Offshore Platforms - Drill Crews
Working on a drill crew offshore is often intense hard work. Shouting, swearing and loud machine noise is commonplace. Unlike working in most production areas of an offshore platform drill crews are exposed to the elements working in and on the pipe and drill deck. A further factor is that time off for lunch breaks and breaks in general is usually a lot shorter than construction and core crews are.
A typical offshore drill crew is made up of:
The Lead Driller or Driller - The leader of the drill crew. He has usually worked his way up from the bottom of the drill crew and knows all the jobs inside out. Performs the most important work by controlling the drill itself via a complex set of controls from inside the drill control room (Dog House). Often has to liaise with the Toolpusher (The overall man in charge of the platforms drill activities).
The Assistant Driller - Assists the Driller and is usually only found on larger drill crews.
The Derrickman - Usually second in command to the Driller if on a small drill platform. Stands atop the 'Monkey Board' part-way up the derrick itself, he ensures the drill pipes are lowed and raised as necessary. A fingerboard is used to store drill pipe and he is often considered to have the hardest and most dangerous job on the drill floor.
Roughnecks - The backbone of the drill crew, essentially operating and manipulating the drill equipment into the necessary positions from the pipe deck, up to the drill floor and into position etc.
Roustabouts - The lowest rank on a drill crew, responsible for routine, mundane tasks in a general labour sense, as well as assisting the Roughnecks in day to day activities,
Assisting the drill crew may be geophysicists, mudloggers and marine surveyors.
Without an offshore platforms or FPSO's drill crew or there would be no oil or gas coming in from offshore. Operating from the pipe deck and drill floor of the 'Derrick' area large sections of drill pipe are added first onto the diamond tipped boring drill which is lowered down the 'drill string' or the outer drill pipe into the wellhead (located on the sea bed) more drill pipe is added as the derrick mechanism (pushes down 'gently' on the current section of drill pipe) lowers the section of drill pipe until another section needs adding. Contrary to what many believe drill crews do not stay on one particular rig permanently like the core crew does. After having drilled the necessary depth or completed a deadline they normally move onto another platform periodically. After a predetermined time the drill crew will return to drill some more thus ensuring that the oil continues to flow.