Special Oilwell Operators

This is a non-standardized certificate of competency issued by Alberta. It certifies the operator to operate transportable power plants, with capacity up to 1000 kW, at drilling sites. This in not a site specific certificate. The certificate is subject to the annual renewal fee.

To apply for a Special Oilwell Operator Examination, applicants must fill out the examination application form, AB-144 (doc) or AB-144 (pdf), a minimum of 21 days prior to the requested date. The form can be sent by email (exams@absa.ca), fax (780-437-7787), mail or delivered in person to our Edmonton, Calgary and Red Deer locations.


The examination fee is $97 per examination and is non-refundable (no refunds) and non-transferable (no re-scheduling).


Section 1 and 2(a)

Must be filled out by the candidate. Please take a look at the examination schedule and ensure that you can make the date selected.


Please ensure you have signed and dated the application.


Section 2(b)

Only required if you are taking a course.


Section 3

Must be filled out by a company official.

Once your application has been received, we will create a file for you and your payment will be processed. Log in information will be sent to the email address you provide on your examination application. You will be able to change your personal information, renew your certificate, book examinations as well as see examination notices and results online. If you have already sent in paperwork to apply for an exam please do not apply again when you receive access as your original paperwork is currently in process. Please allow 3-5 business days for processing and scheduling.

  • Previous Certificate: none
  • Educational Prerequisites: none
  • obtained 6 months’ experience in an installation that involves a boiler or boilers operating as part of a transportable power plant at a drilling or hydrocarbon production site, or
  • successfully completed a vocational course in boiler operation satisfactory to the Administrator.
  • A Special Oilwell Operator’s Certificate of Competency examination must consist of questions relating to the subjects contained in the current reference syllabus established by the Administrator for the Special Oilwell Operator’s Certificate of Competency examination. The exam consists of one (1) examination paper with 100 multiple-choice questions, 3 hours duration.
  • To pass a Special Oilwell Operator’s Certificate of Competency examination, a candidate must obtain at least 65% of the total marks allotted for the examination.