There are many opportunities for Oil Field Gate Guarding as a result of the rapid growth of oil exploration and production in this country, and more and more positions are being created . Oil and gas companies can hire contractors to sign in vehicles that pass through the gate of an oil drilling operation. The landowner or the oil company have requirements that must be met on all vehicles entering the site. Sometimes there will be inspections for weapons, cameras, etc. The prime directive for oilfield gate guarding is to log vehicle information such as the type of vehicle and license plate number, as well as have the driver and passengers identify themselves, who they work for and sign their name on a check – in sheet. Your oilfield job will not be exciting, but it can be a stable position that can last up to a month or more as the well is drilled and then put into production. Then you move on to the next one.
At this time, most gates pay $150 per day going up to $300 a day for a very busy gate with multiple wells in various stages of production.
Where are the Gate Guard Jobs Located?
There is a lot of oil and gas drilling activity in South Texas because of the Eagle Ford shale oil discovery. A lot of RV’ers travel to South Texas each year to stay in the Rio Grande Valley. The Eagle Ford shale discovery is about 200 miles north of that area, but winters are usually somewhat mild in South Texas. West Texas also has much new drilling activity. There are also Oilfield Gate Guard positions in Louisiana as well as some in the Baaken area up in North Dakota and Montana.
The Gate Guard Set-up
The oil company should provide a generator and fuel as well as a septic tank that is attached outside your RV and emptied weekly, as well as a water tank for bathing other needs. Both of those will be on trailers. You should have your own generator and a supply of propane tanks to run your heater in case the big generator goes out.
If you are working as an independent oilfield gate guarding contractor, you may have to furnish these things yourself. They are tax deductible, along with your RV if you make it a full time job. In most cases you must furnish your own travel trailer or RV, but in some cases a private security company may provide one for you.
Daily Gate guard Life
While a well is being drilled and brought to production, you will see the same rig workers and oilfield company men throughout the course of the drilling of the will. You might some interesting people, but for sure you will watch lots satellite TV and if you are a reader, you will likely finish more books in a week than ever before. Most gates ate manned 24 hours a day, seven days a week until the drilling company starts production on the site. You will have to figure out the distribution of work hours between you and your spouse. Two 12 hour shifts leave little time for being together. It is probably best if both work 2 shifts. On most gates, one of you must be awake and ready to sign in vehicles at any hour of the day or night. Although most traffic will occur in the early morning and late evening when the oil rig crews change shifts, other vehicles will come during your day. This is not an easy life, and you will definitely earn your money.
The type of traffic is18 wheelers hauling drilling mud and water, rig crews, oilfield salesmen, (you may be told not to let them in), oilfield “company men” or consultants, and oilfield service employees.
You should not discuss anything about what is going on or even exactly where you are. These new wells are on secret locations. An oilfield gate guarding employee could well get fired and never hired again for this type of work for leaking company information. Be careful when blogging about where you are or the state of the drilling operation.
Tips for Gate Guards
AT&T is the strongest carrier for South Texas, while Verizon should be your choice for gates in the Permian Basin and New Mexico.
Get a cellular amplifier for your phone and/or cellular internet connection. Be sure to get one authorized according to the 2014 FCC regulations for cellular amplifiers. Wilson Electronics is a good source. You might want to consider a directional cell antenna as well to get the strongest signal.
Look professional and look the part of a professional Gate Guard. Keep the clutter under and around to a minimum. Slobs usually do not get another oilfield job.
Do not let the wrong person in the gate. You can be fired for admitting unwanted visitors. Some may be just looking around, while some may be from rival oil companies. This is another way to get fired. Your “Company Man” can help you with some of these decisions.
Unless you like waiting in line to do your laundry in a laundromat, have your own washer/dryer. It will save you a lengthy weekly trip.
Find your exact GPS location and post this on the wall of your RV, along with other indications of your exact location, such as highway reference marker number, mile marker, and distance from landmarks. Keep emergency numbers such as the Border Patrol and Sheriff handy. 911 often rings to the wrong county, especially when using a cell phone booster in the middle of nowhere. For emergencies, dial the nearest Highway Patrol, or sheriff’s office directly.
Gate Guarding is not for Everyone
By now, you should have figured out that oil field gate guarding isn’t for everyone. You will not be able to go off together. Only one of you can go and do the shopping, and it could be 50 miles or more to the nearest store. You will find most gate guards do not get but 6 hours of sleep on average. Your rig may have seemed large when you bought it, but those walls close in when you are cooped up in it.
You are expected to log a vehicle in as soon as it crosses the gate line. You won’t last long if you have to wake up and stumble outside for every vehicle. Many experienced guards set up a shelter outside and sit outside waiting. The wind blows constantly in southwest Texas, often cold in Fall and Winter and hot in Summer. All day and night. With that wind come a fine powdery dust. The wind blows it into every nook and cranny and you will be cleaning it constantly. When it rains, that dust becomes a sticky, gooey mud. When the wind blows everything dry, that mud turns to almost concrete, from which the dust blows off.
I don’t want to make this too horrible, because you can get used to almost anything, but there are critters. Critters such as rattlesnakes, scorpions, and other slithering things. The snakes like to lie on the warm road in front of your rig on cool nights and are also attracted to the vibration of your generator. You will want to keep lights on all night.
Companies that Hire Oilfield Gate Guards
D&G Enterprises (817)-291-2737 http://dandgenterprise.com/oil-field-security-companies
KC Services (956)-236-5255
Gate Guard Services (361)-949-6992
J&G Security (512) 825-7567 http://oilgates.com/contact-us/
Loma Rentals llc http://www.lomarental.com/gate-guarding-and-site-supervision/
Pro Gate (830)-776-8666
Oil Field Support Services (361)-815-7050
Time Keepers (830) 431-1627
Alcatraz Gate Guard Services (817)-209-8602
Site Watch (903)-561-7202 http://swgateguards.com/
Primo Gate Guard Services (361) 564-8609 http://primogateguards.com/employment-opportunities/
You have to complete the following paperwork in order to obtain work as an Oilfield Gate Guard.
You have to complete the following paperwork in order to obtain Oilfield Gate Guarding work.
- Independent Contractor Agreement (most of the companies)
- W-9 for taxes
- Agreement for Workers’ Compensation
- Application cards for fingerprints and Registration application
- Level II Security Officer Exam for the Texas Dept. of Public Services
- Passport size photo
There is a fee of approximately $70 per person to obtain the security license. The company you are applying to may or may not pay this fee.
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