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

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  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    So you can't have a phone at all on there in case of sparking an explosion? Yet you can smoke? I must be reading this wrong


  • Registered Users Posts: 98 ✭✭Spencer Winterbotham


    Do you encounter much situational homosexual activity? Like the lads in prison. Straight on the outside but turn to their fellow man on the inside for "comfort"?

    Have you every dabbled yourself?


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,129 ✭✭✭HalloweenJack


    How do you cope with the long days in summer and long nights in winter? Or are you not that far enough north for it to really change?


  • Registered Users Posts: 378 ✭✭nlrkjos


    You certainly work for your money- that’s a very long day.

    As your day is so structured over a long period do you apply the same approach to time off or are you more relaxed about what you do and when you do it?

    You mentioned pension at 60. Is there an opportunity for you to do related work onshore at that point such as getting involved in training or consultancy or education to pass on your wealth of knowledge and experience?

    Do you live in Norway? If so what’s it like to live there?

    What would you say is the worst job to do and best job to do on an oil rig?

    Do the cooks and other staff get paid quite generously also? And what would their shifts be like, similar to yours?

    What’s the difference between oil rig working and gas rig work? Are they essentially very similar?

    What’s the average age of workers on the rig? I’m imagining here that people who joined years ago are mostly still there now and that staff turnover is low?

    I'm the most disorganised person you ever met when I'm off, I could take the bike out on Monday to get the paper and milk...and come home wednesday.

    Probably will work on land for a few years in tech school that our company runs.No I live in Ireland and commute,catering staff are well paid, do the same shifts, and are unionised. Gas/Oil, pretty much the same, most platforms produce both.Average age is 35/55, turnover is high actually.


  • Registered Users Posts: 378 ✭✭nlrkjos


    eurokev wrote: »
    One of the best AMA's yet.

    I qualified in E&I last year. I work for a large chemical company who kept me on. I was made up to an engineer on finishing my apprenticeship, because I'm older over 30 and have a cert and degree in the instrument area too.
    TBH I miss the tools and have always been interested in off shore.
    I think the working enviorment would really suit me.

    How would I go about getting a job on a rig??
    It's it unionised?
    How demanding is the actual work, is there much work actually going on or is it fairly relaxed?
    Is there perks, bonuses, shares, health insurance etc??
    Are you actually aware you are on a rig? Or is it like being on a cruise ship, where it only hits you that you are on a ship when you go up on deck?
    P.M.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 378 ✭✭nlrkjos


    Myleftpeg wrote: »
    Do you smoke like a trooper ?
    Does the job stress you out or is just routine now ?
    Ever sustained a nasty injury ?
    10 a day ! No stress, I leave that for ropes and slings. No not really, just minor stuff, cuts and bruises.


  • Registered Users Posts: 16,511 ✭✭✭✭Galwayguy35


    2 lads from my area worked on the rigs in Alaska, big money but like yourself they well earned it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 378 ✭✭nlrkjos


    only new wrote: »
    Do you get to see any wildlife living onboard whales maybe?

    Yeah..most rigs have a resident hawk, keeps the gulls at bay ! One rig I worked on had a pair of sea eagles nesting on the flare stack. Whales we see a lot of, in passing, sometimes you would get a flock of migrating birds resting in bad weather.


  • Registered Users Posts: 378 ✭✭nlrkjos


    nutjobb wrote: »
    Do you speak Norwegian? I've read before you need to speak it to work on the north sea.

    Is there tax benefits spending so much time out of the country, or must one spend >6 months out of Ireland to get this?

    Have you found a significant difference between Norwegian rigs and others? In conditions, food etc. are the Norwegian the only ones that offer 2 on 4 off rotation?

    Has there been a big difference in conditions since you first began working offshore?

    are most people working there long timers, does it "break" a lot of people and they quit?

    Do you know any saturation divers? I watched a documentary on this recently, fascinating stuff.

    I'm a toolmaker by trade now working as an engineer. Would it be better to apply to services companies rather than the oil companies themselves?

    Yes, speak pretty good Norsk, work related, holding a full conversation is difficult. Norwegian sector is probably the best condition and welfare wise. Service companies are best..especially from April to Sept when the shutdowns happen, it can be an "in"


  • Registered Users Posts: 378 ✭✭nlrkjos


    How come cigarettes are allowed but not mobile phones?

    Could you give those of us who know nothing about rigs a flavour of what the work actually involves?
    The mechanics of what is done out there?

    Designated smoking rooms...no lighters allowed either, box matches in all the smoke rooms.Mobiles were never allowed, no reception anyway, people treat them as a hand/brain extension and just seem to carry them everywhere, the cameras can also be a problem...photography is banned, (designated folk only)

    Basic maintenance same as a factory, but more of it as the salt air corrodes everything.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 378 ✭✭nlrkjos


    How do you cope with the long days in summer and long nights in winter? Or are you not that far enough north for it to really change?
    Can be a bit disconcerting at times, but you get used to it....Northern Lights can be fun!!!!!


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,979 ✭✭✭Stovepipe


    I did oil and gas equipment for two years (95 to 97) and that included two 28 day rotations (as sick cover) onto oil rigs / gas refinery on an island in the Arabian Gulf. Food was excellent but no drink or smokes and it was an instant firing offence to have either. It was also a firing offence to have porn on board (muslim country)Helicopters or boats to get you on or off (45 mins in a Huey or eight hours in a boat). Work was 12 hours shifts, nominally, 6 to 6 and it varied from all hands, flat out to ticking along at a slow ebb. Work ranged from frantic emergency repairs after an unplanned shutdown to changing oil filters on diesel engines on a remote unmanned platform. You could fish off the boat deck (the lowest) but it was easier to just buy a fish off the Filipino boatcrews, who needed the money as their rates were ****e and then pay the cook to cook it. It was also very hot. As for job demand, electricians and instrument fitters were the highest paid and most in demand, as were diesel fitters and anyone with turbine experience, as most rigs had a gas turbine as the main powerplant. Curiously, scaffolders made very good money as they were expected to fit out the rig for work during the overhaul periods and they had to be good and fast. A significant amount of people were ex-military or had aviation experience. The physical environment was noisy as there were always pumps or engines running and some lads would find the quietest part of the rig and go there in the evening, just for a break from humans, noise or heat.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,403 ✭✭✭Gloomtastic!


    Wife’s stepfather is a Drilling Manager on an exploration rig. The rig is rented out at $1million a day by the company that employ him to whoever is looking for oil. He spent three years off one country a while ago working for their government and they didn’t find a drop of oil. Ouch!

    Do you know what your rig is pulling in a day revenue-wise? No. of barrels x price per barrel. Do you have any idea of the cost per day of running your rig?


  • Registered Users Posts: 378 ✭✭nlrkjos


    Stovepipe wrote: »
    I did oil and gas equipment for two years (95 to 97) and that included two 28 day rotations (as sick cover) onto oil rigs / gas refinery on an island in the Arabian Gulf. Food was excellent but no drink or smokes and it was an instant firing offence to have either. It was also a firing offence to have porn on board (muslim country)Helicopters or boats to get you on or off (45 mins in a Huey or eight hours in a boat). Work was 12 hours shifts, nominally, 6 to 6 and it varied from all hands, flat out to ticking along at a slow ebb. Work ranged from frantic emergency repairs after an unplanned shutdown to changing oil filters on diesel engines on a remote unmanned platform. You could fish off the boat deck (the lowest) but it was easier to just buy a fish off the Filipino boatcrews, who needed the money as their rates were ****e and then pay the cook to cook it. It was also very hot. As for job demand, electricians and instrument fitters were the highest paid and most in demand, as were diesel fitters and anyone with turbine experience, as most rigs had a gas turbine as the main powerplant. Curiously, scaffolders made very good money as they were expected to fit out the rig for work during the overhaul periods and they had to be good and fast. A significant amount of people were ex-military or had aviation experience. The physical environment was noisy as there were always pumps or engines running and some lads would find the quietest part of the rig and go there in the evening, just for a break from humans, noise or heat.

    Been there back in the 90's myself, but got ran out of it because I wouldn't kow-tow to the Saudis, fck 'em, I'm Irish and will bow to nobody!

    Instrument lads are still highest paid, and the scaffolders are well paid too, plus they get a langerload of overtime, to fit out for next shift.The platform we are on now will be powered from land with the longest undersea power cable ever laid, 315km..gas will be piped straight to Germany, oil will be stored on a tanker, shuttled to land by smaller tankers.

    If smoking was banned up here they would lose half the crew, Scandanavians smoke a lot !


  • Registered Users Posts: 378 ✭✭nlrkjos


    Wife’s stepfather is a Drilling Manager on an exploration rig. The rig is rented out at $1million a day by the company that employ him to whoever is looking for oil. He spent three years off one country a while ago working for their government and they didn’t find a drop of oil. Ouch!

    Do you know what your rig is pulling in a day revenue-wise? No. of barrels x price per barrel. Do you have any idea of the cost per day of running your rig?

    Not a clue ! no interest in knowing, but I know that oil has to be above $65 to be profitable, and the rig is expected to produce for 25 years. Last one I worked on is producing $14,000,000 a week.


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


    Have you ever stood on the edge of the platform and peed into the ocean?
    ?


  • Registered Users Posts: 378 ✭✭nlrkjos


    ?

