I've seen a few of these AMA's based around America but there can be quite a different culture between the UK and US offshore environment. I work offshore out of Aberdeen in Scotland. I have been to a few different rigs and seen lots of different ops. I will try to answer as many questions as I can but internet is a tad slow out here.

My Proof: http://imgur.com/ftKklAx

EDIT: haha just seen I missed a key word out of the title... I am in fact a worker on said oil rig...I'm not an actual oil rig on reddit. Sorry to disappoint....

Comments: 912 • Responses: 47  • Date: 

IronMew765 karma

You're an oil rig? Cool! So, how does it feel to stick your dick in the planet?

rigworker338 karma

haha oops. I am in fact a worker on said oil rig...not an actual oil rig on reddit. Sorry to disappoint....

ElPutoAmo145 karma

How often do you wank? Or do you have no privacy and it's a wank free tour? Seriously.

rigworker165 karma

You are actually in a room alone most of the time. You are usually sharing with your opposite shift so you are only ever in the room on your own, so I guess what ever takes your fancy... I can't speak for the guys though. Some of them probably do since they are here for 3 weeks at a time, it's a bit long not to indulge their urges I guess.

SweetNeo85109 karma

Wait, are you not a guy also?

rigworker227 karma

nope. But you find the dirty mags and posters in the rooms after they've left. I usually go into the boot room with the rest of the lads, drop it on the table and say loudly "dirty mag, free to a good home" Pretty much all of the lads come and look and someone always takes it.

Meh. I'm not bothered by it really. It's usually one big laugh. I found a couple of unopened condoms once so I opened one and put in a dirty mag and did the same thing as before. Never seen the lads drop a dirty mag so quickly. Hilarious.

theangryintern51 karma

The fact that you are a woman probably should be more prominent. I'm thinking a lot of people would like to get your perspective in working in a typically male-dominated role.

rigworker9 karma

I thought about that but there have been a few female based ones in the past. I wanted the focus more on the fact I work offshore than I am a woman working offshore.

Plus, I probably wouldn't have gotten all those wanking questions if I said I was a woman in the title ;)

CapnBiscuit106 karma

Have you ever had to deal with any kind of protest/environmentalists?

How conscious are you of the effect your line of work has on the environment?

rigworker251 karma

I did on a land job in France. They weren't dangerous or anything. Parked up in their cars, waving their signs and chanting about how we are damaging the earth. Whilst drinking from their plastic bottles. We just drive past to the rig and carry on as normal. They had a right to vent their opinion. I know this line of work has a reputation for damaging the environment. I know here, we have a lot of safety precautions but there will always be accidents. Every line of work will have accidents. It's more about how they are responded to that makes the difference.

It is taken seriously though if anything goes over the side. I had one of my loggers get their banana hat (hi vis covering for a hard hat) blown off in high winds that went over the side. I had to tell the co man and radio op, who then told our patrol boat, who had to retrieve it. It wasn't so that we could have it back, it was because nothing, nothing goes over the side.

Toffeemanstan72 karma

Maybe in Western Europe, I've seen everything from bikes to washing machines at the bottom of rigs in other parts of the world.

Source - ex ROV tech.

rigworker130 karma

yikes! I've heard the stories of rigs being literal rust buckets in the likes of Africa and Asia. The last geologist on here quit africa because she was sent to a rig where the staircases were missing steps and bits would fall of the rig on a daily basis. She said she had a literal F*** this s*** moment and never went back.

