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OCR for page 98
APPENDS E MMS INSPECTOR POSITION DESCRIPTION: PETROLEUM ENGINEERING TECHNICIAN GS-0802-11 OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS DISTRICT MAJOR DUTIES Conducts onsite inspections of complex offshore oil and gas drilling and workover rigs, including new rigs, to assure that the operator's equipment, safety systems, and operations are in compliance with approved plans. Federal regulations, OCS Orders, and related standards and procedures, and to provide for protection of the human, marine, and coastal environments. Independently, or with the assistance of lower-graded technicians, carries out the following duties: . regularly serves as inspection team leader with responsibility for advising, guiding and training lower-graded technicians on drilling and workover safety requirements; · as assigned, serves as leader or member of accident investigation teams appointed to investigate blowouts, serious accidents, and other disastrous events; . independently orders the shut-in of components causing pollution; independently selects optional enforcement codes, and when the codes permit, independently orders the shut-in of drilling and workover operations, or components or operations affected; when the enforcement codes do not permit independent action, obtains supervisory approval prior to ordering the shut-in of drilling and workover operations, and components; independently authorizes the resumption of operations when deficiencies are corrected prior to leaving the rig; · checks operator field records and logs to assure that required information is properly obtained and recorded and that operations are in accordance with approved applications and other regulatory and procedural requirements; safe; observes worlung conditions, procedures, and practices to assure that they are proper and inspects and verifies proper placement and condition of safety equipment; inspects or witnesses all types of drilling workover equipment and operations, including running and cementing of casing, pressure testing, cutting and recovering casing, directional surveys, logging and plugging and abandonment of wells, pollution-control equipment, mud-system monitoring, installation and testing of blow-out prevention equipment including sophisticated subsea, well testing, workover and wireline operations, well-control surveillance, well completions, installation and testing of H2S and gas detection devices; · prepares inspection reports; · conducts follow-up inspections to assure that proper corrective actions have been taken; 98
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99 · performs office work related to drilling and workover operations and inspection activities, including letters of deficiencies to operators; is occasionally required to review operators' drilling and workover plans and applications, including schematics and diagrams, and recommends approval or modifications, as appropriate; · is occasionally required to conduct initial inspections of a new rig and rigs new to the area, to assure that all required safety and pollution-prevention equipment has been installed; when deficiencies are found, orally notifies operator of corrective action required prior to commencement of drilling operations; · operates Government vehicles as an incidental driver; · performs other incidental or related duties as assigned. . 1. Knowledge Required by the Position This position requires a thorough and in-depth knowledge of well drilling and workover systems, processes, methods, and equipment utilized by the petroleum industry in the offshore exploration and development of oil and gas resources. This includes knowledge of (1) the function, capabilities, and limitations of the various items of equipment involved in drilling and workover operations; (2) oil and gas flow, temperatures, and pressures, and their significance in the drilling and workover processes; (3) well casing and cementing operations, and drill-stem testing procedures; (4) the various types of blowout preventers and related well-control equipment; (5) characteristics and special hazards of H2S and SO2; and (6) the safety principles and practices related thereto. As regular team leader, inspecting all types of drilling workover equipment and operations, the full range of this knowledge is used to independently: (1) Assess the potential safety impact on the human, marine, and coastal environments by the systems, processes, and equipment utilized on drilling and workover rigs. (2) Review drilling and workover equipment schematics and diagrams ~ . .. .. ~ . MA ~ ~ ^^ . ~ . . .. . . ~ . . ~ and operator applications and reports. (3) Effectively inspect operations and thoroughly evaluate safety situations, including those not covered by existing regulations and procedures, or involving borderline incidents of noncompliance. (4) Assure compliance with operational procedures. As regular team leader, the knowledge is used to guide, advise, train, and develop the capabilities of lower-grade technicians, both in the field and in the office. Uses general working knowledge of production operations to occasionally assist in performing inspections of such operations as peak workloads may require and for cross-training purposes. 