Life on an Oil Rig

edited June 2018 in Oil & Gas (Upstream)


This thread is a place where we can all share our opinions about life on an oil rig. There are undoubtedly pro's (getting away from our family strife) and con's (missing our family strife :D ). We can list out all aspects that we have experienced or heard others discuss. There might be some disagreements among the posters, but anyone considering entering the offshore oil and gas industry should be able to find a wealth of information here.

Hopefully, this page will end up being a really practical resource, full of first hand and honest opinions. That certainly beats an article written by a journalist or blogger who has no experience at all.

Disclosure: Although I've heard a few interesting first-hand accounts, I haven't been on an offshore oil rig personally. As a moderator here, I'm posting this up and hoping that those that do have the experience can go ahead and make this page really special.

I've heard some tales of helicopters struggling to land on the helipad due to stormy conditions. I can only imagine the feelings of terror and excitement, knowing that my month-long shift hasn't even started yet! Then there are the gruelling hours, including the possibility that you might get woken up at any time during an emergency. Usually, workers in most industries would either be on a shift, OR on call in a particular 24-hour stint - not both.

Spectacular sunrises and sunsets

Two of my favourite things in life, are sunrises and sunsets, both of which I see far too few of. I expect that life on an oil rig would give plenty of opportunities to see both. Due to the long 12 hour shifts, there might be days where you can see a sunrise and a sunset. You'll see them without buildings, hills or trees obscuring, and no pollution to spoil them. It must feel great to be alive at these times.

Oil rig life discussion points:

So, to get the ball rolling I'd like to list a few questions that immediately pop into my head:

  1. Do workers bring smartphones or tablets onto the rig? If so, do they only use them in their rooms? Are there bandwidth restrictions?
  2. Was I right about the 12-hour shifts? To keep the rig working 24/7? Are there situations that involve 3 shifts of 8 hours?
  3. Which are the worst conditions? Extremely hot? Cold? Rough oceans?
  4. At break or meal times, does food get brought to your post? Or can you cover each other for a visit to the cafeteria?
  5. How extensive are leisure and sporting facilities? Gym? Tennis?
  6. Does each rig have a medical team and area for treatment? If so how well equipped? Is there a qualified doctor on board?
  7. Do companies have policies for extreme sea sickness or home sickness with new employees? Those that can't handle it might be worried about a negative report, or even dismissal? Is there a trial period for new people?

If you're reading this and can answer any of these questions, we'd appreciate it. If you have any advice for new people, or interesting/funny stories of your adventures on the rig, don't be shy, share them with us!

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