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Now ye're talking - to an off-shore oil rig worker

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  • 14-05-2019 5:20pm
    #1
    Boards.ie Employee Posts: 12,597 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Boards.ie Community Manager


    Our next guest works on an off-shore oil rig. His commute takes around 14 hours including two aeroplane flights and a helicopter but at least he only does this once every few weeks!
    He spends a number of weeks off-shore followed by a number of weeks on-shore at a time.

    If you'd like to ask any questions about working on an oil rig, now is your chance!


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 963 ✭✭✭mistress_gi


    Wow, I get to start this off :)

    How did you get into the field?


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,262 ✭✭✭✭jester77


    I've been caught in some rough seas while on a ferry, thrown about and some people ended up with broken bones, not something I would want to experience too often.

    How much do the oil rigs move about during storms and what happens when it gets rough out there?


  • Registered Users Posts: 88 ✭✭nutjobb


    Ok here goes..

    1. What age are you and how long are you doing it?

    2. Do you have kids/are married and if so how much strain does it put on your relationship?

    3. How did you get your first opportunity to go offshore?

    4. Is it something you plan to do until retirement?

    5. Ever seen any serious accidents?

    6. Whats your position?

    7. any advice for someone to get their foot in the door? Is it worth doing the MIST/Bosiet and other courses without any previous experience/connections?

    I have always been fascinated with off shore work so any info you provide will be greatly appreciated and am sure I will be back with more questions!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,421 ✭✭✭major bill


    Is it all work when on the rig? what is there to do with your time off on the rig?

    Whats the ratio of Men to female? is it Male dominated?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 328 ✭✭Hardtochoose


    Is the money as good as everyone says it is?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,484 ✭✭✭Bazzy


    Are you allowed chill out with a beer at the weekend or in the evenings?


  • Posts: 3,637 ✭✭✭ [Deleted User]


    Are you in drilling/exploration or production?

    What kind of rig? Fixed/Jack-up, CT, FPSO, SPAR etc. The engineering fascinates me.

    Have you ever experienced the need to evac a station/platform?

    Maybe not relevant depending on which field you're at, but is piracy a concern for rig crews generally?

    What's the accommodation like?

    Are the rigs main workspaces as noisy when in production/drilling as I imagine them to be? (Like sitting mid hull on a commercial airliner, or louder)

    How old are you now and when will you pack it in on the rigs?


  • Registered Users Posts: 378 ✭✭nlrkjos


    Wow, I get to start this off :)

    How did you get into the field?
    How did I get into oil business ? Luck really, an oil service company were looking for offshore fitters, and I just happened to be in the right place at the time.

    Rough seas can be a problem but most often than not we just work through them, depends on the type of platform, jacket rigs (planted on seabed) are like tuning forks, they can rock for days after a bad blow. New years eve 2019 we had 24m waves for 3/4 hours.

    Money is OK, not the millions people think, but I get a good years wage for working 18 weeks of the year, mind you the shift offshore for 14 days is 170 hours + 15-20 hours overtime, so it's kinda full on.

    No beer !!! entertainment is bingo on Saturday night, or a quiz, kinda sad, but really it's just for folk to wind down and have a laugh.

    Male dominated, rig I'm on at the minute is about 80/20.


  • Registered Users Posts: 378 ✭✭nlrkjos


    nutjobb wrote: »
    Ok here goes..

    1. What age are you and how long are you doing it?

    2. Do you have kids/are married and if so how much strain does it put on your relationship?

    3. How did you get your first opportunity to go offshore?

    4. Is it something you plan to do until retirement?

    5. Ever seen any serious accidents?

    6. Whats your position?

    7. any advice for someone to get their foot in the door? Is it worth doing the MIST/Bosiet and other courses without any previous experience/connections?

    I have always been fascinated with off shore work so any info you provide will be greatly appreciated and am sure I will be back with more questions!

    1 Mid 50's
    2 Kids are grown, yes at the start it was a big strain, not so much any more.But the divorce rate is pretty high industry wide.
    3 Luck
    4 Yes, but I retire at 60.
    5 Yes. Not very pleasant memories.
    6 Construction suprevisor.
    7 Trade needed, Boseit...if you get it free, do it (FAS) otherwise, most companies will put you through it anyway. But Norwegian sector is a different course.
    Question away !!