For those who aren't aware, missing a step or two might seem no biggie but on a rig, it is not uncommon for staircases to be over the edge of a rig with just the grating you're standing on, between you and a 100ft+ plunge to the sea. So a missing step can be a biggie.....

xzkuns66 karma

Have you ever been in a life danger when you were working?

rigworker125 karma

Once. I was one of three in the firing line when a flow line got blocked. It backed up and built up pressure which then fired it back the way it came. It projectile vomited cuttings and oil based mud everywhere including lifting some grating that weighed ~50-60kg into the air by 4ft. If I'd been standing on said grating or 2ft further forward I probably would have been seriously hurt. I just got covered in crap and had to take a shower. My skin felt awful afterwards.

tommygun141119 karma

I can imagine someone who doesn't work on rigs getting really confused as to what a flowline is or what oil based mud is haha

That sucks though. I've seen a few flowlines pop and its never fun to clean up.

rigworker28 karma

5ft deep of cutting and mud mix that will set like concrete if it drys....

Patrikx63 karma

My favourite type of profession AMA!

What's the pay like? Have you made any sacrifices with family/friends? How's that worked out for you?

rigworker7 karma

Pay is not as good as you think if you work for a third party and certainly better in different parts of the world.

The american guy I had working with me was getting twice what I was, to do the job a grade lower than me. Unfortunately, visas usually stand in the way of just upping sticks and moving on and unless you are high up in the oil rig hierarchy, not many companies will sponsor a work visa.

As for sacrifices, not many really. If there are birthdays/weddings coming up I usually just book it off as holiday and they are duty bound to get me back onshore for it, if it is possible/safe to do it. I do miss the spontaneous, 'I'm bored lets go to the pub' evenings with mates but then they usually happen while I'm home too.

Bogof_offer57 karma

  • What facilities do you have on an oil rig to do during downtime (not that you will get much I would guess)?

  • Also, how did you get into it? It's something I have been researching but as I don't have an engineering degree or something similar, I cant see how I would go about it or if its even possible for me?

rigworker85 karma

Facilities include rec rooms with big screen tv, pool table, there's a gym and a couple of saunas. Every room has a tv too. Facilities can vary quite dramatically. I've been on one that supplied an xbox and wii. I know of one rig further south that has sun beds, another that has a proper cinema. Edit: They often run quiz nights and bingo nights to help with the boredom. There is usually a footie betting thing going on as well.

As for getting into it, I did geology by trade and got a job as a mudlogger straight out of uni and moved on from there.

There is definitely no need for a degree of any sorts to work on a rig. I know a lot of the lads and lasses out here have come from the construction industry. There are electricians, mechanics, welders and if you don't have those sorts of skills then you can start on the rig crew as a roustabout or the drill crew as a roughneck. Both are physical jobs but well paid. Or even if you just fancy the money and lifestyle, there are the chefs and stewards/stewardesses who keep the accommodation block in good shape.

Bogof_offer40 karma

If you don't mind me asking, how much do you get paid?

rigworker74 karma

I'm a third party so it's crap. £12k a year plus a day rate. So working a solid 2 on 2 off for a year would give me around £28k.

Other jobs on here like the crane operators are ~£75-80k, Derrickman ~£50k, the driller is probably around the £90k mark. The OIMs, toolpushers and company men are all on the £150k - £200k mark. The company man earns my yearly base salary in one 2 week hitch.....

Bogof_offer14 karma

Put there is plenty of room for promotion? I'm from a business background so offshore i'm probably pretty useless but its what I want to do.

rigworker33 karma

There is plenty of room for promotion. One of the OIM's was a toolpusher on my last hitch and just 10 years ago he was making the beds as a steward and now he's top dog. So if you are driven, you can certainly progress out here.

Patrikx13 karma

What's the company man? Or rather who.. what's his role?

rigworker36 karma

Company man is the clients representative out here. He has overall say on the drilling side of things and is basically the top dog for the oil company out here. The OIM is the same but for the rig company and he is also the person who is legally responsible for this rig so if the shit hits the fan, he'll be the one standing up in court and explaining it all.

Tinman864 karma

Is "toolpusher" a literal name for the occupation or is it more complicated than it sounds?

rigworker7 karma

I think it's old oil rig terms. They are kind of deputy OIM. We have derrickman as well that used to stand on a platform at the top of the derrick and guide the pipe into the rack. They don't do this any more. They look after the mud pits and the pumps and have nothing to do with the derrick much any more but they are still called a derrickman.

