Job description for an assistant driller

Written by chris hamilton
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Job description for an assistant driller
Assistant drillers work on offshore oil rigs. (Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images)

Large oil companies install oil rigs in order to extract natural gas and oil from deepwater deposits. Assistant drillers have the work responsibility of directing a work crew of "roughnecks" on offshore oil rigs. Roughnecks perform most of the manual labour in maintaining drilling equipment and extracting hydrocarbons. According to Oil Rig Job International, assistant drillers earn an average salary of £35,100.

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Supervision

The driller directly controls the rate of drilling and a skilled position that requires extensive knowledge of rock types and drilling procedures. Assistant drillers run the work crew and take information from the driller and give it to their crew. The crew consists of roughnecks, who do rough labour, and the derrickman, who works 27m (90 feet) above the rig to handle the drill pipe. While the assistant driller acts in a predominately supervisory role, they may also work alongside the roughnecks to run machinery.

Job description for an assistant driller
They supervise the crew (Thinkstock Images/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Maintenance

According to Transocean, assistant drillers perform equipment safety checks on all drilling systems, and monitor all drilling equipment to ensure proper function. Assistant drillers assure constant well pressure and adjust machinery. For more serious maintenance issues with the drill, these professionals will report to their supervisor, who will have the problem fixed by repair crews and engineers.

Job description for an assistant driller
They perform regular safety checks (Hemera Technologies/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Monitoring

Assistant drillers train roughnecks to recognise abnormal well conditions in order to prevent leaks and rig blowouts. Abnormal well conditions can include excess pressure, a reduction of the weight of the drillpipe, sedimentary deposits mixed with the oil, or changes in drilling weight. According to Transocean, assistant drillers make regular reports to a senior drilling supervisor in order to detail well conditions.

Job description for an assistant driller
They train the crew to recognise abnormalities (Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Safety

Because of the dangerous nature of oil rigs, which includes explosions, noxious fumes and high-powered machinery, assistant drillers must educate their team on all safety procedures put into place by the drilling company. This process includes running weekly safety meetings in order to come up with ways to ensure the safety of workers. These professionals may also run simulations or drills for emergency situations. Drillers make sure that roughnecks take all property safety precautions around machinery.

Job description for an assistant driller
They run safety checks and training (Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Emergency

In the event of an emergency, assistant drillers will sound an alarm and secure all equipment. They report all accidents in the form of injury and damage reports to the senior driller. These assistants may direct oil rig evacuation procedures and will halt the movement of moving machinery. In rough weather conditions, assistant drillers will secure the drilling site until operations are resumed.

Job description for an assistant driller
They will act in emergency situations (Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images)

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