2. Supervisory Controls Serving regularly as inspection team leader: (1) The technician's supervisor schedules and assigns inspections. (2) Independently plans and performs all types of inspections, adapting the inspection approach and the procedures used to actual conditions on the facility; takes independent action on situation and circumstances not adequately covered by guidelines, procedures, and precedents; independently selects the most appropriate action when guidelines provide for optional enforcement actions; discusses deficiencies of pollution-prevention devices, safety equipment, and associated practices with responsible onsite operator personnel; provides advice to operator personnel on ways to best achieve compliance; orders the shut-in of operations while on the facility, either independently or with supervisory approval, in accordance with guidelines on enforcement actions and responsibilities; conducts follow-up inspections while on-site, independently authorizes resumption of operations when deficiencies are corrected prior to leaving the site; independently prepares written inspection reports; independently prepares written warnings and shut-in notices for on-site delivery to operator personnel; prepares letters to operator supervisory representatives in final form concerning corrective actions needed for compliance, and forwards through channels for
OCR for page 100
100 District Supe~visor's signature. (3) The technician's work is occasionally reviewed for adherence to operating regulations, inspection policies, and guidelines. 3. Guidelines Written guidelines include approved drilling and workover programs; Federal regulations; OCS Orders; field rules; Division and other instructional memoranda; safety-alert notices and other operational issuances; standards and codes of the petroleum and related industries (e.g., American Petroleum Institute, National Electric Code; and National Fire Protection Association); and drilling workover, and production inspection forms which include more than 400 potential incidents of noncompliance. Occasional oral guidelines are provided by the supervisor. The technician regularly exercises independent technical judgment in interpreting standards, regulations, Orders, and procedures, and when they provide for alternatives, are not clearly applicable, or do not specifically address the situation, determines appropriate courses of action to be taken. 4. Complexity Drilling and workover inspections involve routine to highly sophisticated equipment and operations characterized by the following: facilities ranging from those of moderate size and complexity to the newest, largest, and most complex offshore facilities used by the petroleum industry. They include ocean-going drill ships, submersibles, semi-submersibles, jack-ups, and fixed platform facilities; · numerous and varied types of well control and other rig safety devices, including annular and ram-type blowout preventers, diverter systems with automatic remote-controlled valves, mud-system monitoring equipment, pressure valves and gauges, chokes, locking devices and other surface and subsurface safety devices, and sophisticated and complex electronic/computerized monitoring equipment; · elaborate equipment systems and procedures required for drilling and safety control, including electrical systems for power supply and backup auxiliary supply, gas-detection systems and alarms, pollution-prevention systems, and procedures and equipment for protection, survival, and escape of personnel; · a substantial amount and wide variety of heavy-equipment items and drilling materials, including derrick and other hoisting equipment, winches, motors, generators, tanks drill pipe, casing, cement, drilling mud, and chemicals; · extensive support facilities often required to quarter and feed operator and contractor personnel; · repair, construction, drilling, workover, and wireline activities frequently performed on the platforms simultaneously with production operations, thereby increasing the danger of hazards to personnel and the environment. The technician performs inspections of all types of drilling and workover equipment and operations, including field records, working conditions and practices, running and cementing of casing, pressure testing, cutting and recovering casing, directional surveys, logging, plugging and abandonment of wells, pollution-control equipment, proper placement and condition of equipment; mud-system monitoring, installation and testing of blowout-prevention equipment including sophisticated subsea equipment, well testing, workover and wireline operations, well-control surveillance, well completions, and installation and testing of H2S and gas detection devices.
