Welders in the oil and gas industry operate welding equipment to fuse metals using various cutting, gouging and welding processes on pipelines, rigs, plants and facilities. They perform a variety of duties on the job site, including working on pipeline systems, derrick and pump jack repair, installations, and shutting in or closing off a producing well. Some common welding job titles in the oil and gas industry include:
B Pressure Welder
A B pressure welder is certified to perform welding on a boiler, pressure vessel, pressure piping system or fitting. They join or sever metals used in the construction of beams, piping, and other metal components, and weld parts, tools, machines and equipment used in the oil and gas industry.
Drilling Platform Welder
Drilling platform welders work on an oil platform, which is a large structure with facilities to drill wells to extract and process oil and natural gas. The platform may be fixed to the ocean floor, may be an artificial island, or may be made to float.
Pipeline Arc Welder
Pipeline arc welders perform a type of welding that uses two large metal alligator clips to create an electric arc between an electrode and the base material to melt and fuse the metals at the welding point. Arc welding is the most common type of welding.
Rig welders perform the routine repairs on an oil rig, and also build new metalwork as required. Rig welders may be permanently located on an oil rig, or may be flown in when repairs need to be made or a project needs to be finished quickly.
Production welding is commonly used in a variety of manufacturing and construction industries. Work is done indoors, outdoors, and even underwater.
Fabrication welders design, fabricate, and join various types of metal objects and structures using electric arc and MIG (metal inert gas) welding techniques. Typical projects include individual parts, structural frames for buildings and heavy equipment, and hand railings and stairs for building.
Aluminum TIG Welder
TIG stands for Gas Tungsten Arc, an advanced type of welding. Aluminum TIG welders use welding rods on stainless steel or aluminum, holding the welding rod in one hand and an electric torch in the other. The torch is used to melt the rod and the work piece simultaneously.
Welding engineers solving welding engineering problems, analyze weld failures, find and eliminate weld defects, provide expert witness services, and develop welding procedures. Most welding engineers have experience in aluminum, steel, stainless steel, nickel alloys, and other types of metals, and are familiar with various welding procedures, including oil and underwater pipelines.
Oil rig welders are responsible for repairing and maintaining rig structure. Onshore oil drilling and completion rigs either keep a welder on staff or hire them on a contract basis when the rig needs welding-type repairs. Offshore rigs maintain full time rig welders to avoid any down time on the rig when repairs are needed.
In Focus: Pipeline Welders in Action
Quick Fact: Underwater welders need to be certified in welding as well as diving, and can make between $100,000 and $200,000 per year.
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