With 30 percent of global oil production generated by offshore drilling, offshore oil rigs are a major source of crude oil production across the world. Over the last decade, offshore rig activity has gradually increased, leading to a greater demand for skilled technicians on these platforms.
Offshore oil rigs demand long, tedious hours, and the work is often physically and mentally challenging. But it’s also highly rewarding for ambitious professionals who are looking to build a lucrative career in the industry.
Here are some insights about life on an offshore oil rig.
Before you leave
Working on an offshore oil rig requires high levels of physical and mental endurance. Most oil rigs operate round the clock, and even though work is divided into shifts, each shift can last 12 years or more.
Even when applying for lower-level jobs, you need to be at least 18 and have a high school certificate. Given that drinking and smoking are prohibited on oil rigs, candidates without these habits are preferred.
Physical fitness is an essential component, especially for those just starting out. Moving heavy machinery and carrying loads is a part of the job description. Mental endurance is also critical, as most employees stay on the rig for two to four weeks on average. The time spent away from family and not being able to go out can take a toll on some people.
When you first start work at an offshore oil rig, you’ll be required to take the Basic Offshore Safety Induction and Emergency Training Course or BOSIET. This course must be taken before you reach the platform and teaches participants about the basic survival skills needed offshore.
Working on an offshore rig
Working on an oil rig for two to four weeks at a time requires planning. Make sure your family and/or emergency contacts know where you are and how to contact you in case of an emergency. Mentally preparing yourself is also important, as the first few weeks can be particularly tough.
Space on offshore oil rigs is often limited, so you can expect to live in close quarters with other personnel. As such, it’s essential to respect other personnel’s space and keep your area tidy.
Many modern oil rigs offer various amenities, such as gyms, TV, and pool tables, so users can relax and unwind after a tough day. Many people are also surprised to find that the food on offshore rigs is quite good. Fresh items are flown in regularly and meals are prepared multiple times during the day.
Given that working on an offshore oil rig opens up a lot of opportunities for growth and development in the industry, there’s definitely some healthy competition for vacancies on offshore jobs. Additionally, these jobs also pay better than onshore oil rigs. If you display talent and are committed to the job, you can quickly rise up the ranks to more lucrative positions.
Contact Instruments is a leading manufacturer of OEM instrumentation in Canada with a production facility in Leduc, Alberta. We work closely with various American and Canadian oil companies and support producers with instrumentation equipment and drilling tools, such as custom cables, mud pressure gauges, and clipper weight indicators.