Unit of competency details

PMAOPS433 - Manage wells and gathering systems (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Supersedes and is equivalent to PMAOPS433A - Manage wells and gathering systemsSupersedes and is equivalent to PMAOPS433A Manage wells and gathering systems 01/Jun/2016

Release Status:
ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 02/Jun/2016


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 030303 Mining Engineering  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 030303 Mining Engineering  14/Oct/2016 
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Unit Of competency

Modification History

Release 1. Supersedes and is equivalent to PMAOPS433A Manage wells and gathering systems


This unit of competency covers the skills and knowledge required to manage a group of wells and gathering systems so as to optimise the output from all the wells. The management is of the technical aspects of well/system operation, and while this person may also manage well operating personnel, that is not part of this competency.

This unit of competency applies to senior operators, field technicians and those in similar roles who are required to apply in-depth knowledge of process and plant in order to examine data and make and/or recommend changes to optimise the output of the group of wells, prioritise and coordinate the work of the team, and undertake investigations and solve well and operating problems which are beyond the ability of the well operator.

This unit of competency includes all such items of equipment and unit operations which form part of the well/system. A unit comprises two or more components of plant/equipment that are operated together to produce product, including as appropriate to the facility:

  • wellheads
  • chokes and control valves
  • meters
  • flow lines
  • high point vents
  • low point drains
  • valves, including non-return and pressure/vacuum relief
  • pumps and their prime movers
  • product separation units
  • instrumentation and control systems (variable speed drive (VSD) and proportional integral derivative (PID))
  • testing equipment
  • power units
  • drive heads
  • flares
  • fuel gas systems
  • chemical injection equipment
  • field flares
  • storage tanks.

No licensing, legislative or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of publication.

Pre-requisite Unit


Competency Field


Unit Sector

Elements and Performance Criteria

Elements describe the essential outcomes.

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element.


Prepare for work 


Receive and give shift handover


Identify work requirements


Identify and control hazards


Coordinate with appropriate personnel


Check for recent work undertaken on wells and gathering systems


Note any outstanding/incomplete work


Check operational status of wells and gathering systems


Determine appropriate schedule and priorities for work


Operate site, well/system and equipment 


Complete site checks


Use well control systems


Take required reading


Operate plant.


Start up/shut down well/system


Isolate/de-isolate an item of, or an entire well/system


Optimise wells and gathering systems 


Analyse network


Interpret network communication


Determine processing plant requirements and the impact of this on well and system operation


Investigate status of individual wells


Advise well operator of needed adjustments


Recommend well stimulation or other required action


Ensure flows from wells and systems meet plant and organisation needs


Complete logs and reports as required


Prioritise and organise work 


Ensure required maintenance work has been requested


Prioritise maintenance work in liaison with appropriate personnel


Organise well shutdowns to suit production requirements where practical


Coordinate field operators to ensure their work and priorities match plant and organisation requirements


Solve problems 


Provide guidance to operators for shutdown/start-up as required


Develop the technical problem-solving capability of well operators


Analyse data from wells and systems to identify systemic or recurring problems


Take action to solve problems


Finalise shift activities 


Complete shift tasks as appropriate


Ensure identified faults are correctly logged/reported for action


Ensure incomplete tasks are scheduled for follow-up


Ensure all logs and reporting are complete and understood


Check operators have completed required tasks

Foundation Skills

This section describes those language, literacy, numeracy and employment skills that are essential to performance.

Foundation skills essential to performance are explicit in the performance criteria of this unit of competency.

Range of Conditions

This field allows for different work environments and conditions that may affect performance. Essential operating conditions that may be present (depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts) are included.

Regulatory framework  

The latest version of all legislation, regulations, industry codes of practice and Australian/international standards, or the version specified by the local regulatory authority, must be used, and include one or more of the following:

  • legislative requirements, including work health and safety (WHS)
  • industry codes of practice and guidelines
  • environmental regulations and guidelines
  • Australian and other standards
  • licence and certification requirements

All operations to which this unit applies are subject to stringent health, safety and environment (HSE) requirements, which may be imposed through state/territory or federal legislation, and these must not be compromised at any time. Where there is an apparent conflict between performance criteria and HSE requirements, the HSE requirements take precedence.


