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Oil Rig Mechanics

The maintenance department of an oil rig usually employs a number of mechanics as part of their crew to help with maintenance and servicing of equipment. They help to ensure that all the machinery is functioning smoothly by inspecting the hydraulic systems, motors and other machines, using a checklist. When something is not working as it should, they are required to help resolve the issue and restore it back to its original working condition. They are also responsible for working with the storekeeper and ordering supplies as required by the technical personnel of the crew.

The hours of a rig mechanic are long and very often they may have to work extended shifts as the need arises. They should be in excellent physical condition because on many occasions, their work requires them to stand for a long time or crouch in a cramped position.

However it is an excellent way to make good money using your skills. Even if you have basic mechanic skills, you can get an entry-level job on a rig, which pays $50,000 annually. If you are good at your work, you will soon grow and can opt for some of the mainstream positions as described above.

Oil Rig Motorman Jobs

An oil rig functions with the help of a variety of machines all of which have to run continuously and seamlessly in order to support the crew. The oil rig motorman’s job is to keep all the machines running smoothly by oiling and lubricating all the relevant parts and ensuring they are functioning as per their specifications.

Oil rigs use a variety of machines depending on either diesel or electricity to support the extraction of oil. Equipment is used to lower and extract the drill from the drill hole, another set of machinery is used to rotate the table that in turn rotates the drill bit; and still more equipment is used to circulate the mud, which is used as drilling fluid. If any of these machines were to malfunction or get damaged, it would severely hamper the productivity of the crew. The oil rig motorman’s job is to ensure that this never happens.

Apart from spending their time on the engines, the oil rig motorman also performs a number of additional tasks, some of which are listed below:

  • Train, mentor and oversee the more junior manual workers like the roughnecks and roustabouts.
  • Support the other rig workers in their roles as the demand arises.
  • Maintain all the machinery by periodically lubricating it and servicing it.
  • Examine certain machinery parts like the tongs, which are used when connecting the spinning chain and the drill pipe.
  • Ensure the stores are well stocked with replacement parts and bits. This includes ordering replacements when required.

The oil rig motorman should have a strong interest and flair for mechanics. Once again, attention to detail is vital as well as a positive team player attitude. Most roughnecks are promoted to this role after completing a certain number of years of experience and backing it up with a number of supporting certifications. It is very rare for a new entrant to grab this type of job without having any previous oil rig experience. The salary of this function ranges from $45,000 to $60,000 per year.

Jobs on the Internet

Most individuals find their offshore jobs on the Internet. All kinds of job vacancies within the oil rig industry are published online providing the job hunter with a variety of options to choose from. There are thousands of companies offering such positions whether directly on an oil rig or indirectly by providing the supplies required by drilling companies. If you have done your industry research well, you would be well informed on some of the leading institutions, their reputations and would have also formulated an opinion on where best you would like to work. Here are a few pitfalls you may want to avoid:

1. Ensure that you have the requisite qualifications, certifications and experience before you apply. Personnel departments don’t want to be bombarded with resumes of people who don’t meet their requirements in any way. You can actually end up getting blacklisted which will prevent any future prospects you may have.

2. Apply online if a choice is offered. Online applications are always more efficient, easy to retrieve and track than mailed ones so if both alternatives are presented to you, go for the Internet.

3. If you have any queries about the position, call the hiring organization and clarify them. There is no point in supplying incorrect and inaccurate data just because you don’t quite understand what is required. In addition, if your query relates to the role specifically, then a quick call is even more essential. The last thing you want is to be applying for something you aren’t that interested in.

4. There are a number of Internet scams offering offshore jobs so look out for these. Ensure that you correspond only with the known and established websites and always bear in mind that any site asking you to spend money in some way prior to securing a position is probably a con.

