Getting Into It
An oil drilling derrick is a relatively rare sight in this province, and it's pretty small compared with the offshore rigs that have been operating here for decades.
But both are seeking that black gold, on the Grand Banks and beyond, and on Newfoundland’s west coast. The scale of operations is vastly different, but onshore drilling and exploration is governed by regulations similar to those applied to the offshore, and these are overseen by Petroleum Technologists in the Department of Natural Resources. These employees map the parcels of land where the companies drill, inspect the rigs to ensure regulatory compliance, approve environmental plans, and examine the driller’s daily log for signs of problems.
The skills required for this work include completion of a petroleum technology course supplemented by up to 10 years field experience. There’s quite a demand for people with these skills, and graduates of the local programs have found work all over the world. Those who have come back home to settle down appreciate the level of personal safety and economic opportunity this province offers to young families. And there’s a lot to be said for the lifestyle, the friends, and the outdoors.
Added to that is the professional satisfaction of helping a new industry get off – or in this case into – the ground.