Patrikx10 karma

How often do you change rigs?

rigworker15 karma

As a third party, it isn't unusual to be on a different rig every hitch. I am lucky in that I have a core 4 man crew and we crew change with each other.

The drill/rig crews will be on the same rig until another need for them arises or maybe they get promoted but need to go to a different rig. It isn't unusual for the same crews to work the same rig for several years.

Patrikx8 karma

Oo nice, thanks for replying.

How does a crew get promoted? Is it a change in a pay or a change to a better rig or more skilled area?

rigworker15 karma

Crews, I think, can just apply for another job within the crew if the meet the criteria such as experience I believe. The pay will relate to the job so better job = better pay. The job may be on a different rig so they would move to fill the job.

The advantage of rig hopping is that you will see different things and different ways of doing things. My current rig is a new one and the oil company are trying out new techniques for various stages of the well as well as the rig being a fully automated drill floor. It is slow going getting things finished because of this but I am also seeing a lot of new techniques of drilling, completions, drill floor equipment that I would not have seen on any other rig in the north sea.

Breakfast_Sandwich45 karma

When I worked at a bakery, sometimes small treats would find their way into my bag and come home with me. Anything similar happen with that sweet, sweet crude?

rigworker28 karma

haha unfortunately, you wouldn't get much for a little bit of the crude you might be able to get home. Plus, it is utter crap here. It gets cleaned up a bit and sent to shore where they refine it before its sold.

WoodyHarrlesonsAgent37 karma

What about sex?

Who's having it?

rigworker45 karma

Nobody. At least nobody will admit it. It can get you run off a rig and most of the lads have wives back home. Plus the workforce is predominantly male....

blacksheeping30 karma

So serious question, a lot of reddit thinks Oil Rigs would be good places to hold out in the case of Zombie Outbreaks. Would you agree? how long would you survive cut off from civilisation?

rigworker36 karma

Well, if there was a zombie outbreak, there would be no civilisation to survive being cut off from.

I think it would be. The jack ups and semi subs would be ideal. If they are getting too close, you could float on to another place. It's pretty comfy to live on and if you managed to stock up beforehand, you would be good for several weeks. Plus, you would see them coming and be able to prepare.

pkg91122 karma

How cold is it?

rigworker39 karma

At the moment, it's summer so it isn't too bad. Usually by day around the 15C mark but at night it can get down to about 5C. The sun is out at the moment so it's probably even warmer. I worked with a guy that used to work in Alaska and it was -45C there, so definitely warmer than some places!

pkg91112 karma


I can't stand the cold... I live in Dubai and enjoy the heat, its 40C now.

rigworker43 karma

Jeez! No thanks! I think I would die lol I worked in France once during a heatwave and it was way too hot for me. It was 26C....

ItsReallyMeSid21 karma

Education level? What is the average day like? How risky is it actually?

rigworker41 karma

Pretty much what dangeruk said for education level. It is entirely dependent what you want to do out here. Mostly they want you to have good experience of your job (as a sparky or a welder etc) for a few years before they would consider you for offshore. They want to know you can do your job before they send you out.

Average day: 12 hour shifts, usually 6-6 or 7-7. I usually get up about 5.30am, take a shower and go grab some breakfast and head to the boot room for 6.45am to get the pre-shift briefing as to what is going on on the rig that day. I head outside at 7am to take the night guy off and spend the day monitoring drilling parameters to make sure we don't blow up, fixing broken sensors, calibrating our equipment, writing a morning report for town so my bosses know what's happening out here, browse reddit a bit ;), head in for lunch around 12.30pm and carry on with what I was doing in the afternoon. Night shift will come out to replace me at 7pm and I'll head in and grab some dinner. Maybe head to the gym or ring home and settle in in front or the tele for a couple off hours. And repeat.

Risk wise is minimal really. After the Piper Alpha disaster in the 80's, the oil and gas industry went nuts on health and safety. You have to assess every job you do to make sure you are as safe as possible and everyone out here has the authority to stop the job if they think something isn't right. The biggest risk is probably the chopper you take out here and back.

syrupie16 karma

If money was no object what would you fill an entire swimming pool with other than water?

rigworker42 karma


TheFeatheredFish7 karma

He hoped you'd answer 'oil' I think :p

rigworker24 karma

But beer is so much better. And tastier. Definitely tastier.

Dangeruk16 karma

Hi there, I work as a multi-skilled technician (mechanical bias) on land in the UK doing similar work. I have looked at offshore work before but cannot seem to decide if the extra money is worth the lifestyle change. How much exactly does the job impeed on your home and social life?

rigworker17 karma

It can really mess with it sometimes, especially if your job includes an on call aspect when your home.

The rig crew and drill crew however work 3 on, 3 off and it is fixed. They know exactly where they are going to be each week for the next year. Barring some emergency, like a sick person or family emeergency they might be asked to go earlier than usual. Working for the rig company like Transocean or Maersk or Ensco is a lot more fixed than any service company rotation would be.

To be honest, you will miss out on some aspects of your home and social life but like you said, it's weighing up whether that is worth the extra money. If you are on the technician/mechanic side of things though, it is the rig company that will hire you, not the third parties. I hope that helps a bit.

mikeydotcomdotau11 karma

Are you a wireliner or a mudman or an ROV guy? Whats your 3rd party contractor role? I have done safety all over the world on floaters, jack ups, pipelay, construction, subsea, decommisioning, exploration drilling, production drilling, geotechnical drilling, AUVs, seismic survey.... I'd really like to do a Dutch windfarm... then I'd have the whole set.

rigworker12 karma

wowsa you would have the complete set! I am a data engineer so I come under the mudloggers. I hope to move on to a mud engineer soon though. So of all of those, which was your favourite?

two_off10 karma

With the requirements for working out there that you've mentioned in other comments, are there coworkers that you feel unsafe around or are totally incompetent and should not be out on a rig?

rigworker14 karma

Only once or twice. I had an assistant driller (AD) who couldn't tell me what depth we were at (pretty basic need, to be a driller). I did know roughly but I was checking calibrations at the time and needed specifics. I had to ring back and ask for someone else and they gave me the answer straight away. They ended up switching another AD on to his shift to try and help him learn. To be honest, the most obvious people who make you think WTF out here will usually have already been spotted by the OIM and wields the ultimate power of having someone NRB-ed (Not Required Back).

An agency crane op had this done when he backloaded (sent back to town on the boat) our gas rack with our spare gas bottles on it. One of our bottles ran out and we couldn't find the rack so we asked the logistics guy. Long story short, the crane op put it on the boat without making the correct checks because he was trying to save time. He sent the wrong one back to town and without the gas for one of our systems they didn't want to continue drilling. He caused the rig to be shut down for 2 days while we waited for our yard to send another up to the boat to bring it back out. He was on the next chopper home.

amgrulz10 karma

I'm currently having a day off because the rig washed their cement plug out of the hole...because they didn't wait long enough for it to cure...and seal in the bit and the other half of the mud-motor they lost the day before. What's the biggest fuck-up you've experienced on a well?

Edit: Thank-you kind stranger!

rigworker19 karma

That's a biggie.

Erm, nothing major really. One job was a 60 degree hole and the night AD didn't follow the correct procedure for a connection (we were in sticky clay). He spent way too long with the pumps off for some reason and when he tried to pull up, he wedged the string in and packed off. We manage to clear the pack off but were still differentially stuck. They jarred for about 5 days before they decided 'F*** it, we'll blow the string and sidetrack.' They ran down with the explosives tool and detonated but it didn't completely sever the string so they POOH to run it again. They got to the surface and the running tool wasn't there. They literally went 'wait, where's the tool' They'd loaded the explosives wrong and blown the tool off too. lol

THcB8 karma

Hi there. We've heard of the "rough neck" culture on some of the rigs. Have you experienced some of this?

rigworker27 karma

There is no rough neck culture (that I've seen out here). There is certainly rig banter and you will develop a very dirty mind but it's all in good humour. As a girl, I think they are more restrained on the banter with me. The driller will usually radio someone he needs to see to "come in his back door" as there is a door right behind the drillers chair.

Patrikx8 karma

What do you specifically do day-to-day?

rigworker22 karma

5:30am: Get up and take a shower
6:00am: Grab some breakfast
6:30am: go and do the handover with my night colleague
6:45am Attend the pre-tour safety briefing
7:00am: Attend the 3rd party meeting and update the powers that be on our current situation (equipment problems/fixes, any issues I need to raise)
7:45am Head out to our unit and send in the morning report to town
8:00am - 12:30pm: Check in with the logger if they are here and make sure everything is good with them. Monitor the well, answer emails and phone calls about various things (crew changes, logistics, shipping containers, data requests) Check calibrations on our sensors, fix broken equipment.
12.30pm: Go inside for lunch (usually about 30 mins depending on the rigs operations - sometimes the logger will bring something out to me)
1:00pm: Same as the morning, really. Write up a few reports, talk to the driller and derrickman (looks after the mud pits) about current and planned ops, might need to start preparations for a new bit run, try and get information we need from the numerous people out here.
7:00pm: Night shift comes out and I'll do my handover. Answer any questions they might have.
7:15pm: Head inside and get some dinner.
8:00pm: Settle in and watch the footie if there is some on, join in a game of cards or go back to my room and chill for a while.
10:00pm: I'm usually asleep by now and then I will get up in the morning and repeat for 2 weeks.

What I do specifically can vary entirely on the current operations of the rig. Right now, I have absolutely nothing to do. The well is completed, they are just running various tools that have nothing to do with me. So I just sit here and wait for the next stage.

dexcel8 karma

Whats your role on the rig? Are you with the Operator, the Rig Company, a service company hand?

How long have you been doing it for approximately? How was it that you ended up working offshore?

have you been told to look for the keys for the V door yet? or answered a page for a telephone call only to find yourself talking to the entire rig? or anything along those lines.

Are you on a jack up? Is this a production rig or a drilling rig?

rigworker17 karma

I am a Data Engineer which is one up from a mudlogger and is a service hand position. I've been doing it a little under 2 years and ended up here by applying to everything I could find after I graduated uni (geology) and this job was the first one I was offered and sounded like fun.

Luckily, I managed to avoid the pranks. However, I did ask my fresh faced logger to calibrate the shakers using a piece of cardboard and a pen and to count how many times in a minute the pen touched the cardboard. It should be 88 times according to the last calibration. They were just about to start when they realised it was utter bullcrap. My friend had the shaker hand put a fish (dead) from the galley in the header box so that as she was taking her sample off the board, it came flying over splat right on top of her sample. The look on her face was priceless and entertained the driller and myself for ages afterwards.

I am currently on a jack up so we are drilling (not right now, hence why I am here). I have also been on a semi sub which is fun especially when the waves pick up. You want to be taking your sea sick tablets on those boys.

BigGingerBeard8 karma

What certificates/qualifications do you need to work on an oil rig? Friend of mine in Scotland has mentioned it to me a few times now.

rigworker18 karma

Companies tend to look favourably on those who already have their survival and safety training (MIST) done. But at entry level positions, such as roustie / roughneck and mud logger they may expect to be sending you to do that. My company paid for mine and at £1600 a go it can certainly be better if you can get your company to do it! Most job adverts for offshore positions will say if they want you to have it already or not.