Hazards include one or more of the following:

  • electricity
  • gas
  • gases and liquids under pressure
  • structural hazards
  • structural collapse
  • equipment failures
  • industrial (machinery, equipment and product)
  • equipment or product mass
  • noise, rotational equipment or vibration
  • plant services (steam, condensate and cooling water)
  • working at heights, in restricted or confined spaces, or in environments subjected to heat, dusts or vapours
  • flammability and explosivity
  • hazardous products and materials
  • unauthorised personnel
  • sharp edges, protrusions or obstructions
  • slippery surfaces, spills or leaks
  • extreme weather
  • other hazards that might arise


All operations must be performed in accordance with relevant procedures.

Procedures are written, verbal, visual, computer-based or in some other form, include one or more of the following:

  • emergency procedures
  • work instructions
  • standard operating procedures (SOPs)
  • safe work method statements (SWMS)
  • formulas/recipes
  • batch sheets
  • temporary instructions
  • any similar instructions provided for the smooth running of the plant

Routine problems 

Routine problems are predictable problems with known solutions and include one or more of the following:

  • leakage
  • solids (formation fines)
  • vibration
  • loss of control of pressure and/or flow
  • hydrate formation and blockages
  • liquid slugging
  • corrosion
  • erosion
  • sulphate reducing bacteria
  • scale formation
  • equipment failure
  • change in product parameters (e.g. temperature, flow, pressure and level)
  • fouling or contamination

Non-routine problems 

Non-routine problems are unexpected problems, or variations of previous problems and must be resolved by applying operational knowledge to develop new solutions, either individually or in collaboration with relevant experts, to:

  • determine problems needing action
  • determine possible fault causes
  • develop solutions to problems which do not have a known solution
  • follow through items initiated until final resolution has occurred
  • report problems outside area of responsibility to designated person

Operational knowledge includes one or more of the following:

  • procedures
  • training
  • technical information, such as journals and engineering specifications
  • remembered experience
  • relevant knowledge obtained from appropriate people


Product includes anything produced by a process step and so includes:

  • intermediate products, such as the product from one process step, which then becomes the feed for another

Logs and reports 

Logs and reports include one or more of the following:

  • paper or electronic-based logs and reports
  • verbal/radio reports
  • reporting items found which require action

Lease maintenance areas requiring action 

Lease maintenance areas requiring action include one or more of the following:

  • land erosion
  • fence and gate integrity
  • weeds and other growth
  • actions of feral or other fauna
  • other required items

Unit Mapping Information

Release 1. Supersedes and is equivalent to PMAOPS433A Manage wells and gathering systems


Companion Volume implementation guides are found in VETNet - https://vetnet.gov.au/Pages/TrainingDocs.aspx?q=9fc2cf53-e570-4e9f-ad6a-b228ffdb6875


Assessment requirements

Modification History

Release 1. Supersedes and is equivalent to PMAOPS433A Manage wells and gathering systems

Performance Evidence

Evidence required to demonstrate competence in this unit must be relevant to and satisfy the requirements of the elements and performance criteria, and include the ability to:

  • undertake readings and operate and monitor well system
  • analyse and interpret network communication and data on individual wells and recommend action to ensure flow meets plant and organisation needs
  • perform site checks, start-up/shutdown procedures, and isolations and de-isolations
  • interpret fluid level readings and maintain fluid levels
  • plan and coordinate the work of the team
  • develop the technical problem solving capability of well operators
  • identify early warning signs of equipment/processes needing attention or with potential problems
  • identify hazards and risks and apply risk control procedures
  • communicate effectively with team, group, supervisors and other personnel
  • calculate volumetric flow rates and equipment efficiencies.

Knowledge Evidence

Evidence must be provided that demonstrates knowledge of:

  • oil/gas formation, structure and completions for coal seam gas (CSG), traditional or other oil/gas formations
  • coal type and structure or other bedrock structures
  • well design and construction
  • inter-well communications (e.g. pressure, flow and other technical parameters)
  • well status data (e.g. well flows, flow rates, pressure and temperature, downhole conditions and information)
  • hydrate formation
  • free flow and pumped wells
  • pumping principles
  • gas flow principles
  • gas/water separation principles
  • draining and venting requirements
  • corrosion control, chemical handling and safety data sheets (SDS)
  • flange pressure and temperature ratings (basic)
  • cathodic protection (basic)
  • downhole drawings (DHDs) and their application to plant/well operation
  • remote terminal unit, functions, operation and problems
  • pump, drivehead, fuel gas systems operations and principles
  • fluid dynamics and statics as relevant to the system
  • reservoir management
  • methods of changing production rates and the advantages and disadvantages of each
  • water testing and gas break through testing techniques
  • local lease and well operations requirements and constraints.

Assessment Conditions

  • The unit should be assessed holistically and the judgement of competence based on a holistic assessment of the evidence.
  • The collection of performance evidence:
  • should occur over a range of situations which include typical disruptions to normal, smooth operations
  • will typically include a supervisor/third-party report focusing on consistent performance and problem recognition and solving. A supervisor/third-party report must be prepared by someone who has a direct, relevant, current relationship with the person being assessed and who is in a position to form a judgement on workplace performance relevant to the unit of competency
  • must include the use of hydrocarbon wells and gathering systems allowing demonstration of operation
  • may use industry-based simulation for part of the unit particularly where safety, lack of opportunity or significant cost is an issue.
  • Assessment should occur in operational workplace situations. Where this is not possible, or where personal safety or environmental damage are limiting factors, assessment must occur in a sufficiently rigorous simulated environment reflecting realistic operational workplace conditions. This must cover all aspects of workplace performance, including environment, task skills, task management skills, contingency management skills and job role environment skills.
  • Assessment in a simulated environment should use evidence collected from one or more of:
  • walk-throughs
  • pilot plant operation
  • demonstration of skills
  • industry-based case studies/scenarios
  • ‘what ifs’.
  • Knowledge evidence may be collected concurrently with performance evidence (provided a record is kept) or through an independent process, such as workbooks, written assessments or interviews (provided a record is kept).
  • Assessment processes and techniques must be appropriate to the language, literacy and numeracy requirements of the work being performed and the needs of the candidate.
  • Conditions for assessment must include access to all tools, equipment, materials and documentation required, including relevant workplace procedures, product and manufacturing specifications associated with this unit.
  • The regulatory framework will be reflected in workplace policies and procedures and is not required to be independently assessed.
  • Foundation skills are integral to competent performance of the unit and should not be assessed separately.
  • Assessors must satisfy the assessor competency requirements that are in place at the time of the assessment as set by the VET regulator.
  • In addition, the assessor or anyone acting in subject matter expert role in assessment must demonstrate both technical competency and currency. If the assessor cannot demonstrate technical competency and currency they must assess with a subject matter expert who does meet these requirements.
  • Technical competence can be demonstrated through one or more of:
  • relevant VET or other qualification/Statement of Attainment
  • appropriate workplace experience undertaking the type of work being assessed under routine and non-routine conditions
  • appropriate workplace experience supervising/evaluating the type of work being assessed under routine and non-routine conditions
  • Currency can be demonstrated through one or more of:
  • being currently employed undertaking the type of work being assessed
  • being employed by the organisation undertaking the type of work being assessed and having maintained currency in accordance with that organisation’s policies and procedures
  • having consulted/had contact with an organisation undertaking the type of work being assessed within the last twelve months, the consultation/contact being related to assessment
  • conducting on-the-job training/assessments of the type of work being assessed
  • being an active member of a relevant professional body and participating in activities relevant to the assessment of this type of work.


Companion Volume implementation guides are found in VETNet - https://vetnet.gov.au/Pages/TrainingDocs.aspx?q=9fc2cf53-e570-4e9f-ad6a-b228ffdb6875