Drilling Operations Team Leader

Posted over 1 year ago by mselect
Location Basrah, Iraq Job Type
Salary Sector Oil & Gas

MSELECT is hiring a Drilling Operations Team Leader for an international oil and gas operator in Basrah. Candidates must have a minimum 10 years of relevant experience and be fluent in English.

Role Synopsis

  • This role will cover both drilling and workover operations as operational requirements dictate.
  • The DOTL reports to Drilling Superintendent, who in turn reports to the Drilling Manager.
  • The DOTL ensure that HSE goals, operational integrity, standards, and well objectives are met during drilling operations.
  • Responsible for implementation of good oil-field/basic drilling practices, API standards, and standards and policies to meet all production goals.
  • Lead risk assessment (RA) and management of change (MoC) processes; ensure implementation of all changes in operations to the standards and procedures and contractor-specific well drilling programs
  • Directly verify, validate, and oversee all drilling activities by leading, mentoring, and managing a diverse team of WSL/SWSL and trainees on the rigs
  • Mentoring of staff is a key role.

Key Roles and Responsibilities

  • Active HSE Leadership
  • Active monitoring and directing of operations including but not limited to HSE; well control; planning and preparation of upcoming operations; issuing of clear instructions to the drilling contractor based on the requirements laid down in the Standards, the drilling program, discussions with town office and indications from the well.
  • Liaise with the Drilling Engineering team to review upcoming wells schedules and drilling programs while implementing operational excellence initiatives to optimize drilling operations The SWSL will provide mentoring and support to the development of Iraqi staff.
  • Mentor and guide WSLs and drilling contractors to ensure that HSE goals, operational integrity, standards, and well objectives are not compromised during drilling operations. Thorough, continuous communication required with rigs, service companies, organization/contractor drilling engineering teams, and organization multidisciplinary functions


  • This job will be mostly day-rate operations working an equal time rotation, predominantly office based.
  • Strong safety leadership, with a demonstrated track record in delivery of safe and efficient operations.
  • Detailed knowledge of, and strong track record in, supervision of drilling operations, including previous experience as a Drilling operations team leader.
  • Must poses strong leadership skills and be capable to manage a large WSL team for multiple drilling rig operations as well as communicate effectively and coordinate with the Drilling contractors to achieve the program objectives.
  • Must be able to set the bi-weekly contractor agendas and lead the meetings.
  • Lead after action reviews and incident investigations
  • Strong team player with demonstrated ability in a similar leadership role. A proven ability to coach, train and mentor staff.
  • Proven ability to delivery in a fast paced, challenging environment with very limited direction, support or coaching.
  • Must possess valid well control certificate (IWCF or IADC surface stack supervisor)
  • Must have good English verbal, written, and listening skills
  • Must be able to work effectively as part of a team
  • Must be able to work on own initiative; use proactive approach to problem solving and avoidance


  • Must drill wells in a safe, efficient, and effective manner.
  • Must be able to take responsibility and manage tasks through to completion
  • Must be able to react quickly and with flexibility in a dynamic environment
  • Must conduct rig calls with all rigs to ensure adherence to drilling programs and provide oversight/guidance, as necessary, to mentors and WSLs
  • Must adhere to a rigid code of conduct and respect diverse cultural backgrounds and religious beliefs
  • Must mentor/coach organization or drilling contractor staff to follow API and oilfield best practices
  • Must mentor and educate contractor management teams on continuous improvement process and implement continuous improvement process on each of the rigs; create cross-tell system to ensure lessons are learned and best practices are adopted.
  • Conduct and record bi-weekly meetings with rig-based mentors.  Discuss HSE, training, operational challenges and techniques, and lessons learned while facilitating after-action reviews (AARs).
  • Complete/review incident reports and contractual non-conformance reports and manage close-out and final sign-off processes.
  • Must review / audit at least one JSA and PTW on a daily basis and ensure that TBTs are actually taking place and, more importantly, are participated in/understood.
  • Must get engaged in incident investigations and coach the rig contractors how to conduct an investigation and write a report
  • Must ensure well control and medical emergency response plans are current and that mentors, WSLs, and contractors are competent in their use
  • Must conduct and record bi-weekly drilling contractor meetings to review operational, HSE, and corrective action requirements while building critical rapport amongst the writ-large drilling team
  • Must ensure rigs follow the approved standard operating procedures (SOP) for their operations
  • Must review SOPs for suitability / completeness and identify gaps and work with various entities to improve organization/drilling contractor operations
  • Must lead after-action and lessons-learned reviews per hole section to quickly communicate improvement opportunities to the Drilling Engineering Team.
  • Must review and close out write-ups on the Corrective-Action Registers (CARs) on the rig while implementing a continuous-improvement program
  • Must participate in critical pre-job safety meetings
  • Must review and follow / implement the agreed-upon drilling program, verifying that approved operational steps are adhered to and promulgated in appropriate plans forward
  • Must ensure an MoC is accomplished if operations need to deviate from the agreed-upon drilling program or SOP
  • Must directly oversee operations that deviate from normal activities, such as tight hole / hole problems/flow checks / tripping off bottom/running casing / all cementing operations
  • Must convey the HSE lessons learned (review incident reports) with assigned rig crews and personnel
  • Must verify Well control equipment tests and ensure the BOP testing schedule is adhered to or dispensation is approved
  • Must verify all operations involving equipment, such as wellhead installation and setting and recovering test plugs and wear bushings
  • Must verify/ensure all appropriate equipment, personnel, OCTG, supplies are ordered/called off in order to execute the drilling program in a timely, competent, coherent fashion
  • Must review cementing programs and monitor/execute cementing operations (volumes pumped, densities, losses, returns, types and weights of spacers, placement/operation of DVs/MSIPCs)
  • Must monitor and report ANY well-control event and be prepared to assume on-site senior representative responsibilities
  • Must ensure morning reports are well written and accurate and that appropriate well data is input into Landmark Open Wells platform
  • Must participate in rig STOP card and self-verification programs
  • Must conduct periodic job observations and discuss with the rig managers how to correct errant behaviors
  • Must ensure rig leadership meetings are occurring on a daily basis and that valid issues/concerns are actioned or addressed
  • Must possess valid well control certificate (IWCF or IADC surface stack supervisor)
  • Must have excellent English verbal, written, and listening skills
  • Must be able to work effectively as part of a team
  • Must be able to work on own initiative; use proactive approach to problem solving and avoidance
  • Must use initiative to ensure issues are overcome.
  • Must have a patient and calm personality

Criteria and Qualifications

  • 15 + years’ drilling and workover experience, at least 3 years as SWSL
  • Proficient in safe working practices and good oil field practices
  • Proven ability to lead drilling and workover operations through a theoretical and practical approach.
  • Ability to understand and work with differing cultures
  • Valid Well Control certification, as per organization Standards (Level 4 Surface)
  • Proven Leadership (HSE and Operational) and Mentoring qualities

*Only applicants meeting the strict criteria outlined above will be contacted as part of the shortlisting process

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