Degrees will get you into the service side of things - engineering can get you on the fast track drilling engineering programs run by most oil companies. Geology will get you into the mudlogging, MWD/LWD (measuring/logging while drilling) and directional drilling side of things. To be honest, once you're in and have a couple of years under your belt you can pretty much go anywhere. The big bucks though are with the rig or oil company rather than the service companies.

MoodyBernoulli4 karma

Sorry to hijack, but would a civil engineering degree be decent enough to get my foot in the door? I should have one in about 12 months time, providing I pass my third year.

rigworker6 karma

I believe so.

As an example: http://careers.chevron.com/disciplines/index_of_disciplines/engineering/facilities_design_engineering/default.aspx

They specify civil engineering. I'm not sure if you would be based offshore though - but if you look in the right places I guess you might find what you are after. Sometimes just getting your foot in the door would get you to the job you want after a couple of years.

http://www.oilcareers.com/ - they have a lot of job adverts and you can search in the civil engineering job sector.

Ozmar5 karma

what was the most dangerous thing that you've done? What was the worst accident that you witnessed?

rigworker15 karma

I don't think I have really done anything dangerous. I'd probably get run off the rig if I did.

I did witness a guy getting his leg broken. He was coming out of the tea shack and it is 2 heavy water tight doors with a girder to step over. I came around the corner and heard a scream to see him hanging on to the outer door and screaming in pain. I asked him what was wrong, he said he'd caught his leg. I looked inside and pushed open the inner door. The wind had caught the door and slammed his leg against the metal girder and broke it in 2 right across his shin. I helped him get his leg out then yelled at a guy I saw a bit further down and he called the medic while I waited with the guy. He got med-evaced and I haven't been on that rig since so I've no idea what happened to him.

zeus_digital4 karma

Hey man, thanks for taking some time to answer questions. I usually enjoy the more obscure career related AMAs as opposed to the standard celeb ones. I have a few questions that just occurred to me:

What are the bare minimum prerequisite skills for even being considered for a rig position? Do you have to know cpr? Or have a basic understanding of electrical/mechanical in case there is an issue and they need as much help as there are knowledgeable people available?

What are the shifts like? Normal 8-12 hour days, same time everyday? Or more of a rotation, like a city firefighter (US) who normally get longer shifts and bigger gaps, like 24hrs on, 36 off?

What do most of you do with your downtime? Do people bring their hobbies? ie, computers, musical instruments, art supplies, books, or are there restrictions for these sort of things? I kind of romanticize career lifestyles like yours to be a "work all day, follow your passions at night" kind of situation.

Do you have any hobbies you enjoy more when you're a few miles out? As a digital artist, I would imagine the photo opportunities alone would be worth the isolation, much like a writer might quarantine themselves to write a major project.

Anyway, this got long quickly. Thanks for taking the time, mate. Cheers.

rigworker8 karma

Wow quite a long one! (that's what she said) I will try and answer it all..

The roustie and roughneck jobs are the entry level jobs for the rigs so a hard worker is all that's required really. They usually prefer you to already have your survival course and MIST (safety training) and possibly an offshore medical but they would probably send you for that before employing you. Most of the things you need are picked up as you progress out here.

Shift wise, it is 12 hour shifts, 2 weeks on 2weeks off for 3rd parties and 3 on 3 off for the rig/oil company guys. I know Norway is 2 on 4 off (lucky bastards) and it is guaranteed. Ours might be cut to 2 on 1 off if man power is bare, but it won't last for long.