    No, but I puked me guts up when Clare bate us in the all Ireland 2013 !:D


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,830 ✭✭✭lab man


    Hon da banner cant bate the bould o'Donnell


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,539 ✭✭✭JeffKenna


    lab man wrote: »
    Hon da banner cant bate the bould o'Donnell
    He's an awful dirty prick to be fair.

    Cork were very hard done by in that first game.


  • Registered Users Posts: 378 ✭✭nlrkjos


    lab man wrote: »
    Hon da banner cant bate the bould o'Donnell

    Dirty dyin' son of a dyslexic siberian camel wa**er:p


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  • Registered Users Posts: 8 finbar82


    Just a few differences to note between the UKNS and Norwegian sector. As a back ground I have been full time in the north sea now as a core crew mechanical tech sine jan 2012 on a production platform, and first started offshore in 2006 on drillers. In the uk sector the majority of core crew jobs don't pay over time its 84 hrs a week. 3/3, 2/3, 3/4/3/5 week rotas. some of the temporary construction lads get OT. Food is hit and Miss depends on the camp boss and budget. Phones are allowed just not out on the plant. And on our rig there is a very young work force i would say 40 % below the age of 30, we even have two apprentices on just now.


  • Registered Users Posts: 378 ✭✭nlrkjos


    finbar82 wrote: »
    Just a few differences to note between the UKNS and Norwegian sector. As a back ground I have been full time in the north sea now as a core crew mechanical tech sine jan 2012 on a production platform, and first started offshore in 2006 on drillers. In the uk sector the majority of core crew jobs don't pay over time its 84 hrs a week. 3/3, 2/3, 3/4/3/5 week rotas. some of the temporary construction lads get OT. Food is hit and Miss depends on the camp boss and budget. Phones are allowed just not out on the plant. And on our rig there is a very young work force i would say 40 % below the age of 30, we even have two apprentices on just now.

    I know lads working there, conditions are shocking compared to Norway, constant bitching too, from what I hear. Difficult enough out there without that crap.

    Just a question on the age profile, is it down to money? are the experienced hands quitting, being shoved out ? Is the platform near end of life ? I'm curious because we hear so much shyte from UK, you wouldn't know what to believe ! Afraid it could happen up here, won't bother me with only 5 years left, but would hate to see it go tits up.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,154 ✭✭✭jharr100


    The view is fantastic at night all the same ☺


  • Registered Users Posts: 378 ✭✭nlrkjos


    6541 wrote: »
    Just wondering any opportunities for people in Information technology ?

    sorry for late reply, I honestly don't know about offshore, we do have a "Gill Bates" for computer problems, but out of 600+ workers I only seen 1 on board, and he's missing half the time.


  • Registered Users Posts: 37,297 ✭✭✭✭the_syco


    6541 wrote: »
    Just wondering any opportunities for people in Information technology ?
    I checked into this myself. Most often the tech support will be based on land at the HQ. I'd imagine that the onsite would need to be a jack'o'all trades networking consultant.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,675 ✭✭✭thunderdog


    Would you get many geologists on site? In a previous life I worked as a geologist (now in a different field), most of the geologists work is done prior to drilling, but interested to know if you’ve come across any geologists on site


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,979 ✭✭✭Stovepipe


    Depending on the contract, the work load could be entirely different. Some of the jobs I was on were turbine servicing only and you were gone as soon as the service was done. Others were what was called "full service contracts", where everything mechanical (and I mean everything) from heli deck to boat deck was included, except for the catering and accomodation, so you could be fixing a turbine one day and changing a radiator on a fire pump diesel engine the next. Instrument and electrical people do a lot of calibration, remote testing, wiring, upgrading at overhaul time and so on. Any place I was in or on had a small workshop for local repairs, for both mech and electrical. The thing about the oil and gas industry is that for every job on a rig or at sea servicing rigs, there are so many more ashore, building the rigs and their infinite amount of pumps, engines, valves, piping, wiring, instruments and a whole lot more. You could be involved in the industry and never set foot on a rig.


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,640 ✭✭✭✭Muahahaha


    nlrkjos wrote: »
    Attachment not found.

    Attachment not found.


    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).

    Great pics and AMA OP.

    Can you explain to us what each of those three rigs does, is it the middle one pulling the gas? Whats the smaller one for and which one is staff quarters? Also is the gas pumped 150km back onshore through a pipeline on the sea bed? If so what kind of depth would the pipeline be and how do they do maintenance, some kind of robotic mini subs or some other way? Also the gas flare you often see rigs burning, what is the purpose of that?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,239 ✭✭✭Lurching


    Can you give me a bit of actual workers thoughts on the EC225 helicopter?
    I know the north sea unions wont allow their workers to be transferred on them, but are the workers as adamant?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,944 ✭✭✭circadian


    Is car insurance still mental for rig workers?


This discussion has been closed.
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