Summing Up

The offshore drilling industry has a great many roles and if you are someone inclined towards blue-collar manual labor, it can present you with an excellent opportunity to make good money doing what you love. Entry-level positions are aplenty and there is an ever-growing demand for eager young men and women in the industry. It is a life of adventure and excitement, one that many engineering and geology graduates choose to pursue in an attempt to live an outdoor life while at the same time using their education qualifications. So now that you are aware of all the different areas in which you can find your niche, the next step is to learn the best ways of finding a job.


Summing Up

For many the charm of working offshore lies in the prospect of international travel. Conversely most of the workers who exit the industry do so because they are so far from home spending much of their time in the middle of the ocean. That said, it is an irretrievable and unchangeable component of working in this industry so unless you are willing to travel to these locations and work under the demanding conditions that they impose, this is certainly not the career for you. On the flipside, many oil workers today relish the opportunity to visit new and exciting locations, places they never dreamed of visiting in their lifetimes. As oil exploration extends to new frontiers, the prospect of visiting new continents and regions will always be one of the key reasons for new and existing workers to serve in the oil drilling industry.


Global Energy Offshore Jobs

This most common type of offshore job exists due to the worldwide demand for oil and petroleum. As demand increases and supply falls, oil companies are constantly in search of new sources of oil and many times they find this deep in the ocean bed of a remote corner of the world. Drilling for oil is a massive effort and requires the constant support and supervision of a highly specialized and trained staff.

There are also less specialized roles like that of cooks, housekeeping staff, painters, welders, roughnecks and floor hands. All the roles involved in drilling for oil comprise of global energy offshore jobs and are by far the most in demand.

The Variety of Practices in Offshore Drilling

An oil rig offshore Vungtau

Image via Wikipedia

The offshore drilling jobs are for all those who are looking for a sense of adventure coupled with a large payout. The offshore jobs related to the drilling of oil from the seabed are one of the most physically demanding jobs available. This job however, also compensates handsomely to all those who opt for it. Drilling for oil is one of the most expensive businesses.

This industry calls for a comprehensive research for natural oil resources. There is no sure shot way of recognizing whether a possible oil reserve is large enough to set up a rig on. Therefore there are temporary rigs in the form of floaters which drill into the seabed and then assess the financial viability of setting up a permanent station for the extraction of oil.

The job requires geologists and oceanographers alike. In fact the oil extraction program is one of those programs which involve the best of experts from a variety of fields to establish. The marine biologist and the geologists look for the possibility of oil, then the engineers and sailors rig that source and then the viability of establishing a permanent rig is considered. This is why this is one of the highest paying jobs as well, as the rewards are immense.

Offshore wind power

The controversial Cape Wind offshore wind project off Massachusetts’ Cape Cod secures a power purchase agreement with utility National Grid for half of its electricit.

Read more at CNet News.

The Gulf of Mexico

While the Gulf of Mexico has always been known for its offshore oil, it finds a place on this list because experts believe that there is a tremendous potential for more oil in deeper and further from the coast. It is estimated that there are about 13 billion barrels of unrecovered oil in the region in an area called as the Lower Tertiary. This area is 200 miles off the coast and stretches from Alabama to Mexico. It consists of probably the oldest rock formation, approximately 60 million years old, and poses a unique set of challenges to reach. When the formation is so old, it needs to be fractured before oil can be extracted and this is not an easy process because of a number of reasons. The primary concern is that no one has ever fractured rock in deep water before and for this particular extraction; massive amounts of hydraulic horsepower will be needed.

Given the recent oil extraction debacle, BP has not yet received approval to proceed with exploring this Lower Tertiary region to which it currently holds rights. However it is expected to proceed with approval in due course.

Other Types of Offshore Jobs

The other extremely common type of offshore job relates to roles that have been moved from expensive parts of the world to less developed countries where labor is cheap and skill levels are high. Data processing, customer support and banking roles are all examples of this type of offshore job and don’t require extensive training and engineering qualifications. In most cases it requires a good command of English coupled with strong computer skills. There is a recent trend of knowledge-based work like analytics and research moving to such countries as well due to a large concentration of related experience existing in these locations.