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101 The inspection of drilling and workover operations is critical from the standpoint of personnel and environmental safety. When a kick or blowout occurs during an inspection, the drilling technician monitors all operations until the kick or blowout is controlled. Moreover, when drilling involves new or relatively unexplored areas, the complexity of the inspection is further increased since the technician must devote special attention to the possibility of abnormal pressures, kicks, and blowouts. Similarly, when an H2S environment is known, expected or encountered, complexity is further increased since the technician must devote particular attention to special preventive measures, equipment, and procedures necessary to control the effect of the toxicity, flammability, and corrosive characteristics of H2S. Also, during the initial inspection of a new rig, the complexity of the inspection or modification in standard operating practices, equipment, safety devices, and system designs. As an accident-investigation team leader or member, the technician contributes his practical and comprehensive knowledge of accepted operating practices and related safety requirements to the team's efforts. Accidents and disastrous events investigated are complex because the causes, or probable causes, are often not readily identifiable and require in-depth technical analysis of the conditions and circumstances surrounding the event. The technician is required to review and interpret complex drawings, specifications, and performance data of equipment, programs, safety systems, and pollution-prevention equipment associated with the drilling or workover operations being inspected. The technician also is required to review and interpret complex OCS Orders and other regulatory safety requirements. The occasional inspection of oil and gas production operations, in addition to the regular inspection of drilling and workover operations, selves to further broaden and increase the complexity of the technician's duties. While these latter duties are assigned only occasionally, the technician must be fully capable of assisting in conducting them when inspection workload peaks or other circumstances require such assignments. As regular team leader, the technician is often required to analyze difficult, innovative, and complex technical situations, and to exercise originality and independence in determining appropriate action. 5. Scope and Effect The scope of the work includes enforcing and promoting pollution prevention and efficient and sate operations among the many complex offshore drilling and workover facilities for the protection of the human, marine, and coastal environments. This is accomplished by (1) independently conducting onsite inspections of the processes and equipment and practices involved, and reporting deficiencies to operators and assuring corrective action; (2) leading or participating in the investigation of serious accidents and disastrous events, identifying causes and measures to prevent recurrences; (3) reviewing and advising on the adequacy of safety systems as a result of onsite inspections; (4) as inspection team leader, providing advice, guidance, and training to lower-graded technicians; (5) making recommendations pertaining to the issuance of new or revised OCS Orders and other regulatory requirements; and (6) occasionally assisting in the inspection of nearly all aspects of production operations. 1 ~ The effect or result of these activities is the identification and correction of safety hazards for the prevention of accidents and disastrous events. Onsite inspection and evaluation of drilling and workover operations have a favorable impact on the development of new safety systems and practices by the offshore petroleum industry. When safety hazards pose an immediate danger, operations are shut-in until deficiencies are corrected. The thoroughness and quality of the technician's work have substantial impact on the agency program in safeguarding and furthering the exploration, development, and utilization of the Nation's offshore oil and gas resources. Future development of oil and gas resources in frontier Outer Continental Shelf areas is dependent in large measure upon the continued effectiveness of the agency program in preventing major oil spills and
OCR for page 102
102 other polluting events in mature areas. Through the activities described above, the technician plays an important role in achieving this National objective. While secondary in importance to the safeguarding of the human, marine, and coastal environments, decisions made by the technician also have substantial economic impact. When operations are shut in, development of critically needed domestic oil and gas is delayed. Such delays can cost the operator many thousand of dollars a day (rigs are leased to operators for amounts up to $40,000 daily, and the cost of leasing and operating a large rig can exceed $100,000 a day). 6.- Personnel Contacts Personnel contacts are typically with helicopter pilots; boat operators; other technicians, radio operators, professional engineers, geologists, and geophysicists in the agency; and operator and contractor supervisory officials and other representatives. 7. Purpose of Contacts The purpose of contacts with petroleum industry personnel is to obtain compliance with Federal regulations, OCS Orders, and related safety standards and procedures designed to facilitate pollution prevention and the efficient and safe operation of offshore facilities. During these contacts, the technician regularly deals with different operators, contractors, supervisory attitudes, and routine to complicated and controversial safety issues. The technician uses tact and persuasion, along with technical expertise and authority, to respond to challenges to his decisions and to obtain quick and effective correction of safety deficiencies. The purpose of contacts with agency personnel is to receive guidance, provide and exchange information, and discuss job-related matters. The purpose of contacts with lower-graded technicians is to further their development and effectiveness as technicians. 8. Physical Demands Onsite inspection work requires almost continuous physical activity. Most of the time is spent walking, standing, crouching, and climbing. The technician must walk under and around heavy derrick and hoisting equipment and piping, and climb up and down ladders and steep stairways between floors and decks. 9. Work Environment The technician works around potentially hazardous operating equipment. In climbing up and down ladders and steep stairways, the technician is protected from falls only by a firm grip on ladder rungs and handrails. The work environment involves exposure to high-frequency noise, extreme weather conditions, explosions, fires, poisonous gases, toxic chemicals, high elevations over water, and high-pressure equipment. Transportation to and from the work site involves helicopter flying over water, and occasional use of small boats in rough seas. The work environment requires the use of hard hats, hard-toe boots, safety glasses, ear protection equipment, life vests or survival suits, flight safety helmets, cold-weather gear, and protective breathing gear.
Representative terms from entire chapter: