I'm not sure that MY results would be what you'd likely experience. However, don't let that be an excuse not to take action.

I did not have any certificates before I left, other than a Merchant Mariner Credential and a TWIC card. When I got to Lafayette, I paid for a week long class that certified me with IADC Rig Pass with Safegulf/Safeland endorsements, HAZWOPPER, HUET/METS, Firefighting, H2S, API rigging, Atmospheric testing, CPR and First Aid.

As it turned out, the only ones the companies really give a shit about is the HUET/METS (helicopter underwater evacuation training/ water survival) and T-2 (production safety systems - which I DIDN'T get initially). But I didn't know that at the time. Now don't get me wrong, those certs didn't HURT and it certainly showed them I was serious and was putting my money where my mouth was, but NO ONE else in my company has all of the certs that I do. Half of them don't even have a TWIC card.

All that really matters is if the person interviewing you LIKES you. And that person is going to be a busy muther fucker. He will most likely be old school and not into email, so you have to show up in person. He will respect two things: HARD WORK and PUNCTUALITY. If you can get in front of him for five minutes and tell him that you drove up here with all your shit in your car and that you've got steel toes and strong back and you're ready to out-work anyone, there's an excellent chance you'll get hired - EVEN if it's only so he'll have the pleasure of running you off later.

That being said, GETTING the job is far easier than KEEPING the job. I've seen so many people run off in the short time I've been down here, I've lost count. Sometimes for the stupidest things. Show up on time, work your ass off, keep your mouth shut and mind your own business. Your co-workers ARE NOT your friends. They will stab you in the back for fun if you let them. Oftentimes, not even for anything work related. Get used to the term "oil field trash". Understand that while there are MANY excellent professional people working in the oil field, there is just as many trashy, petty, pathetic pieces of shit that probably just got out of prison and will fuck with you just for fun. Half your co workers will be ex-cons or drug addicts or both. Now it's not hard to "out shine" people like that if you're smart and have a good work ethic, but to live and work in that environment can become very stressful if you don't know how to deal with those kinds of people. Fortunately for me, I'm a felon and did some time many moons ago, so I was able to see the games coming from a mile away and dealt with it appropriately. Watch your stuff the day of shift change and if it's not under lock and key it will disappear. Don't take anything valuable or that you don't want stolen. Just so you know what you're getting into...

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tmay11
Level 1

Join date: May 2005
Posts: 902

angry chicken wrote:
tmay11 wrote:
angry chicken wrote:
Show up where you want to work with your bags packed and with the ability to pass a drug test.



I remember reading your thread a while back AC.

Did you have any certificates before you left or did you just go? What kind of oil work are you doing?

Any more specific advice?


My situation was a bit different in that I am a fairly well qualified electrician with motor control experience and I happened to knock on the door of a motor control company. So I'm not sure that MY results would be what you'd likely experience. However, don't let that be an excuse not to take action.

I did not have any certificates before I left, other than a Merchant Mariner Credential and a TWIC card. When I got to Lafayette, I paid for a week long class that certified me with IADC Rig Pass with Safegulf/Safeland endorsements, HAZWOPPER, HUET/METS, Firefighting, H2S, API rigging, Atmospheric testing, CPR and First Aid.

As it turned out, the only ones the companies really give a shit about is the HUET/METS (helicopter underwater evacuation training/ water survival) and T-2 (production safety systems - which I DIDN'T get initially). But I didn't know that at the time. Now don't get me wrong, those certs didn't HURT and it certainly showed them I was serious and was putting my money where my mouth was, but NO ONE else in my company has all of the certs that I do. Half of them don't even have a TWIC card.

All that really matters is if the person interviewing you LIKES you. And that person is going to be a busy muther fucker. He will most likely be old school and not into email, so you have to show up in person. He will respect two things: HARD WORK and PUNCTUALITY. If you can get in front of him for five minutes and tell him that you drove up here with all your shit in your car and that you've got steel toes and strong back and you're ready to out-work anyone, there's an excellent chance you'll get hired - EVEN if it's only so he'll have the pleasure of running you off later.

That being said, GETTING the job is far easier than KEEPING the job. I've seen so many people run off in the short time I've been down here, I've lost count. Sometimes for the stupidest things. Show up on time, work your ass off, keep your mouth shut and mind your own business. Your co-workers ARE NOT your friends. They will stab you in the back for fun if you let them. Oftentimes, not even for anything work related. Get used to the term "oil field trash". Understand that while there are MANY excellent professional people working in the oil field, there is just as many trashy, petty, pathetic pieces of shit that probably just got out of prison and will fuck with you just for fun. Half your co workers will be ex-cons or drug addicts or both. Now it's not hard to "out shine" people like that if you're smart and have a good work ethic, but to live and work in that environment can become very stressful if you don't know how to deal with those kinds of people. Fortunately for me, I'm a felon and did some time many moons ago, so I was able to see the games coming from a mile away and dealt with it appropriately. Watch your stuff the day of shift change and if it's not under lock and key it will disappear. Don't take anything valuable or that you don't want stolen. Just so you know what you're getting into...


