The Most Interesting Jobs in the Oil and Gas Industry

Pigging Oil and Gas

One of the most important parts of what we do here at Kingsbridge Contractor Insurance is finding out what it is our customers do for work. As the list of professions and roles we cover continues to grow, so does our list of job titles. We consider ourselves to be experts in every field we cover, but on occasion there are jobs that even we have to Google before setting up a contractor with insurance. In the first of a series featuring all of the industries we cover, we take a look at what some of the more confounding job titles and specific areas within the Oil & Gas industry actually mean.

Biostratigrapher: Hard to pronounce, but relatively easy to define. A biostratigrapher studies body fossils, ichnites (tracks), burrows, coprolites (fossilised faeces), palynomorphs, and chemical residues in an effort to figure out how old a certain layer of rock and sediment is. Once they know the age of a particular area, it’ll make it easier for them to know the potential for finding natural resources like oil or natural gas.

Geochemist: In the case of the oil and gas industry a geochemist is likely to specialise in petroleum geochemistry, and would deal with the application of chemical principles in the study of the origin, generation, migration, accumulation, and alteration of petroleum. Petroleum geochemical techniques in the oil and gas industry are used to identify source rocks and determine the amount, type, and maturation level of the organic matter, as well as to evaluate the potential timing of petroleum migration from the source rock (amongst many other things!)

Sedimentologist: As you might expect, a sedimentologist studies sediment (specifically sand, mud, silt, and clay) and the various ways they are deposited. A sedimentologist then applies their understanding of modern processes to ancient rock in order to try and understand how it formed. Sedimentary rocks, in which fossils and many other historical markers exist, are also where petroleum deposits are found.

Pigging: Surprisingly, nothing to do with our porcine companions. Pigging in the context of the oil and gas industry, and specifically in the context of pipelines, refers to the practice of using devices known as ‘pigs’ to perform various maintenance operations on a pipeline without stopping the flow of the product inside (cleaning and inspecting the pipeline, for example.)

Roughneck: A slang term for a person doing hard manual labour on oil rigs. Generally a roughneck’s duties will be involved with connecting pipe down the well bore, as well as general work around a rig. A roughneck is often seen as a symbol of hard work and fortitude, particularly in North America, and the term has strong connections in sport and across music and television.

Seismic Interpreter: As this excellent feature on the AAPG website states, the simplest definition of the role of a seismic interpreter is someone who extracts subsurface geologic information from seismic data. A seismic interpreter will analyse the continuity of reflections indicating geologic structure, the variability of reflections indicating stratigraphy, fluids, and reservoir fabric, the seismic wavelet, and noise and data defects of various kinds. Complicated, but fascinating.

If you’re a contractor or freelancer seeking insurance, get in touch with us on 01242 808740, or visit us online here. We won’t be beaten on price, and our customer service is second to none. You can apply online or over the phone. Our comprehensive insurance policy package includes professional indemnity insurance, public liability insurance, personal accident cover, directors’ and officers’ liability, and employers’ liability. Even if you don’t see your job title in our list, do get in touch and we’ll be more than happy to help.

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