Working for Schlumberger?

Discussion in 'Canada' started by kovr, Jun 20, 2012.

  1. kovr

    kovr Been here awhile

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    I'm considering taking a job as an equipment operator for Schlumberger in Alberta. Anyone on here have experience (positive or negative) with them?
    #1
  2. Deuce

    Deuce Crazy Canuck

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    I did back in the mid '80's. In Lloydminster. 7 days on (24hr on call) / 7 days off. Long hrs. When on call. Doing 2-3 wells per day, sometimes 100's of kms. Away from each other. Lots of driving, lots of waiting, not much sleep, eating on the go or in crappy restaurants. Hot and dusty in the summer, freezing your ass off on the catwalk in the winter, seeing the Northern Lights at -30f. Thawing out your survey tools with steam from the rig. Good money, great guys to work with, good company to work for and I would do it all again tomorrow if I could. :1drink
    #2
  3. squonker

    squonker Stupid is the new norm

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    No first hand experience here, but I've heard they're a good company to work for.
    #3
  4. windquest

    windquest Been here awhile

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    Do you know what field you would be working in? I work for Devon in the swan hills field. Never heard anything bad about them..
    #4
  5. Mr. Canoehead

    Mr. Canoehead Taste Gunnels!

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    When I got out of university, I interviewed with them for a field engineer job. They paid well but long hours and you had to sign an agreement that they could send you anywhere for the first 4(?) years and you couldn't get married in that time. You also had to pay back training costs if you quit and there was no OT.

    The guy who interviewed me had definitely drank the Schlumberger kool-aid and didn't like it when I called that Indentured Servitude. :lol3

    Needless to say I didn't get the job. A buddy did take it and had a great time, although he was on the road all the time so we never saw him.
    #5
  6. OceanMtnSea

    OceanMtnSea Pretty Dogged

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    .....um ......do they sell or service dual sport motorcycles?

    WOW ....I did not realize what kind of clout this forum and members have to influence and move people!

    ......as far as I can see, if you are currently unemployed and they offer you a job that pays the bills, you go for it! You are in control of your future!
    #6
  7. Sapper33

    Sapper33 Adventurer

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    Schlumberger is known to have the best training programs out there, and that they only keep the cream of the crop.

    Not sure about as an operator, but as an engineer, getting on with them and getting through the training courses is a feather in your cap.
    #7
  8. kovr

    kovr Been here awhile

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    Thanks for all the info.

    I would not be interested in signing a contract to pay back training, I figure selling my house and moving my family to the next province for a job should show enough commitment.

    The job would likely be in Grand Praire or Red Deer and would be an equipment operator on a cement crew. The thing that has me worried is being on salary with 70-80 hour work weeks and no overtime. Does anyone have experience with their per day per job bonus system adequately covering the overtime hours?
    #8
  9. Deuce

    Deuce Crazy Canuck

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    I was a wireline operator. We would pull onto a well site, drop various types of well survey tools into the casing then log the results in fancy computer in the back of the truck. I drove the truck to the site, assembled the tools onto the wireline, serviced the survey tools etc. The Engineer did the actual survey run once the tool was in the hole and interpreted the results for the well owner.

    We were on salary, no O.T. We had a couple safety meetings each month in the local bar/steakhouse :freaky paid out of my Engineers budget. He was from Lousiana so he really froze his ass off. Great guy though and treated us operators really well. I am sure the whole operation has changed now ie; safety, pay, bonus and benefits. We had minimal safety training compared to now.

    Call them and ask how the salary structure works. For the job you are applying for you wouldn't have to repay the training. It was only the Engineers that Had to do that. They had a employee stock scheme when I was there. I would be a rich man now if I had stuck around. :deal
    :1drink
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  10. DNF

    DNF Been here awhile

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    They have nice trucks. I see them on site all the time. They look overpaid....
    #10
  11. Mercenary

    Mercenary Mindless Savage

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    Never worked for Shlumb.....but I did work for Sanjel. Worked all the service lines except for coil tubing. I would ABSOLUTELY NEVER EVER EVER....I MEAN NEVER go back into the oil patch working for a service company. Nopenopenopenope......

    Worked a 15/6 shift which was absolute crap. They own your ass for 15 days straight and even expect you to work a day or two of your days off to boot!! They also figure there's 27.5 hours a day too....

    Oh...and its not some nice cushy job sitting behind an operator panel either. Nope. You're out there banging together pipe in the mud, rain, snow, -40, +35...doesn't matter...you're doing it all.

    Cement? Get used to working night shifts cause that damned cement doesn't set during the day. And get ready to fudge them log books...cause that's how you make the real money....

    Oh...and the BEST thing? Having some snot nosed little puke barely out of high school yelling at you...because he's in charge of course....

    You seriously couldn't pay me enough money to go back into the patch with a service company. Worst year of my life...hands down.
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  12. tokenboy

    tokenboy Gnirly Adventurer

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    Largest service company in the world. I would argue that the patch is a hard working industry. They offer amazing training.

    In the end it is your decision.

    As the oilfield is a 24hr operation, you will work all sorts of hours, especially cementing. Casing is run and cemented when it is time, definitely not an 8-5 type thing.
    #12
  13. Novy

    Novy Adventurer

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    I don't know if they run the cementing division the same way but I heard many consultants say that the wireline crews were not allowed to travel between certain hours. Like 10pm-5am or something like that.

    Any time schlum was working on the same site I was, I found them to be very safety orientated, but pokey beyond belief. Lots of guys working for them that wouldn't make it with any other company. Just not real patch material.

    I agree with Mercenary tho, did wireline for one of the big companies for 5 years. Getting out was like winning the lottery. If a guy is going to give it a go, try for a mid size company. Somebody who takes care of their employees the same way in the good times and bad and doesn't bombard them with the most absurd nonsense imaginable and expect them to follow blindly.
    #13
  14. Mercenary

    Mercenary Mindless Savage

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    Novy: The day Sanjel laid me off was one of the happiest days of my life. I sat through the exit interview with a big sh*t eating grin on my face the whole time. My ex-boss even said that I was sure taking the lay-off well....

    I suppose that service companies tend to attract a certain type of individual. I was basically stuck with kids who liked to party and didn't see a problem with drinking until 3 am and then getting behind the wheel of a big rig at 5 am..... The money was decent but definitely not worth being away from friends and family for so long....

    I've run into so many ex patch workers that say they'd never go back. Were right in the thick of it up here in FSJ and the place I work (non patch work) never seems to have issues finding employees.......that says something right there.......
    #14
  15. RevyRider

    RevyRider FXD Traveler

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    I did two stints with Schlumberger, both as a wireline Operator, first time was in Lloydminster in the early 80's, I had friends working there so it seemed cool at the time. We all worked 14 & 7, 14 days on, 7 off, which can be cool, ..you can actually do something with 7 days off, however, you soon learn that no else in the real world works this schedule, so you must enjoy spending time by yourself.

    I was in the Open Hole division, preferred washing and dealing with mud, versus the Cased Hole guys who had to deal with the Heavy Crude oil.

    The second time was up in Grande Prairie in the 90's, same same only worse!!

    As other's have said, this is no life! I used to think of it as an adventure, but that changed by the 90's, too much safety crap, ...when it is "convienent"!!! Safety all the way, right up the ying yang, ..except that LOG BOOK. I spent a winter up in Fort Nelson with them, one of my 14 days on shift, it never got above -44C, the evenings often dropped down into the minus 50's. We never shut the trucks off except to check the oil, even if you ever got back to your hotel room, the truck stayed running. The driving is insane, the hours the same, ...don't calculate your pay versus your hours worked as you will get mad and quit.

    I found by the 90's there was way too many young dick heads with a degree and a huge chip on their shoulders, barking orders about stuff they knew nothing about. When I was young, my time with them was OK, but by the 90's, they were full of crap, or maybe I wasn't interested in eating their crap anymore!!!.

    As for Pay, you can count on your base salary, but the first mention of a oil recession and your bonus's get cut in half. The job bonus basically sucks and doesn't make up for the work involved. They have an attractive benifits package, but who doesn't these days.

    Overall, I would stay clear of any oilfield service contractor, as I suspect that they are all the same, ...but work is work, and if you need it, you need it I don't think it would make any difference from Wireline to Cementing, it rarely happens during the day, in nice weather, or in nice locations. If you get on with a good bunch of guys it could be tolerable, try to see it as an adventure.

    Just don't drink the koolaid!!!
    #15
  16. kovr

    kovr Been here awhile

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    Thanks again, lots of info here.

    I have since talked to who would have likely been my boss and the time away from town is almost always as opposed to the half the time or less the recruiter implied. Makes the relocation seem pointless if you're never "home". At any rate for me with 2 young kids being away for most of all the 15 day shifts is not going to work for me.
    #16
  17. Mercenary

    Mercenary Mindless Savage

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    Kovr.....if you need a job...well then you need a job. However if you can find something that works for you AND keeps you home and around your kids....then its a no brainer IMO.

    I worked with guys who NEVER saw home during their 15 day stretch. They'd been working that way for months. Days on end living out of a sleeper on the back of a truck. That's no life I want to live.

    Whereabouts do you live? The place I work for up here in FSJ looks for people quite regularly. The work is....meh...but starting wage is around 24 or 25 bucks an hour. Its not cheap to live up here though....not knowing your situation at all.......
    #17
  18. kovr

    kovr Been here awhile

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    I'm southern Van Island. I used to make high end custom furniture but the economy for the last few years hasn't been great for that. I have other options that pay less (also without the overtime hours). I would be up for a move but it has to make sense financially and I'm not willing to be away from my kids to that extent. Maybe I'll look at some Redseal trade that would have me more consistently working from town.
    #18
  19. Mercenary

    Mercenary Mindless Savage

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    Thats rough man... I hear what you're saying. The only reason I went to the patch is because of job loss in my home town. Job wise, everything dried up within a matter of months around here.

    Moving from southern Van Isle would be tough too. The north really isn't for everyone. However having a good job can smooth over any weather related difficulties you might have :D

    If you get a spare moment....check out Peace Valley OSB in Ft St John. Its where I work. Entry level work is......well...its work...but advancement can be pretty steady and they offer apprenticeships every now and again as well....
    #19
  20. B.C.Biker

    B.C.Biker mighty fine

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    My two cents would be never , ever move for a patch job. These days it makes up about 2/3 of my yearly income. Fast, honest money for sure. Enjoyable and family friendly not so much. You'll never live in the right place. West Jet is probably the best option unless your employer flies you in and out.
    If you have a friend setting you up with something go for it. Always keep your eyes open for a better oppurtunity. There is always a new one along the way.
    I'm in trucking and have never worked for a service company but it looks mind numbing. But different strokes..... Folks who never worked oil and gas won't believe some of the goings on. The wild west is still very much alive. You wouldn't believe the mouth breathing morons you'll meet making tons of money. You'll also meet some of the most solid and together folks that ever walked the earth. They help make it worth while. Learn from them and save your money until you get home to your family. When I go up I try and limit it to two or three months max. Run hard and do my own time.
    #20