Working at an oil rig or gas platform
Offshore job is the term used by sailors who are working at an oil rig stationed in a particular location at sea where a construction of oil pipelines were usually accomplished in a span of three to four months.
That's what my two colleagues did. Tired or traveling on board a commercial vessel, transporting bulk and oil goods, my former co-workers decided to have a change in working atmosphere by enlisting themselves as part of the crew that are stationed at Louisiana offshore terminal this year (2011)
Through Facebook, the most famous social network to date, more than 50 multi-racial crew are hired to house one of the rigs in this oil-rich state in the U.S.A..
Before, I used to snap photos of those floating communities atop the waters of Texas and Louisiana. It was fascinating to see. Never had I imagine the hardships that sailors meet at the actual workloads being done inside those structures.
Back here in the Philippines, working at an oil rig is not a famous job among seafarers, along with those who are stationed or working at fishing vessels or tugboats. These sailor have the very short contract period while the rest have the POEA standard of 6 months per contract.
Working atmosphere in an oil rig
My friend who once worked as an ordinary seaman in an oil rig relates that there are about 50 or more sailors stationed at the particular platform. It will be divided into two groups, the morning and evening shift.
Able-bodied seamen (ABs) and fitters, work hand-in-hand, along with the bosun as they rig vast sizes of oil pipes that will be fitted to the drilled hole under the seabed. The 4 or 3-month period of staying on board such structures is consumed with discovering oil deposit at a particular platform.
There's a sonar device measuring the depth the sea or the water level and the very large boom for lifting those pipes.
My friend said that there are also problems arising inside the work areas. It's inevitable, though, tempers of men are always shortlived.
By the way, there are also doctors or nurses stationed onboard for unavoidable accidents.
Although SAFETY is always the motto of every sailor, isolated cases of freak accidents happen on deck, galley or engine room. Much more with such isolated structure, more or less 90 miles off the nearest shore.
The lurking danger
There's always a danger lurking around a particular oil rig. There are many accidents that happened and destroyed the structures and lives of many seafarers.
Since SAFETY is everybody's business, there's always a briefing every time they do the hot work or even cold work. Hotwork is when there's a welding operation going on deck while cold work is underwater work also involving welding.
A very sound precaution of NOT WHISTLING while working is a must. Some freak accidents happened because of the sound emitted by whistling and the sailor involved is oblivious of what's happening around him.
There are instances that oil rig explodes; so, a careful procedure is always conducted during working hours. Although fire hydrants are always ready , sea-watch is on standby and helicopter is at bay for rescue, simple mistakes can lead to bigger disaster at sea.
Lives are at stake onboard an oil rig if all are not careful of the right procedure for work.
A look at Life on an offshore Oil Rig - bstansbu
Working at an oil rig is tedious and at the same time, lonesome. Good thing, there's an internet connection that you can use if you're feeling homesick.
Salary is competitive to other sailor's job specialization. As my friend had just said, the contract is always three to six months.
You stay for the rest of your contract aboard the rig but you can also save as much as you can for yourself and your family.
What you want to know about oil rig
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