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Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
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scotian Online
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RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
(03-02-2012 02:03 PM)Ecksie Wrote:  I've been following this forum and this thread for a while now but have a few questions that I hope can get answered.

I have many years working as a project manager in heavy civil construction and I graduated with a degree in civil engineering. I moved up to Canada last year to work as a servicing company in the oil patch. The work is completely unrelated to heavy civil work and quite frankly, I'm not enjoying it and after accounting for the increased cost of living in Calgary, I'm taking a pay cut. I'm curious to know what the pros and cons of working the rigs vs the oil sands. Specifically, what could a project manager with 12 years heavy civil experience expect to make? I've seen a lot of job opportunities and I am currently updating my resume. I don't want to be completely ignorant about the wages though.

Any info would be a HUGE help and seriously appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Hi Ecksie, I don't know much about working on an oil rig other than its very hard work, can be quite dangerous and it tends to draw a more cowboy or red neck crowd. I don't think many drilling companies employ civil engineers, but I could be wrong, contact some of the drilling companies in Calgary for more info: Precision Drilling, Trinidad and Nabors Drilling.

There are some oil rigs in the oil sands at the SAGD (Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage) sites such as Suncor Firebag, Cenovus Christina Lake and Devon jackfish (down near Conklin), they use advanced drilling technology such as horizontal drilling to separate the oil from the sands while under ground and then pump the bitumen out, all with out disrupting the earth's surface. All of the other oil sands operation are open mines where they literally scoop the oil sand out of the ground with big excavators and haul it away in those big huge heavy hauler trucks.

Anyway, as far as I know, all EPCM contractors employ civil engineers. Since you are already living in Alberta, looking for work shouldn't be too big of a deal. I just looked on Fluor Canada's website under the career section and found a job you may be interested, as you probably know, they are a MAJOR international EPCM company (they were mentioned in another recent thread about working in Afghanistan), this job is likey at the Exxon/Imperial oil site Kearl Lake (I worked there for almost 2 years off and on), they are the general contractor there, other sub-contractors on that particular site include Pacer Corp, Kiewit, PCL and Kentz Engineering, I've done work for all those guys too, this is a fly-in, fly-out site, the camp is about a 30 minute drive away from site, its called Wapasu Creek Lodge, its nice but the security is a bit nuts and its a dry camp (no booze allowed), decent food and excellent gym anyway, here's a vid: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38V37IfJ26U

Also, here's that ad for a civil engineer with Fluor, let us know if you apply and how it goes!


Job Abbreviation Title Civil / Struc. Superintendent
Job Description • Responsible for monitoring the safety, qualify, cost and schedule for contractors performing C/S/A works.
• Oversee subcontractor piling and foundation installations
• Oversee installation of structural steel
• Ensures contractor personnel are trained and knowledgeable of drawings, specifications and work procedures; that material is being utilized to ensure optimum efficiency; and that the work being performed is in conformance with specified quality requirements.
• Monitor day to day Contractor’s field activities as to its conformance to design documents, specifications, standards, and codes utilizing your experience on similar work scope.
• Evaluate workforce against progress achievement. Daily progress will be captured on Fluor’s Daily Report and measured against the approved plan.
• Assist with resolutions to Contractor queries via RFI (request for information) thru Projects Online (POL)
• Assist Contractors with the execution of their quality program – inspection, testing, and record retention.
• Ensure Contractor’s adherence to project safety program and plays an active role in the development of the safety culture on the project.
• Review safety task analysis and work permits. Attend safety toolbox meetings.
• Controls scope changes or creep through established management of change policy, ensuring that all scope changes are quickly and properly documented and reported to the Area Construction Manager
• Participate in weekly progress review meetings.
• Ensure contractor maintains current as-built drawings.
• Review erection equipment and monitor lifting operations.
• Assist quantity surveyors in measurement of progress and installed quantities.
• Coordinate and assist contractors in the set up and installation of contractor’s temporary facilities.
• Assume responsibility for the following functions: Earthworks including excavation, dewatering, backfill and compaction. Piling installation including test piles. Foundation installation including formwork, reinforcing, embeds and anchor bolts, concrete placement and curing, and waterproofing application. Erection of 150 meter concrete stack and installation of area paving and roads. Underground piping installation including coating and wrapping, hydrotesting, manholes, catch basins, valve boxes, hydrants and stand pipes. Structural steel and precast concrete erection, ladders and platform installation. Building and shelter erection and finish works. Review and approval of C/S/A installation Inspection Test Plans and Method Statements.
• Ability to attend to detail and work in a time-conscious and time-effective manner
• Ensures accurate, comprehensive and timely project reporting
Basic Job Requirements 5-10 years of experience in CSA Supervision

Successfully managed CSA activities on large scale 500 million dollar plus projects.

10+ years of progressive CSA experience

Cold weather experience preferable

Canadian experience preferable
Other Job Requirements Strong communications skills.
Good computer skills.
Strong working knowledge of civil construction codes, standards, principals and procedures.
Previous Fluor experience highly desirable
Must be legally eligible to work in Canada
Degree Required Yes
City (or Nearest City) Fort McMurray, AB
State/Province Alberta
Country Canada
Location Type Project
Requisition Number 41890BR
03-02-2012 04:43 PM
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Messages In This Thread
RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months! - scotian - 03-02-2012 04:43 PM
Risks, opportunities, import/export - OSL - 03-16-2013, 06:58 AM