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Looking For An Offshore Oil Drilling Jobs

Updated on July 16, 2011

I spent a couple of years living about an hour or so from the Gulf of Mexico. I had some friends whose parents worked on the oil rigs. They were experts in their field, knowing the best way to keep the rigs running or even being able to move them to a new drilling location. When the job they were working on finished, often they were unemployed for a while until they could find another one. When they were working the money was good, but they didn't always have work, especially when the price of oil dropped. When the price of oil rose, the demand for their services went up. Finding steady, regular employment was a rare thing for the people who had offshore drilling jobs. Getting a job can be a difficult thing if you are trained in a specific type of highly specialized field. However, on the other side of the job search lies the employer. If you have a pressing need for highly trained and experienced personnel, how can you find them? If you are looking for offshore oil drilling jobs, it isn't usually as simple as looking for an ad in your local paper. There are solutions for finding jobs that have have specialized requirements. Many different types of employment agencies or employee leasing companies make a business out of finding these type of jobs and people looking for them.

Jobs in the petroleum and natural gas industry can be divided into three main areas: upstream, midstream and downstream. Upstream covers things related to oil exploration and drilling. This includes companies that specialize in servicing oil rigs, equipment manufacture and maintenance, geology and running seismic testing. Midstream is things like moving the oil and gas from production into processing facilities and and refining it. Downstream are petroleum product wholesalers and retailers. Many of the largest oil companies cover all aspects of the industry, from exploration to the gas pump. What kinds of jobs are performed on offshore oil rigs? There are different types: deck crew, drill crew, management, mechanical, catering and others. Deck crew covers things like crane operator, assistant crane operator, roustabout, barge engineer, control room operator, painter, maintenance roustabout, and maintenance foreman. The drill crew includes driller, assistant driller, derrickman, pumpman and roughneck. Management has the offshore installation manager, company man/woman, captain or chief engineer and tool pusher. Mechanical has the maintenance supervisor, chief electrician, electronic technician, chief mechanic, assistant mechanic, mechanical maintenance supervisor, and motorman. One of the most important crews is the catering crew with the camp boss, chef and cooks, steward and stewardess, and the night baker and cook. Jobs that are also important, but not part of a defined crew include the radio operator, medic, subsea engineer, assistant subsea engineer, instrument technician, welder, rig safety and training coordinator, mud engineer, ballast controlman or watchstander, storekeeper, scaffolders, and the shakerhand or mudman. While these jobs might be very industry specific, if you are a medic or a cook, the transfer of your existing skills can be done without having to learn a whole new set of skills. However, if you are already working on oil rigs, but on land, there are some differences that you should know about between an offshore oil rig and one on land. Some offshore rigs have a seven day a week, twelve hour a day work schedule. Others have three weeks on and three weeks off. If you are working on an offshore oil rig, you can expect to work about 6 months out of the year and have the other six months off. This normally happens as seven days on the rig and seven days on shore.

Not all crew members will be needed at all times on the offshore oil rig. Sometimes multiple jobs are done by a single person, especially on smaller rigs. If more than one person has medical training on a shift, it provides a redundancy that is beneficial to the crew if something happens that will require a medic, or if the medic is injured. As a rig switches from drilling to pumping, the crew needed will probably change. Managing the crew operations is an important part of having a smoothly running rig, but being able to find the right team at the right time is critical. A placement agency for oil rig crew can be a valuable asset for both companies looking to hire crew members for offshore oil drilling jobs. A placement agency screens both applicants and potential employers to discover the best match for individual personalities and work locations.

Offshore drilling sites are found almost anywhere there has been oil discovered, from the Gulf of Mexico to the North Sea to the Arctic Ocean. Rigs are different sizes with the largest one in the world, Hibernia, having a crew of 280 people. Hibernia is located about 315 km east southeast of St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada on the Great Banks, in the Jeanne d'Arc Basin. Hibernia has a production per day of 50,000 barrels of oil from a single well. The platform has been designed to withstand icebergs with a perimeter or serrated outer edges to deflect them away from the inner concrete 'island' the perimeter surrounds. This gravity based structure has storage tanks located inside the base for holding 1.3 million barrels of oil. Hibernia took 9 years to build and bring into production. The whole structure weighs in at 1.4 million tonnes. It has all the equipment needed for power generation, heating, cooling, ventilation and air conditioning. Oil rigs are designed to produce these needs onsite, but require replenishment of supplies and crew. While not every person who is seeking on offshore oil drilling job will end up working on the largest oil platform in the world, every job is its own adventure. Discover if you have what it takes to work offshore, amidst the ocean and sky, braving whatever storm or weather may occur. Adventure awaits you if this is the road you wish to take.


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    • profile image

      Eoin P. Clancy 

      6 years ago

      Dear Sir / Madam

      I am a university graduated, industry professional who has worked successfully in 5 different countries. I speak fluent English and Spanish, and have a very wide range of experience, as well as many other qualifications & awards.

      I am still an active rugby player and have captained many, many teams. I have proven leadership skills, and am an excellent communicator.

      I am a "Go To" man. I am given the job, and I get it done.

      Looking forward to hearing from you, I remain,

      Sincerely yours

      Eoin P. Clancy

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Send me your Cv at


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