Job Highlight: Pipeline Operator in Watford City, ND

We talked with the hiring manager, Robb, in Watford City, North Dakota, to get some insight into the job of a pipeline operator and what he looks for in a candidate.

What is a typical day in the life of a pipeline operator?
Pipeline operators are responsible for everything related to pipelines and compressor stations, including pigging, line locating, line crossing, daily readings, and maintenance. Their day can vary widely, but it usually starts at the compressor station where they take care of tank loads, schedule water and condensate sales, load the discharge pig launcher and monitor station operation. Following the pigging schedule for low-pressure pigging is a daily priority. Our operators are free to set their own routines, so they typically are very self-motivated and efficient.

What do you need to be successful in this job?
You should be safety-focused, able to work independently and with a team. The ability to plan and prioritize and being flexible and adaptable to change are  important. Also time management, good judgment, multitasking, troubleshooting, and computer and mechanical skills .

What are you looking for in a new hire?
Someone with an industry-related background who is mechanically inclined. Someone who is diligent and will see projects through to completion, who has good communication skills, provides good customer service, learns quickly and is open to feedback.   

What it’s like to live in North Dakota?
Watford City has really grown over the last few years, but still has that small-town feel. We have new a recreation center with two Olympic-sized pools, a new high school and the golf course is undergoing expansion. ONEOK pledged $1 million toward the new healthcare complex, which is under construction. If you like the outdoors, you’ll love North Dakota. There’s hunting, fishing, off-road trails, and National Forests and Grasslands that are open to the public – Teddy Roosevelt Park is just 15 miles south of town. Watford City also sponsors lots of area events in the summer and fall. Our annual Ribfest is a big draw.

What is the best part about working at ONEOK?
The people. The company is full of great people who believe in working as a team and taking care of each other.