Okay kids, here’s the thing. I’ve already worked 11 hours overtime this week (and will probably do that much more again). I didn’t have time to write a post last night (overtime + bible study with my amazing  Honeymooners… hi guys!), so today is going to be a little bit of a lame duck post. I thought I’d share a little about what I do for a living, since that’s what I’m doing right now… or am supposed to be doing.

My official title is an oil and gas facilities engineer. Translated to English, that means that I help to design the production facilities at individual oil wells before the oil is shipped to the refineries. The company I work for is a small-ish consulting firm that does engineering for a larger (but not too large) oil and natural gas company. Because natural gas is so cheap right now, we’re mainly working on oil wells.

It works like this. Company A, the large-ish oil company, does a land study and determines that there’s oil in them there hills. They lease/purchase land rights from the original owner, then have a team of scientists determine the best place to drill to extract the oil (and a bunch of other stuff). Once the studies are complete, Company A comes to my company, Company B, and asks us to engineer the “facilities” for the oil well.

You may have seen an oil well facility some day driving through the Midwest or southwest. Typically, they have a pumping unit (the thing that goes up and down), separation vessels that help the water and oil separate from each other (they’re usually tall and skinny), and storage tanks that hold the separated oil until tanker trucks can pick it up and take it to a refinery.


I help design the separation vessels, oil tanks, piping, containment, and safety systems that make up the oil well. I help to calculate necessary safety valve sizes, to determine the amount of separation necessary (it depends on the type of oil coming out of the ground and the amount of water in that oil), and to review drawings and plans (plus a lot more than that).


So there’s what I do for a living. I engineer oil wells. It’s not glamorous or even exciting by any means, but I really enjoy what I do and the company I work for.


Of course, my heart will always be here at LHBH.


What do you do for a living? Anyone else working in an industry they never thought they’d end up in?


20 thoughts on “Overtime

  1. You’ve already worked 11 hours of overtime and it’s only Tuesday?!? I give you mad props.

    I work in the tax department of a very very large software company whose home headquarters are in Europe (I don’t want to give too much away). I never ever in a million years thought I’d work in tax (I wasn’t even an accounting major) or for a large company like this. It’s so strange how things go.

    • I worked 4 hours on Saturday, which counts towards this week. I didn’t pull a 19 hour day yesterday. That would have been insane.

      You go to college with what you want to do in mind and you end up doing something entirely different. Would you believe I vaguely went into Mechanical engineering with an idea of designing NASCAR engines? Yeah… that didn’t work out.

  2. I work for a custom cabinetry company designing kitchens, baths, laundry rooms, media units, etc. I definitely had a lot of career plans growing up (teaching, interior designer, etc) but I’m happy with where I am at the moment : ) It is weird how things work out though!

  3. Your job sounds very cool! I’m glad that you are really liking your new job! I was a chemist at the waste water treatment plant (no clue that would be my first big girl job lol) and now I am a compliance inspector for our stormwater program. I still haven’t figured out what that entails fully yet, but I inspect outfalls and make sure we have no unwanted dishcharges, and monitor best management practices (more so what I thought I’d be doing after college!)

  4. Wow, your job is way more interesting than mine! I would have never pictured that that is what you do. I started out at my company as an auditor and I have now moved to a financial analyst position. Thank gosh for the blogs to give us a creative outlet! 🙂

  5. I’m between jobs at the moment so we’ll see what happens in the next few weeks! Do you ever do some work in regards to a refinery in McPherson, KS? That’s where we just moved from and there’s a pretty big refinery there 🙂

    • I don’t have anything to do with the refinery, but I’m sure oil from some of the well sites I’m working on ends up there! We have several wells we’re designing about a hundred miles due west of there.

      Good luck with the job hunt!

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