Hobbies, there are a lot of books and movie swapping is rife out here. There are some entertainment (tv's, pool tables etc). There will usually be a quiz night or something along those lines evry couple of weeks. There's a gym, sauna some rigs have sun beds too. I am into photography and some of the sunsets out here can be spectacular however non-intrinsically safe equipment is not allowed outside of the accommodation block. I did manage to get permission and take some photos from the back of the accommodation block and helipad but it took a lot of work and permit/form filling out to do it, along with declarations of not having anything in it that can identify the rig or oil company. It is restricted as to what you can bring out with you. There is a 12kg, 2 bag limit for the choppers so weight wise bringing most hobbies with you is difficult. Laptops, books and for those rigs that have them xbox or wii games, are the usual - although one lad enjoys crochet and brings that with him. He makes some pretty cool hats. Most of the drill and rig crew are gym nuts so you'll often find the protein shakes around a lot. The internet is not too bad. Think dial up, then slow it down 10x over and you have our speed. So online shopping is often the order of the day too.

I, personally, will usually play around with photos I've taken in editing software, read books and study a bit on things to do with the rigs and plan out my next holiday.

MyrinGanes3 karma

What made you choose offshore vs on land rigs? Is the money better? How different are the working conditions...

I plan to take up a similar job as you in the future, just not sure what I'd prefer, land or water

rigworker4 karma

There is no choice for me over land vs offshore. It's whatever contracts the company has that dictates where you go - at least for the service companies. The land rigs have all the benefits that come with being onshore - decent internet, being able to have a beer after work, go to the cinema/socialise and the pay is the same for us.

zshoppe3 karma

What is contained in the four large posts or legs of the oil rig?

rigworker3 karma

Mostly nothing.

A jack up rig usually has 3 legs and these are just metal, completely open metal work. A semi sub has four legs, one at each corner. These are joined horizontally at the base to one of the other legs so you effectively end up with two U- shaped legs. These will have seawater in and we use them for ballast, to balance the rig when the cranes are in use or the chopper is landing.

Not_Growing_Weed3 karma

Do you ever pretend that there are dementors flying around at night? That's what I would do if I were in the North Sea.

rigworker6 karma

Not dementors, but they have just built the production platform for this rig next to us connected via a bridge. I went to look at it at 3 in the morning the other night. It has nobody on it and all the lights were off. It looked scary as s***. Then later that night the fog rolled in. Holy crap. It looked like a haunted, abandoned rig. It was freaky.

Mildcorma3 karma

What's the craziest weather/waves you've seen? Ever seen a freak wave?

rigworker8 karma

The worst weather was driving rain, 50 mph winds with 90mph gusts and 30m wave heights. I was on a semi sub at the time so we float on the surface with anchors to hold our position. That was a fun night....

FirstReactionFocus3 karma

Thanks for doing this AMA!

Where do you see this job going for you?

How long at a time are you on a certain rig?

Do you enjoy your job?

How's the food?

Would you recommend it for someone interested?

rigworker5 karma

My career aim is to make it to Company Man because there aren't many female company men out there plus the pay is awesome. Company men usually come from the 3rd party route up from a mudlogger > MWD or Mud Engineer > Directional driller > drilling engineer > company man. It's all down to experience. The things you see out here, the better you will look to employers.

I'm on a rig for 2 weeks at a time but I won't necessarily be back to the same one. It depends on my companys operations at the time.

I love my job. We like to call offshore jobs, marmite jobs - you either love them or hate them. There is no in between.

The food depends a lot on the chef and how long ago the food container has been brought on board. I've had some amazing dinners out here, but I've also had some awful ones. They do try and mix it up a bit though if they can. Saturdays on my current rig are theme nights which can be pretty epic.

If they are interested then, yes. Or even if I think they would suit it I would tell them. The interviews in my company are not about your CV and whether you qualify for the job or not. They already know that from your CV. For them, they are just getting to know you and whether they think you would suit an offshore lifestyle.

My interview was with our UK boss and a co-ordinator for the job. We spent most of our time discussing hockey and rugby - all 3 of us were/are players and watchers. The interview ran over by an hour and is certainly not like any interview I've had before!

fx0192 karma

Hey, thanks for this IAmA.

