Life On An Offshore Rig
Offshore installations usually require a workforce to remain onboard for oil processing, maintanence and the day-to-day activities to run the installation effectively.
Offshore life can be harsh, uncompromising and difficult for some people to cope with. The weather can be anything from a becalmed sunny day to a raging storm. Whatever the weather, work often must be carried out. Facilities on board can range from state of the art with the latest in production systems to 3rd rate basic equipment that still functions and does the job.
Their is no such thing as a nine to five atmosphere on board an oil / gas installation. Personnel work in 12 hour shifts, back-to-back. In the North Sea day shift work begins at 0700 hrs and finishes at 1900 hrs and vice versa for night shift work.
Life on board a rig can be cramped, uncomfortable and lacking in creature comforts, conversely it may also be the opposite. Rooms tend to be shared cabins with bunk-beds, communal showers and a small television set.
Welfare is another variable entity! In the early days of Offshore Installations the welfare provided wasn't much more than a deck of cards and a board game or two! Nowadays its improved with, at a minimum: telephone service for personal home, television rooms and newspapers/magazines.
Oil workers are perhaps some of the most highly paid and successful workers in the world. Their earnings can be up to and above treble what their onshore counterparts may earn. The high revenues that oil companies enjoy can be passed down to the humble oil contracters.
The actual work conditions can be from both extremes of cold outside to intense heat inside in production areas of the installation.
Depending on whereabouts you are in the world the conditions can range from very comfortable to sub-basic. In the North / Irish Sea for example most of the oil / gas platforms are from the 1970s to 1980s with only a handful from the late 1990s and one in the 2000s. The earlier era rigs are usually the more basic but some have been updated and overhauled, a well an example of this includes the 'Montrose' oil platform. Others, like the Thistle platform, have more rough and ready living conditions!