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.
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