Hui Shan

Job Steward at NrgEdge. If you are an Energy Professional (Oil, Gas, Energy) contact me for opportunities
Last Updated: October 24, 2018
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Human Resources
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Majority of jobs in the oil and gas sector are onshore, however, there are few which are located offshore that include working on rigs at sea. Life and work conditions at offshore rigs are tough. They do differ based on the location, climatic condition, surroundings, and company policies. Some oil rigs can be found on dry land while others can be in seashore or hundreds of miles inside the sea. Therefore, there are a lot of apprehensions attached to the jobs in offshore oil rigs. If you too are considering a job on an oil rig but are unsure what to expect and how well will you cope up, here is a comprehensive guide to understanding life on an offshore oil rig.

The Offshore Life Conditions

Workers from profiles like drilling, construction, and metallurgy work outdoors in rough weather conditions. Others such as geologists and engineers keep switching their workplaces from offices to the inside of oil rigs platform and deck zones. However, managers, administrative staff, executives mostly work in offices in a comfortable setup. So, living conditions at offshore locations primarily depend upon the type of job role.

The overall living conditions on the oil rigs have been upgraded significantly in comparison to the past. In fact, some offshore rigs meet the standards of a good hotel. The safety and security of the rig workers are of paramount importance; thus, every oil company provides necessary training, safety gears, and rotational shifts to ensure smooth working conditions. Additionally, the income at offshore locations is comparatively higher than similar land-based positions. The major part of the salary can be converted into savings as all the potential major expenses like food, accommodation, and travel cost are borne by the oil rig company. Most of the oil rig companies are in the Middle East, Brazil, North Sea, Scandinavian coast, Alberta, Texas, Dakota, Australia, Venezuela, and Louisiana. This means that as an oil rig worker you will have a chance to explore these beautiful destinations at company expense.

One of the biggest drawbacks of working on an oil rig is the continuous noise and the temperature that keeps fluctuating too depending upon the location of an oil rig.

Lifestyle While Working on An Oil Rig

Now let’s look at the lifestyle that you probably must adapt to while working on an oil rig:

Remuneration: The salaries and benefits of rig workers vary widely based on their job role, expertise, and market conditions. However, the salaries are better in comparison to other industries. The workers get fairly compensated to work in offshore locations, adhering to strict schedules and risks. The payscale is, in fact, one key attraction points for workers on oil rigs.

Working Shift: Usually, the working shift has 12 hours ‘on’ and 12 hours ‘off’ shift patterns with a mixture of both day and night. However, based on the job role, some workers spend 2-3 weeks or even more working offshore while 2-3 weeks at home resting. Workers stay away from the family for a longer duration of time and can miss out on special family functions, festivals, and funerals. On the other hand, they get to stay with them for equally long duration of time.

Commuting: Your traditional way of commuting to work will change considerably. You’ll now be transferred in a helicopter from the shore to the rig. Sounds exciting? But there is a catch. You need to go through an extensive sea survival training before you can enjoy your ride. You will be trained on wearing immersion suits, buoyancy aids, and go through other safety training before you qualify to travel. It may seem daunting at the start but eventually, it becomes your second nature.

Accommodation: Accommodation on-board has improved significantly over the years. It usually comprises of a dormitory with bunk beds arranged sequentially with 4-8 people sharing the room. This helps the workers to bond with each other. However, some rigs offer private rooms as well. The accommodation type can vary based on your job role too.

Food: Off-shore rigs usually comprise kitchen staff who prepare high-quality food including fresh salads and meats. The food item is delivered to rig via helicopter or boat. Since the staff members are limited, the canteen has self-service mostly. Food requirement and food safety standards are ensured by the oil rig companies.

Medical provision: Before workers are transferred to the off-shore location, they undergo a mandatory medical examination to ensure that they are fit to work in the off-shore rig. However, to ensure medical safety on the location, medical personnel is employed on-board. For any medical emergency, helicopters are kept on standby for evacuation, if necessary.

Communication: Mobile phones connectivity is generally patchy at offshore locations, so satellite phones are available for communication. Additionally, some oil rig companies provide internet facilities which makes communication with family and friend easier.

Entertainment facilities: Working offshore can be stressful. To combat this, recreational facilities are ensured on off-shore location. It includes, but is not limited to the compact movie theatre, television, pool table, air hockey, video game console, WiFi, tablets, and permission to use their own entertainment gadget as well.

Smoking and alcohol consumption: Smoking on oil rigs is dangerous and is mostly banned. However, a designated smoking area is provided for smoking and matchbox or lighters are available only in those assigned areas. However, oil rigs have a strict policy against alcohol consumption and on all non-prescription drugs. It can lead to termination from employment and random drug tests are conducted to ensure this.

You now know what your life will be on an oil rig. However, before you apply make sure that you are physically and mentally fit to work on an oil rig. If you find it exciting, you can check NrgEdge.com for relevant job openings in the oil and gas field and start working towards your dream.

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