Working on an Oil Rig Part 1- Dream Job or Nightmare?

Working on an Oil Rig Part 1- Dream Job or Nightmare?

December 12, 2019

Be it Mittelplate in the German North Sea, Brent Bravo in Scotland or Ekofisk in Norway – oil rigs exert a very special fascination, as most people find them difficult to reach due to the extremely high safety precautions. Drilling platforms are isolated microcosms, a kind of self-sufficient mini-city that can usually only be reached by ship or helicopter after completing various safety checks and training courses and not by land. All kinds of myths entwine around oil rigs. Reason enough to get to the bottom of this: How is working and living on an oil rig like?

Myth payment on the oil rig: Money talks

Yes, oil rigs pay good salaries. On the other hand, the working conditions are tougher: 12 hours a day for 14 days, then a week off and then a week on land. In Norway, three weeks on the oil rig, then three weeks on holiday. Then the game starts all over again.

The higher salary is mainly due to the Sunday and holiday surcharges. The fluctuation of employees on oil rigs is low. Once you have landed on an oil rig, you usually stay there and love the variety of the job.

Working on an oil rig is definitely not for people who’d like to have a regular eight to five job.

What jobs are available on an oil rig?

Not only engineers but also electricians, drilling technicians or kitchen staff are needed on an oil or gas platform. In addition to drilling operations and maintenance, employees are also needed to maintain the infrastructure.

Nobody has to starve on the oil rig

Sealed off on the oil rig and you have a sudden craving for a piece of Black Forest cherry cake? What to do if the chocolate desire gets bigger and bigger? Secretly smuggling onboard or waiting for the next shore leave? Nothing of the sort! Catering on an oil rig leaves nothing to be desired. Here you cook daily with fresh ingredients such as vegetables and meat, the quality is really first-class. Of course, there is a choice between meat and vegetarian dishes. Poor canteen quality, pasta cooked too long or bland tasting vegetables? By no means! In the afternoon you can look forward to coffee and cake, and if you feel a little hungry in between, there is a kiosk where you can stock up with sweets, chips and other snacks.

Leisure activities on the oil rig

What do you do after completing the 12-hour shift in one go? For those who want to be active after work, there is the possibility to visit the gym on the oil rig. Here, you can power off as much as you like or simply take a leisurely walk on the treadmill. Somehow, the calories that you have eaten before have to be burned again, right?

Also, a sauna offers the possibility to relax. If all this is too much for you, you can also use the TV to switch off. You don’t have to detox digitally on the oil rig.

Clearly defined zones

There are clearly defined areas on the rig. In the black area, the drilling and analysis area, the highest safety precautions are in place. After all, the consequences of mistakes here would be drastic and could cost human lives. Logically, the use of a mobile phone is forbidden here. The control area is located in the blue area. In the white area, far away from the actual borehole, everyday life takes place alongside work: here are the bedrooms, the canteen, and even the kiosk. Here, the mobile phone can be activated again and contact with family and friends via mobile radio, Skype or WhatsApp can be re-established.

Are there only advantages to working on an oil rig? Unfortunately not! I will deal with possible disadvantages in part 2 of the blog article.

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