Training programs in gas well control are available as stand-alone continuing education courses. They can prepare students for certification by the International Association of Drilling Contractors.
Courses in well control are available at the introductory level for people new to the field, as well as at supervisory levels for individuals earning continuing education credits. Some programs require time in simulators in order to better prepare students for the realities of emergency situations.
Intensive coursework can be completed within one week; there are no prerequisites expected of program applicants to the entry-level programs. Advanced programs expect applicants to be currently working in the field in positions such as gas production supervisors, drillers, or engineers.
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Gas Well Control Programs
Preparation for well control positions in the petroleum industry includes studying everything from blow-out prevention and hydrogen sulfide, to how to kill a producing well.
Prospective gas production drillers and supervisors learn a variety of drilling techniques, including snubbing coil tubing and shutting in a kick. Topics of study include:
- Industry regulations
- Intervention for live wells
- Pressure control
- Kick recognition
- Subsurface equipment
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that, as of 2015, there were 24,960 rotary drill oil and gas workers in the United States (www.bls.gov). They also projected that employment for these professionals would increase 13% from 2014-2024. According to the BLS reports, oil and gas rotary drill operators earned an average of $60,380 per year as of May 2015.
Continuing education courses help derrick workers and supervisors update their skills and maintain certification. WellCAP and WellCAP Plus certifications are available through the IADC. While there is also a WellCAP accreditation level designed for supervisors, WellCAP Plus is an advanced program, designed for different types of decision makers to train together in an interdisciplinary manner. WellCAP Plus training encourages operations engineers, drilling superintendents and rig managers to work as one team. Continuing education credits are also required for recertification every two years.
Individuals interested in further study are able to enroll in university petroleum and mining programs at the bachelor's through doctorate levels. The American Association of Professional Landmen also offers a certification program for business professionals working in the oil and gas field.
Gas well education programs include courses in topics like pressure control and live well intervention. Graduates may pursue professional certification as well as undergraduate or graduate degrees in related fields.