  • Registered Users Posts: 378 ✭✭nlrkjos


    JayZeus wrote: »
    Are you in drilling/exploration or production?

    What kind of rig? Fixed/Jack-up, CT, FPSO, SPAR etc. The engineering fascinates me.

    Have you ever experienced the need to evac a station/platform?

    Maybe not relevant depending on which field you're at, but is piracy a concern for rig crews generally?

    What's the accommodation like?

    Are the rigs main workspaces as noisy when in production/drilling as I imagine them to be? (Like sitting mid hull on a commercial airliner, or louder)

    How old are you now and when will you pack it in on the rigs?

    Currently on rig construction, living on a floatel, connected to fixed rig and also we have a jack up for drilling and accomodation. Yeah they are noisy feckers, only piracy I ever experienced was some git stealing me packet of smokes !
    Rooms are fine, bed,toilet,shower,locker, TV, phone about the size of your average hatchback car, but clean, tidy and private (when not hot-bedding)


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  • Registered Users Posts: 81,737 ✭✭✭✭Atlantic Dawn
    M


    1. Do you have good broadband?
    2. Do you have Sky Sports and other channels to watch tv?
    3. Do you have your own private cabin with toilet and shower or have to share?
    4. How many hours off per day do you have?
    5. Is the food good?
    6. Is there a shop on the rig or a method of getting day to day things outside food that you would need?
    7. Any tax breaks for working on the rig?


  • Registered Users Posts: 378 ✭✭nlrkjos


    1. Do you have good broadband?
    2. Do you have Sky Sports and other channels to watch tv?
    3. Do you have your own private cabin with toilet and shower or have to share?
    4. How many hours off per day do you have?
    5. Is the food good?
    6. Is there a shop on the rig or a method of getting day to day things outside food that you would need?
    7. Any tax breaks for working on the rig?

    1..average, depends on "atmospheric conditions"..we are about 150km from land, in Norwegian Sea.
    2. sometimes
    3 only share if you are hot bedding in Norwegian sector pretty civilised up here:)
    4 start at 6am..finish usually 8pm
    5 excellent, 4 star.
    6 yeah but pretty basic..sweets,razors ,etc, smokes opens 3 times a day for an hour.
    7 No, but all expenses are paid, flights, hotel, food.If I work outside Norwegian territory I only pay 10% tax, but that don't happen too often.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,884 ✭✭✭SlowBlowin


    Hi there

    Can I ask how concerned workers are with the SuperPuma helicopters ? Every time one goes down there is lots of talk in the media about inherent gearbox issues, I don't even know if they are still flying..

    Have you ever witness someone going "cabin crazy" ?


  • Registered Users Posts: 378 ✭✭nlrkjos


    Pumas don't fly here, only as medi-evac and rescue, something to do with their "hover capabilities". Was a lot of bother last year about them coming back, but Unions stopped that.

    Guy I worked with a few years back was medi-evac'd (depression!) helicopter got to 2000m and he pushed out the window and jumped. Really sad, was a nice guy, marriage problems, which you hear a lot of.


  • Registered Users Posts: 378 ✭✭nlrkjos


    day.jpg

    night.jpg


    give you some idea of the scale. 640 people 150km from land, 1hr by helicopter, rescue ship nearby, crew change out 88 people every weekday (6 helicopters).


  • Registered Users Posts: 378 ✭✭nlrkjos


    Fra ml dc.jpg

    that's us in a storm a while back, Floatel Superior.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 332 ✭✭Tikki Wang Wang


    nlrkjos wrote: »
    Fra ml dc.jpg

    that's us in a storm a while back, Floatel Superior.

    F me!


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 1,470 ✭✭✭Whereisgalway


    Have you ever hugged a tree?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,884 ✭✭✭SlowBlowin


    Hey there again,

    Does anyone fish off the platform/rig, if yes have there been any notable catches ?

    Ever been genuinely sh!t scared in a storm, if so which one and what was the sea like ?

