Our primary heavy crude oil operations are centered about the Alberta – Saskatchewan Border near the city of Lloydminster. Our infrastructure includes five crude oil processing facilities and four salt caverns for solids disposal. During a recent trip to the area we were lucky enough to get a tour of the Lindbergh Processing Facility by two Canadian Natural Engineers in Training who are currently completing their field rotation, Cody Anderson and Colin Anderson.
During our tour of the Lindbergh Plant, we saw all areas of the operation and new technologies that are being tested. Both Cody and Colin agreed that the innovation and openness to new technology at Canadian Natural is one of many reasons they enjoy working for the company.
They also highlighted the amount of ownership that managements gives to students in regards to responsibility and ability to make suggestions and look at challenges from a new perspective. Although this does mean students are required to hit the ground running when they have completed their work terms, they truly understand how well the plant works. If the need to troubleshoot arises they have the knowledge and skills to tackle that challenge head on.
The flexibility of working for a larger company is also a benefit to students, allowing them to move around to different areas and expand on different skills based on interest. If someone felt they needed more time to truly excel in one area of the plant, there is flexibility to accommodate these requests.
There are several areas of the plant that students can gain work experience. Generally shorter work terms (four months) will focus on one area whereas students completing longer work terms (six months or longer) will be exposed to several areas of the plant.
After touring the facility, we stopped by one of the many well-sites in the area to review some of the things our Relief Operating Summer Students (ROSS) are responsible for during their summer work term including, monitoring oil output and gas production, well testing and production reporting.
Sometimes students have some reservations about coming to the field to work, but both Cody and Colin noted that although it can seem a bit daunting to move to a new location that you are unfamiliar with the Canadian Natural team provides great opportunities to get to know your fellow co-workers. Throughout the winter, hockey is a regular pastime and, in the summer, many employees enjoy regular rounds of golf. Both are great opportunities to get out into your new community and build long lasting bonds with your fellow co-workers.