Definition - What does Oil Operator mean?
An Oil Operator is an oil and gas exploration and production organization that legally performs all the upstream operations and extracts crude oil and natural gas from hydrocarbon reservoirs. An oil operator contracts the drilling contractor to drill a well in the explored reservoir. The operator has expertise to explore hydrocarbon reservoirs, drill a well for appraisal testing, then once sufficient quantity is administered, task a drilling contractor to drill a well and conduct an economic production of hydrocarbons from it.
Petropedia explains Oil Operator
There are three sectors in the oil and gas industry, i.e., the upstream sector, midstream sector and downstream sector. Each sector is operated by its sector expert and the upstream sector is primarily operated by an Exploration and Production organization also known as an oil operator many a times. The primary role of an oil operator is to look for presence of hydrocarbons under the earth surface with the help of various technologies and conduct various tests such as 2D & 3D seismic research, and drill an appraisal well to understand the potential of the searched reservoir. If the reservoir has a good potential, then with the help of a drilling contractor the operator drills an oil well and starts economic production. An operator also takes care of making crude oil and natural gas free from water, moisture, debris, sand granules, etc., and then sells it or transports it via pipelines, rail, road, sea to the midstream sector organizations such as petroleum refineries that further process crude oil to various refined petroleum products.