    Ever seen a freak wave ?

    As a construction supervisor I assume you have to "Jerry rig" or "MacGyver" something together when needs must, if so what bush fix are you most proud of ?


  • Registered Users Posts: 5 Monaghan4Sam


    Any electricians on the rig? What hours do they do and do they get paid weeks off at home? Cheers


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  • Registered Users Posts: 378 ✭✭nlrkjos


    No fishing off our rig, but some you can. I saw a guy catching a 30 kg cod off the Troll A, they vacuum pack them there or eat on board !
    Never really been scared, if I can't control it, then just wait n' see !!! no freak waves, but 24/25 m is freak enough for me!
    McGyver stuff, not really acceptable offshore (Norwegian) too much can go wrong, and when it go's wrong out there it can go really wrong. Ive seen production slowed or stopped for the want of a bolt.


  • Registered Users Posts: 378 ✭✭nlrkjos


    Any electricians on the rig? What hours do they do and do they get paid weeks off at home? Cheers

    yeah electro guys/gals, they are in big demand, especially if they can do instruments.You work for 170 hours a shift (+OT), plus extra hours are paid to make up 6 weeks @ 37.5 hrs per week. so in a nutshell you get 6 weeks pay for your shift, the benefit is the time off. E.G a pipefitter after tax would come home with 5/6 grand for his shift (monthly pay) but you have 28 days free time...lot of folk I know work for some of the time off.


  • Registered Users Posts: 400 ✭✭mickmac76


    Do you have to work nights as well. Are you working every day when you're on the rig. Do you have medical staff for out there or would you have to be evacuated if you were ill.


  • Registered Users Posts: 142 ✭✭pocketse


    Interesting profession !!

    What nationalities do you work with ?
    Worked on a couple of cruise ships before and full of filipino workers who were working for a fraction of western wage and 11 month on one off. Anything like that on rigs?
    Do they fly you back to Ireland each break ?


  • Registered Users Posts: 378 ✭✭nlrkjos


    Have you ever hugged a tree?

    Not really....but lets just say hugs at homecomings can be "interesting";);)


  • Registered Users Posts: 378 ✭✭nlrkjos


    pocketse wrote: »
    Interesting profession !!

    What nationalities do you work with ?
    Worked on a couple of cruise ships before and full of filipino workers who were working for a fraction of western wage and 11 month on one off. Anything like that on rigs?
    Do they fly you back to Ireland each break ?

    mostly Scandanavian, no slave labor in Norwegian sector. Yeah, flights and hotel, (I have to stay one night on the beach) are all paid for.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,969 ✭✭✭✭alchemist33


    Have you read any of Paul Carter's books? If so, is it really like that or is he bullsh*tting?


  • Registered Users Posts: 378 ✭✭nlrkjos


    mickmac76 wrote: »
    Do you have to work nights as well. Are you working every day when you're on the rig. Do you have medical staff for out there or would you have to be evacuated if you were ill.

    Night shift, I don't do, but normal routine is 75/25 day/night...14 12 hour nights can be punishing, medics on board with very good "hospital" facilities 1 first aider to every 25 personnel also. Medics can fix you up until med-evac heli come, medics are trained same as ambulance paramedics, maybe more so.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5 Monaghan4Sam


    nlrkjos wrote: »
    yeah electro guys/gals, they are in big demand, especially if they can do instruments.You work for 170 hours a shift (+OT), plus extra hours are paid to make up 6 weeks @ 37.5 hrs per week. so in a nutshell you get 6 weeks pay for your shift, the benefit is the time off. E.G a pipefitter after tax would come home with 5/6 grand for his shift (monthly pay) but you have 28 days free time...lot of folk I know work for some of the time off.

    Okay so you would work the 170-190 in 2 weeks then have four weeks off? Thanks for taking the time to answer everyone's questions!


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  • Registered Users Posts: 22,253 ✭✭✭✭endacl


    Two questions.

    What’s the shortest time you’d need to retrain to fly a space shuttle and blow up an asteroid?

    Do you like Aerosmith?


This discussion has been closed.
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