Gas and Oil Plant Operators


Manufacturing > Gas and Oil Plant Operators > Overview
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Gas and Oil Plant Operators

Gas and Oil Plant Operators - Overview

Gas and oil plant operators control the refining process for crude oil or natural gas.

Gas and oil plant operators work at refineries where crude oil and natural gas are processed for distribution to utility companies or industrial plants. Crude oil and natural gas are processed into products such as gasoline, diesel, and kerosene.

Gas and oil plant operators do similar tasks. They monitor all steps of the refining process. They keep track of temperature levels and rate of flow. They take samples to inspect the quality of the product.

If quality standards are not met, operators determine what is wrong and fix it. For example, they may adjust the temperature or turn valves to increase or decrease the flow of additives.

Operators keep logs of meter readings, test results, and adjustments they make.

Gas and oil plant operators inspect equipment for safety problems, leaks, or wear. They check flow meters and panel lights to make sure they are giving correct information. Operators discuss repairs with maintenance staff. Some operators perform their own repairs. If there is an emergency, operators shut down the machines following their supervisors' instructions.

Gas and oil plant workers do different types of work at refineries:

  • Gas distribution operators work at power plants and steel mills. They manage the gas or oil flow to fuel the furnaces or boilers.
  • Petroleum pump system operators control the movement of products from processing to holding tanks. They work closely with other operators to make sure each step happens at the right time.
  • Gaugers test and control the flow of oil and gas at wells, tank farms, and refineries.
Source: Illinois Career Information System (CIS) brought to you by Illinois Department of Employment Security.