This is great advice. Thanks AC.

I'm curious if the Alberta scene is that "hard core".... I will update when and if I find out.

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angry chicken
Level 3

Join date: Jun 2009
Posts: 5415

I'm not sure about the Alberta scene, but the North Dakota scene is pretty much that way. I met some guys who were working up there and they told me the drug use and theft was pretty high.

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kheaslim
Level 1

Join date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1108

I do oilfield firefighting in Alberta. I havent seen anything "hardcore" its actually a decent environment, not too bad. Ive been here for 2 months and have already seen Alberta top to bottom as well.

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kheaslim
Level 1

Join date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1108

Oh yeah, tons of drugs.i saw a random drug test at a camp and 23 out of 30 failed and were kicked off the camp

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Bujo
Level 4

Join date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2226

angry chicken wrote:
I'm not sure about the Alberta scene, but the North Dakota scene is pretty much that way. I met some guys who were working up there and they told me the drug use and theft was pretty high.


Bah, what's a little crystal meth between shifts. :)

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Bujo
Level 4

Join date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2226

tmay11 wrote:
angry chicken wrote:
That being said, GETTING the job is far easier than KEEPING the job. I've seen so many people run off in the short time I've been down here, I've lost count. Sometimes for the stupidest things. Show up on time, work your ass off, keep your mouth shut and mind your own business. Your co-workers ARE NOT your friends. They will stab you in the back for fun if you let them. Oftentimes, not even for anything work related. Get used to the term "oil field trash". Understand that while there are MANY excellent professional people working in the oil field, there is just as many trashy, petty, pathetic pieces of shit that probably just got out of prison and will fuck with you just for fun. Half your co workers will be ex-cons or drug addicts or both. Now it's not hard to "out shine" people like that if you're smart and have a good work ethic, but to live and work in that environment can become very stressful if you don't know how to deal with those kinds of people. Fortunately for me, I'm a felon and did some time many moons ago, so I was able to see the games coming from a mile away and dealt with it appropriately. Watch your stuff the day of shift change and if it's not under lock and key it will disappear. Don't take anything valuable or that you don't want stolen. Just so you know what you're getting into...


This is great advice. Thanks AC.

I'm curious if the Alberta scene is that "hard core".... I will update when and if I find out.


That last paragraph sums up land work pretty well.

I saw a lot of guys come and go while drilling in South Texas and North Dakota. Some guys would show up for their rotation with the goal to go out drinking every night after their tour. Those guys didn't last long. You've got a goal, so that will help you out as long as you don't get side tracked. Work safe, work hard, and learn as much as you can while you're there.

Methamphetamines seem to be the drug of choice when I was working in North Dakota, Montanta, and Alaska. I doubt Alberta would be much different. With all that said, I had a good time working up north and it was a nice change in pace from the deep water work I do in the Gulf.

Good Luck.

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andy1977
Level 4

Join date: Jun 2009
Posts: 107

Very informative thread!

I have no oil rig experience, but I'm going to North Dakota in May when my lease expires. It's time for a change.

Thank you, angry chicken, PimpBot5000, kheaslim and Bujo for the information, and thanks, tmay11 for starting this thread.

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maverick88
Level

Join date: Jul 2006
Posts: 463

Awesome info. I am in California and will have 1-2 yrs to work before I am called to my academy. I was wondering how one would best go about getting a job when they have no prior experience (Roustabout?). I know how AC did it but, from what I read he was pretty qualified. Being in CA what are the nearest areas?

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Bujo
Level 4

Join date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2226

California.

Thet're drilling in the Long Beach / LA area. If I remember correctly they are drilling the Ellwood, Wilmington and Dos Cuadras fields.

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maverick88
Level

Join date: Jul 2006
Posts: 463

Bujo wrote:
California.

Thet're drilling in the Long Beach / LA area. If I remember correctly they are drilling the Ellwood, Wilmington and Dos Cuadras fields.



Thanks. Would you know of the best way to contact them? I have searched but, it seems they do not have websites.

I have read that getting a job on an oil rig can be pretty frustrating since they do not advertise like other fields. Honestly I would work anywhere if work was offered.

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Bujo
Level 4

Join date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2226

Check out rigzone.com

O&G Directory: California
http://www.rigzone.com/...ifornia/272.asp

Scan thru the "Career Center". Look at which companies are active and then go talk to them. Also O&G companies tend to cluster about each other. It's not uncommon to see Halliburton, Baker-Hughes, and Weatherford all on the same street. There could be a dozen+ companies all within a 6 block radius.

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