You previously mentioned that you can get into the oil industry with quite a few different educational backgrounds. I am currently studying a Geography degree, and I've been interested in joining the oil industry for a long time. Do you know anybody who got into it with that same degree, or a similar one?

rigworker3 karma

This is from a job advert for the a similar thing I do (Mudlogger):

Skills typically acquired through completion of an undergraduate degree in Engineering, Geology or related discipline. Ability to demonstrate technical aptitude to standards required. Must possess good communication skills, arithmetic, data entry, and recording skills required.

I think Geography might be considered a related discipline but you would have to talk to the company directly for a definite answer.

Spudhead19762 karma

Earlier in the year, I stayed over at Premier Inn next to Aberdeen Airport, and the place was filled with oil rig workers who were going off the next day. I'd never really thought about it too much, but it made me think about the life. There were some guys in groups, others alone. Is it quite an isolated life? What do you do for entertainment? Is the lack of alcohol a problem, and do you get hammered when you get home? Cheers!

EDIT: sorry, saw you've answered the 'downtime' question. The other questions re: loneliness and booze still stand. Ta!

rigworker3 karma

It can be difficult for those that rig hop a lot like the service hands because they get to know a crew for 2 weeks and then probably won't see them again and have to start the process all over again with another crew.

It's nice to get to know the guys and stay with them. Some guys do like to be on their own before they come out. It's just personal preference.

As for booze, a crew change goes something like:
1. Get on chopper at rig
2. Get off chopper at heliport
3. Pick up bag at heliport
4. Taxi to airport
5. Get work to change your flight home to a later one
6. Get hammered with the lads in the Weatherspoons at the airport
7. Try and board a plane hammered whilst trying to look sober and fly home.

katie_m2 karma

Hi there, I'm a girl and I'm kinda interested in this field of work. What do you think about girls working in this field of work? Do you think that girls will have less opportunity in getting into oil and gas industry especially offshore?

PS : I heard a rumour whereby if a girl is not physically built, the opportunity will be very much slim in getting this kind of job. What do you say? Thank you very much.

rigworker3 karma

The physically built stuff is just rumour. You need to be able to give clear directions if you are needing things done and just be confident in your work.

We have a female derrickman which is one of the more physically demanding jobs out here. She is 5ft nothing, blond hair and a bit sporty. You call her a derrickwoman though and she will knock your block off without a second thought but she is also one of the nicest and friendliest people out here.

The stigma around women working out here has mostly faded. The guys will treat you the same whether a guy or a girl. I've never had a problem, it's the same as anywhere else.

entirely121 karma

So whose oil is it anyway? Britain's, Scotland's, or Shetland's?

rigworker5 karma

Haha with the scottish independence I may need a visa to go to work as I live in England!

Technically, the majority is Scotland's. There is a sliver of the southern area of the fields that fall in Englands boundaries and then, obviously, the southern north sea stuff near London is Englands.

last_ent1 karma

Don't mind my two questions -

  • Are Design Engineers of any use for you ppl out there? I generally hear the pain stories that Site Engineers have when it comes to Design vs. Construction.

  • How are job prospects for Engineers in Norway? Any scope for people with less than or about 3 years?

rigworker1 karma

I think it would depend on your particular design aspect. I know there are well design engineer, well planning and rig design jobs but I don't know if that is the same sort of thing for you.

Norway, I don't know what job prospects are like out there. The industry is based around Stavanger, Alesund I think and there's a third in the same general area. I know the pay is vastly more than the UK but then the cost of living is higher too. There are also additional training courses that must be completed before going offshore too.

http://www.myoilandgascareer.com/ - this is a good site that covers a lot of the wide ranging jobs offshore from a chopper pilot right through to OIM and can give you a rough idea of what's out there and what its like.

Eternally65-7 karma


rigworker7 karma

It's difficult due to rules - maybe these two combined with the first? The red beams you can see beneath the white accomodation block are one of the jackup legs. The second one is looking down said leg to the sea.

http://imgur.com/Tbm33hK http://imgur.com/a/174rk